Fasade of Automattic's San Fransisco office

A Day As A Happiness Engineer

Commonly, I’m asked “What is a Happiness Engineer?” and saying “support” doesn’t feel right with my pre-Automattic notion of support work.

Just sit right there; I’ll tell you the story of my Monday this week.

After walking into the home office whenever it was we finished breakfast, I logged into our systems and reviewed my notifications. They include the same types of notifications any other WP.com user would have, plus notifications for anytime someone mentions in any of our internal blogs either my name or one of the terms I added to our “automattchers” list.

After that, I replied to a number of users who wrote in via the Jetpack contact form for the rest of the morning.

After lunch, I had a Google Hangout with our Partnerships team, which work on integrating third-party services to WordPress.com and Jetpack—our Publicize feature being one of the most seen examples of this work. I join them to be aware of anything new/different that the rest of Happiness should know about and vice-versa—making sure nothing big is missed on either side. Also important, it gives me a fun excuse to get some face time with folks in the company I might not interact with day-to-day.

After replying to a few more users, another HE saw a particular user’s site was using our development mode feature, but wasn’t sure which way it was enabled. I whipped up a quick plugin to add a notice to the site explaining how dev mode was enabled.

Next up, there’s been a relatively minor, but damn annoying issue that cropped up between Jetpack and a small number of hosts. An engineer from one of the hosts and I Skype-chatted for a bit, which was great. He was able to isolate the right log containing the error and I was able to write up a quick patch to fix it up. The awesome Jetpack devs checked and committed it for Wednesday’s launch of 2.9.

With that solved, back to replying to users for the rest of the day.

After dinner, I met up with the other coordinators of the 2014 WordCamp Austin. We reviewed over 80 applications for presentations and fleshed out a schedule for the weekend. This isn’t part of my job, per se, but we all love WordPress. 🙂

Whew, what a day. Except the next night too, where I joined fellow Automatticians in hosting a happy hour for anyone who enjoys WordPress in Austin, after-hours things are atypical (5:30 is when the kids can’t contain themselves from rushing into the office).

So, “support”, as I pictured it before joining the team, mostly from my interactions with CSRs at places like AT&T, doesn’t fit the model of support at Automattic. The depth that we dive into issues is one reason our hiring standards are as high as they are for “support”. There are no “tiers” of support. If you have a complex, difficult issue, you don’t need to ask for “Tier 3 Support”, you already have it.

If something like this is appealing to you, we’re always hiring the best.





3 responses to “A Day As A Happiness Engineer

  1. Michael John Beil Avatar

    neat to hear this inside story brandon!

  2. Renee' Groskreutz Avatar

    Sounds like a great day indeed. Actually, seems like a dream day in my world!!!!

  3. […] are writing about a life in their day over at #a8cday. Today, I’m linking back to a post written near the beginning of the year shortly after I moved to the Jetpack […]

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