Team Lead

“Team leads! When I call your team name, report where your team will meet. Downing!” “By the ping-pong tables.” “Haymarket!” “Upstairs” “Oxford!” “… … …”

Automattic, the company behind, is a distributed company. We all work everywhere. While there’s an “office”, we call it a lounge. It’s more of a home than a place to work.

Because of this, we get together annually for an all-hands company meeting, our “Grand Meetup”. Part of the work of the week is to break up into project teams. Organizers placed individuals from all across the company on teams to allow folks who may very well never interact to work together on a common project.

This is my first Grand Meetup.

Each team is given a problem and tasked with researching the problem, determining , building, testing, and demoing the solution during the course of the few days of the meetup, then deployed to production.

To my utter shock, being in a non-development role in the company, only 10 weeks into employee status, I am a team lead.

Funny enough, we’re growing fast enough that two of the team members either started on as of the meetup (yay Cloudup!) or technically go full-time after the meetup.

By design, the team project idea lets members of the company work with others we never will work with, folks leading others who haven’t been asked to lead before. It is a chance to help us expand our “social” network within the company while exposing us to new aspects of the product and helping us to stretch and grow into new roles.

It is a sprint to handle all aspects of a small project from conception to deployment within a few days, all while having other activities going on a well.

How did this all work out? I’ll let you know.

Automattically Kraft

I’m proud to announce that, as of today, I am now working full-time for Automattic, the makers of, the Jetpack plugin for sites, Akismet, Gravatar, and more, as well as a major contributor to the self-hosted software and related open-source projects.

I can’t begin to express my excitement about joining the team of the amazing folks I’ve worked with for the last six weeks while under contract and am excited about the great things in the works. Read More

Why I Show Pictures Of My Kids

Have you ever prepared a post on a topic, then in the time between you wrote it and had it scheduled to publish, an authority in your world published a post on almost the same topic and do it better than you? That was me with this post.

I wrote this originally on May 23rd and scheduled it for after the Memorial Day Weekend. I went to sleep happy that I wrote again. I awoke to an e-mail from Chris Lema with his latest post the same thing.

Nevertheless, I’m moving forward.

If you’ve attended either of my presentations at WordCamp Austin in 2012 and 2013, you saw pictures of my kids in the first few minutes of my talk. Last year, I had a point. I introduced my kids, then my wife which was a perfect segue for why that was important in the real world. In both cases, the pictures of my kids wasn’t important to the talk itself. So, why did I do it? Read More