Automattic Grand Meetup 2015

I’m sitting in the lobby of the Grand Summit Hotel in Park City, Utah, watching my colleagues head out to the shuttles and off to the airport. Most of them I won’t see for another year. Well, you know, see in person. The way Automattic communicates, it doesn’t feel like that at all.

It was a busy week. And a hard one from which to be away from home, what with Gareth’s memorial and all.

Monday, I arrived and we had the welcome reception. It’s probably the most overwhelming part of the whole meetup, especially since we have about 150 more employees than we did last year. (We’re up to nearly 400 and we’re still hiring!)


I worked in person with my teammates. What a concept! We’re allowed to choose to either do a project, take a class, or do our regular job during the GM, and I chose the latter. It was a gorgeous day and so we had a little walking meeting and enjoyed the scenery while strategizing about hiring.


That evening, I gave my flash talk. I was glad to get it over with early in the GM, so I didn’t have to stress about it for the rest of the time. I didn’t mumble or nervously stumble over my words, and I even got a few laughs, so I’ll call that a win!

Later, I attended a workshop on Lightroom given by another Automattician, and learned a bunch of new tricks for processing photos.


I woke up early-ish and took my camera up the hill behind the hotel to take some sunrise photos.


Spent the day working again, and possibly streaking our hair with fun colors. While we worked, obviously. (I interviewed a potential Happiness Engineer with bleach in my hair.)


Woke up early for the Automattic 5k. (Not my best time, but heck, I did it.)


More working, and then in the afternoon, I painted a pretty picture.


In the afternoon, we took the company photos and some with our teams. And some goofy ones with friends.

That night, I attended a nighttime photography workshop and tested out what I learned. I wouldn’t say it was a total success, but it was fun and if you don’t look too closely, they look pretty good.


Hit the party suite that night, took some selfies with coworkers.



I had a pretty quiet morning, watching some fantastic flash talks and visiting with friends. Then around lunchtime, a few of us headed into Salt Lake City to get our tattoos.



Had a quiet morning. Went on a tiny hike with Zandy, watched flash talks, and then failed with the rest of my team to escape a room. (But at least I got a few of the clues!)

Went into Park City with some pals where we had a yummy lunch and did a bit of shopping. It was raining, so we didn’t stay for too long. But we saw a bunch of Automatticians doing a bike tour. (Confession: I was supposed to do that bike tour like I did last year, but I was scared to ride on hills in the rain.)


That evening, I had a great dinner where I had some wine. And then I didn’t stop having wine until about 4am. Uh. It was fun. There were lots of pics at the selfie wall that night. And plenty more tomfoolery.


I…did not feel well. I managed to make it through the day and then last night was the big closing party. It was awesome. I do wish I’d felt a bit better.

Robyn sang a song!


And the photo booth…so much fun!

Good times.

Until next year!




The night sky in Park City

I went on a nighttime photography outing last night. I wouldn’t say I did super great at it (so much to learn!) but I had fun and got some cool photos.


Park City, Wednesday

Is today Thursday? I have no idea. But here are some photos I took yesterday. Which I’m pretty sure what Wednesday. Hmm.

Yeah. It’s pretty here.

Sunrise in Park City

This is becoming somewhat of a tradition. In Barcelona, my coworker Deborah and I went for a run on my birthday and ended up watching the sunset over the Mediterranean. Hard to beat that, but this came close:

(Sped up 10x.)


Park City trip wrap-up

I can’t possibly recap the entire trip, but I’ll write about some of the highlights.

It was incredible, spending time with all of the people I’d been working with over the past year. All these amazing people, finally getting to have a conversation in real life and put a voice to the face. We worked, we learned, and we had a lot of fun. I’ve already posted about some of the things we did.

I gave a talk about how to tell the boys apart (here’s the video.)

I ran a 5k. At 6900 feet.

I got another tattoo.

I took a Barre class. It hurt.

I took a Crossfit class. It hurt even more.

I went on a 20 mile bike ride in the mountains. Ouch.

I went on hikes. Beautiful. Less painful.

I rode terrifyingly high gondolas and chairlifts up mountains and across alpine meadows.

I got out of breath climbing up a flight of stairs (that altitude, man!)

I won a round of Cards Against Humanity.

I lost a round of Mario Kart.

I talked and hugged and ate and drank and laughed.

And I took lots of pictures.

Terrifying gondola ride: