2017 in review

Years that end in 7s have typically been pretty eventful for me. Well, at least two of them have. I spent a good chunk of 1997 in London, which was life-changing for me. And 2007 brought a trio of little clones into our lives. So I expected 2017 to be equally eventful for me personally. I mean, hey, it was also the year I was 42, so expectations were high.

But it didn’t end up being particularly noteworthy, at least not for me. In fact, generally speaking, I’d say it was not a great year overall. But for our family, it was fine. Let’s recap. Continue reading

Advertisements

Four years at Automattic!

Well, you know I love an anniversary. But this is a big one! No, for real this time. After you’ve been at Automattic for four years, you get a new custom laptop with a lit up W (or Jetpack logo, or Automattic logo. I went with the W.) It’ll be a while before I actually get it, since it’s custom made and all that, but it’ll be worth the wait.

And next year is even better – a three month paid sabbatical after five years! I have already started planning how I’m going to use my time (organizing every inch of the house, rocking NICU babies, cooking a lot, you know, the usual.)

I was thinking about how Automattic has changed since I started. We have stats for everything, and I found this one:

You started on 2013-11-18. Of the 632 other Automatticians, 166 (26.3%) started before you, 2 (0.3%) started on the same day, and 464 (73.4%) started after you.

Wow! Yeah, we’ve grown quite a bit in the last four years. (And I hired 38 of those!)

I think there were about 45 Happiness Engineers when I started, and now there are over 200. We hadn’t yet acquired WooCommerce, Calypso wasn’t a thing, heck, we were barely offering live chat to our customers! Now users with the Business plan can upload themes and plugins! (Trust me, this is huge.)

I have traveled to at least 18 cities in the last four years for work – from Dayton to Auckland. I’ve been up mountains and dipped my toes in the sea. I’ve seen the sun rise in Utah and in Spain. Okay, I’ll stop being poetic now.

I’ve met amazing people, made amazing friends, learned so much. I can’t wait to see what the next four years holds.

(Can you find me?)

automattic2017

Oh yeah, and as usual, we’re hiring!

London and Manchester 2017

How lucky am I? The second time in a year to go to my favorite place on Earth, and this time, no one was barfing all over the Airbnb. (Okay, honestly, nothing could ever beat our trip last Christmas, but that was definitely a low point.)

This trip was for work. My team (the Happiness Hiring team, also known as Athena) met up in London to work on things, and then we went to Manchester for a couple of nights for an event. It was very busy, but what better place to be busy? Plus, we’d just made our three European teammates (Dan, Cécile, and Hannah) travel to Canada for the Grand Meetup, so it was only fair we went to them this time. We’re so kind and generous.

Monday
Continue reading

Whistler on film

I brought my film camera (the old, beaten up Pentax K1000 that I’ve had since I was about ten) to Whistler, thinking the scenery there would make for much better photos than my backyard. I was sorta right…

I don’t know if the film was not great, or if I wasn’t getting exposure right or what, but these pictures feel a bit muddier and grainier than my last batch. I think the film was ISO400 this time as opposed to ISO200, which would certainly explain the grain. And I bought a new battery in Whistler but somehow the meter kept konking out. So maybe I just need more practice? Better film? A fresher battery? A less beat up camera? (Though this isn’t a hobby I want to invest a ton of money in.)

(None of these photos have been edited digitally in any way. The negatives were scanned for me at the photo lab.)

It’s also interesting to compare these with the photos I took with my phone. Maybe I’m just used to digital photography. I want to argue that the film pictures feel warmer or something, maybe I’m just hopelessly nostalgic or fooling myself.

Film left, iPhone right.

I look at the left photo and it just feels nice, but then I look at the right one and I think “oh yes, that’s much better.”

Who knows? Maybe I just need to try with better film, for a start.

 

Elizabeth, on top of the world!

 

 

Automattic Grand Meetup 2017

Back to Whistler!

And even more gorgeous than last year. The weather was stunning until the last day, and even in the rainy mist it was beautiful. On to the pics!

Day 1: Arrival and the opening party

Checked into hotel, found the view of the pool wasn’t quite as nice as last year, but I’m not complaining.

Look, it’s Bob! Not my big brother! Bob looks like my brother, only with dimples and technically younger than me by a couple of months. (But seriously tho.) Continue reading

Melbourne (before I forget)

Dealing with constant sickness since I got back from Australia means I haven’t been able to finish blogging about it. So without further ado, a recap of our short time in Melbourne.

On the flight from Auckland, Deborah made friends with a Finnish triathlete who lived in San Francisco. She shared our taxi with us to our hotel, the grand old Hotel Windsor. This hotel was cool. It was old and the hallways were hella creepy, but the rooms were updated and very clean. Plus, they had a menu where you could order different types of pillows for your bed. FANCY!

But the long hallways also reminded me uncomfortably of this:

shining.jpg

Right?

More hotel pics:

After we were checked in, I went to go visit Deborah’s room, and from her window I spied a rooftop bar across the street with Pimms umbrellas. SOLD! So we went over there for dinner and a pitcher of Pimms. Continue reading