At Automattic, after being hired, your first two weeks on the job is working with our Happiness teams to directly support customers. For engineers or designers, it gives you a taste of who we’re building this for. For other roles, it is a reminder that we’re all contributing toward the success of our customers in their mission to publish, to sell, to teach, or whathaveyou.
After that, we take a week a year in some form—a fully week, five days spread out over the year, whatever works for your team—to go back to Happiness to work with our customers directly again.
I spent my first five years at Automattic within Happiness so I had a lot of interaction directly with our customers, but after swimming over to the engineering side 100%, it is time again for my annual support rotation.
For a lot of non-Happiness folks, the idea of jumping back into direct support can be a bit scary. Happiness folks have to know everything about the product. Engineers just need to know their portion and lightly keep up with what other teams are doing. Customers come up with the most bizarre issues sometimes and you can’t just say “wow, that’s messed up.”
In actuality, the Happiness teams at Automattic are extremely supportive folks to their non-Happiness teammates who join them during the rotations. Happiness Engineers are helpful and supportive to the folks contacting us, but internally, they are also some of the most selfless, helpful folks in the company.
If you’re a customer of WordPress.com or Jetpack, feel free to reach out and say hello. We usually hear from the folks having problems, but if you want to write in just to say everything is working fine, that’s okay too.