Engaged, Inspired, and Ready to Build a Better Web

One week every year, the entire Automattic staff gets together to connect, work, and laugh. And then, of course, we blog about it! Could you be blogging about your experience with us in 2015?

Wasatch Mountains panorama by Matt Mullenweg.

Automattic is a distributed company — we all work from wherever we are. Right now, “where we are” is 197 cities around the world: New Orleans, USA. Montevideo, Uruguay. Tokyo, Japan. Vilnius, Lithuania.

Once a year, we get together somewhere in the world to meet, work alongside, learn from, and laugh with one another in an exhilarating, exhausting week called the Grand Meetup. This year, 277 Automatticians descended on Park City, Utah, for seven days in mid-September.

We introduced ourselves to new colleagues, reconnected with coworkers we haven’t seen since last year, and worked on ways to make WordPress.com even better. And of course, lots of us blogged about the experience, in words and images.

We were blown away by the brilliance and generosity of our colleagues…

I’m grateful to have met so many Automatticians from around the world who brought such kindness, curiosity, patience, fierce intelligence, creativity and humor to the time we had together. I’m grateful to have learned about their hobbies, families, personal journeys, quirks, pet peeves, amazing skills, unmitigated geekiness, and brilliant senses of humor.

– VIP Wrangler Chris Hardie

We marveled at the range of conversations we had, from the sublime to the absurd…

Here are some of the things I talked about this week:

  • Scottish independence
  • Taylor Swift
  • Goats
  • Sexism
  • My children
  • Other people’s children
  • Infertility
  • Tattoos
  • Swing dancing
  • Whiskey
  • Javascript
  • Waffles (lack thereof)
  • VideoPress
  • Houston
  • Leadership
  • Fake morning talkshows
  • Mario Kart

Happiness Engineer Zandy Ring

We soaked in the natural beauty of Utah…

Early morning takeoff, by yours truly.

Early morning takeoff, by yours truly.

And some of us got up close and personal with the wide Utah sky…

Happiness Engineer Jeremey DuVall realizes he's just jumped out of an airplane.

Happiness Engineer Jeremey DuVall realizes he’s just jumped out of an airplane.

We learned from one another, and had fun doing it…

I learned how to analyze data in Python with Carly, and went skydiving with Prasath. After discussing common security vulnerabilities with Anne, Cami and I plotted a podcast about absolutely nothing, and recorded part of our first episode…

If you asked me four years ago if I thought it were possible to enjoy working, I’d be dubious. If you asked me whether one could ever genuinely love and respect all their coworkers, I’d hesitate.

Over the past four years, the people of Automattic have demonstrated to me that it’s possible to do work you love with people you love. It’s not common — not yet — but it’s possible.

– VaultPress Eclectic Happiffier Chris Rudzki

We burned the midnight oil…

We worked, we played, we ate, we drank, we slept very little. We tried to make the world a better place, and if you think that’s me being dramatic you don’t know the people I have the honor of working with.

– Dot Organizer Cami Kaos

We took a lot of photos…

(Images above from Happiness Engineers Stephen McLeodPam KockeAndrea Badgley, Dennis Hong, and Andrew Spittle; Creative Director Dave Martin; Code Wrangler Allen Snook; Designamagician Dan Hauk, Mobile Maker Aaron Douglas; Growth Explorer Luca Sartoni; Spline Reticulator Dennis Snell; and Chief Semicolon Advocate Michelle Weber, AKA me.)

On the final day, Automattic founder Matt Mullenweg led us in a toast that summed up the reason we’re all here…

I’m really grateful that I get to work with the people I do, and on the problems that we work on together. It’s far from easy, in fact each year brings new challenges and I make mistakes as often as not, but it is worthwhile and incredibly fulfilling. A few hours ago I gave a closing toast and teared up looking around the room. So many folks that give their passion and dedicate themselves to jobs both large and small, visible and unseen, to help make the web a better place.

– WordPress co-founder and Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg

And when the week was over, heading home was bittersweet…

This morning was filled with so many hugs (and maybe a tear or two). I told myself that I was looking forward to returning home. To my own bed (although the sleep I got in the silence of the Park City night was the best I may have ever experienced). To regular exercise and home cooking. To the routine of my everyday life. And I was looking forward to that. And even though I knew I would miss my colleagues (it’s happened every time I return from a trip), the weight of the fog of sadness still surprises me when it descends.

I read their blogs. I like their Facebook posts. I retweet their Tweets. And I miss them.

– Happiness (w)Rangler Lori McLeese

If you think you might want to work with this motley crew and join us in 2015’s mayhem…

2014-company-animated

we’re hiring. (And yes, you’ll get to make up your own job title, too.)


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48 Comments

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  1. teachezwell

    Boy, who wouldn’t want to work with you all!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. glitterbunnies

    SO informative! Thank you for this, really enjoyed reading🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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  5. Coderanger

    You guys rock!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Ryan Cowles

    Reblogged this on Ryan C. and commented:

    Like

  7. Maureen Carruthers

    Looks like a great time. Very pleased to see Settlers of Catan represented. I was worried that with the RPGs and CCGs the german-style board games wouldn’t get any action.

    Like

    • Michelle W.

      I believe there was some Dominion action as well, along with more party-style board games like Cranium. (Not that I mean to suggest that Settlers of Catan is not a non-stop party.)

      Liked by 1 person

  8. vakunzmann

    Great post! Looks like you all had a blast. Thank you for all you do…each and every one of you.
    ~victoria

    Liked by 1 person

  9. writeanne

    Wow! Just that. Wow! Here’s to another great year for you all. Slainte mhath (cheers). Love that Scottish Independence was on the chat list🙂

    Like

  10. tominalbion

    Very interesting, will be checking out those vacancies as it looks like a fun place to work!

    Like

  11. Paul Handover

    Thank you girls and guys – what a super job you all do!

    Like

  12. livethatgoodlife

    My dream job! The one I thought didn’t exist like I insinuated in my last post… Well done, guys. Keep up the good work.

    Like

  13. Chatter Master

    Thank you for providing us this wonderful site. And if I understood HALF of what it was you folks did I would apply in a heartbeat. You would all like me. But then draw straws on who would have to fire me because I just couldn’t get it. I’d be sad when I was fired. So I’ll skip putting you all through that. And keep appreciating you. Even though you would have fired me. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Paul Hill

    You need some aging baby boomers in your mix just to round out things!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Deli Lanoux, Ed.D.

    Passion + Dedication = WordPress Fun! Yay!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. LubbyGirl

    Room in there for geezerettes?

    Like

  17. Grynnie

    Loved this! I envy you the ability to love all of your co-workers this much. The pictures were great and I enjoyed them even more because I worked at Park City Mtn. Resort for a few winters and lived on that side of the mountain in Midway, UT for many years. I left there in 2009 and have only been back one time to get my things from my ex husband. I miss the beauty of Northern Utah. Thanks to you and your team for the great job you do!

    Like

  18. Lori McLeese

    Reblogged this on LoriLoo and commented:
    A great recap of our all company meetup in Park City, UT, earlier this month. We have a lot of fun when we’re together!🙂

    Like

  19. Barbie Beaton

    You nearly brought tears to my eyes. It is reassuring to know that the people who bring WordPress to my lap enjoy what they do, enjoy who they work with, and are respected for who they are. Awesome stuff!

    Liked by 3 people

  20. M-R

    LOTS MORE PHOTOS, please. [grin]

    Liked by 1 person

  21. gaysinthelife

    This looks amazing🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  22. theblogaboutbeautifulthings

    That is beautiful. Thank you for all you do. Hugs! Paul Daniel

    Liked by 2 people

  23. donatodorazio

    Thank you for sharing this post. Truly enjoyed reading it. You have a great team!

    Like

  24. margber

    Thanks to everyone at WordPress for all the hard, long, dedicated hours of work. It’s encouraging to see such a diversified group of people who love what they do in life. Your enjoyment of your work shines through on the pages of WordPress. Thank You for providing such an amazing Blogosphere for so many people!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. sarahsartaj

    Wow, Seems like you are all having an awesome time working together.

    Like

  26. dannyt1990

    Hmm, i’m jealous🙂

    Like

  27. shirleyslusciouslashes

    What a great company, So awesome to see that people are rewarded for all of there hard work and many hours working behind the scenes. I know I really appreciate it. Reading your directions and following them is a life safer. Sure wish i had anyone of your computer savey knowledge. Then I would not be lost in the generation of social media., Keep up the good work you all do!!!!

    Like

  28. thesciencegeek

    I had a look at at this and thought: wow ! what a great bunch of people.

    Seems like it’s great place to work. I’m jealous😉

    Like

  29. Kevin Bradberry

    You just made me happier that I use WordPress.

    Liked by 2 people

  30. paulaprober

    I’m so happy to be a part of this thing called WordPress. I love the way you described your time together and your desire to do something worthwhile. I continue to be impressed by the quality of the help I receive here. I had no idea when I started my blog that this adventure would be facilitated by such fine souls.

    Liked by 1 person

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  32. Annie Shepherdess of Stars

    ‘Very glad to know you all had a great time! I’ve found many of you to be especially helpful and warm…and kudos to your team and your avante garde visionary leader Matt M!

    Like

  33. K. D. Dowdall

    I’m with Kevin Bradberry, it makes me proud and happy to be with WordPress.com. too!

    Like

  34. writeanne

    Reblogged this on Put it in Writing and commented:
    Great Place to Work – for technicians and bloggers:
    No wonder WordPress bloggers are so loyal and that it’s such a great community to belong too. I’ve come a long way as a blogger – zero to not hero exactly but certainly to reasonably confident – and that’s due in no small part to the great team of Automaticians that make it all possible.
    How wonderful that they love their work so much. It certainly shows. Thanks to them all.

    Like

  35. ebestanswer

    Great scenery you got there. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. ellie1945

    Wow!!! As a mom of a Happiness Engineer, I can only imagine the thrill of working (I use the term loosely) for such a fun & humane company!! Good on u all! I am trying to restrain my envy!

    Liked by 4 people

  37. Rebecca

    Glad you all had a great time. You’re a great bunch of people.

    Like

  38. nbhensler

    Love this story! Seems like a very exciting and enjoyable place to work!

    Like

  39. antoniotrufas

    Thanks to all of you for making real this wonderful tool !🙂

    Like

  40. beenough

    Dedication.

    Creativity.

    Fun.

    You can see it oozing through every picture and word.

    Thank you for being passionate about what you do with technology and words. Press on.

    Like

  41. akampoori

    This is great🙂

    Like

  42. tellthetruth1

    “Chief Semicolon Advocate”: Now, that has got to be an Internet First! I love it. There really IS such a job title? I love it more😀

    Great page.

    Like

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