Moving on from Automattic

Friday was my last day at Automattic. Leaving was one of the more-difficult decisions I’ve ever made, but I was ready for a new challenge; regardless, I never thought this day would come. I will dearly miss my former colleagues, and it will take some time to adjust to not being an Automattician.

Since I made my announcement, the question has been, “What’s next?”

Well, I’m beyond excited to announce that I joined Alley Interactive as a Principal Software Developer. Being a VIP Featured Partner, I’ve reviewed and appreciated Alley’s work from Automattic’s side for some time; I’ve also known several of their staff for a few years, and working with them seemed a natural fit.

Not being one to rest, I started at Alley yesterday. 🎉

Surviving Southern California without a car

Americans are notoriously car-obsessed, and Southern California may be the nation’s best demonstration of this. Public transit is woefully lacking, freeways dominate the landscape, and we really do spend an inordinate amount of time discussing how–or how not–to get from one place to another. SNL was pretty accurate. 😉

Continue reading Surviving Southern California without a car

Planning for the post that Matt links to

For most of the time that I’ve had my multisite network and the underlying infrastructure that I’ve written about lately, I’ve been overly focused on performance and scalability.

I say “overly focused” because I average about 50 views a day here on, on a good day. I write about exceedingly technical–or exceedingly uninteresting–topics, so that’s no surprise.

It’s also no surprise that my two most-popular posts are both about Automattic: the first announcing my hiring, the second declaring that Matt will have to fire me to be free of me. Interest in our hiring process and company culture far exceeds that which exists for my blathering.

When Matt retweeted the latter post back in January, my heart paused, then skipped into overdrive. Beyond the excitement of Matt recognizing my post, I immediately feared the embarrassment of my site crashing.

As it turns out, I had nothing to worry about. The pageviews were, while meaningful for this humble site, insignificant as far as the infrastructure was concerned. No resource-usage alerts were triggered, nor did my provider inform me that I’d exceeded my plan’s allotments. Between Redis-based object and page caching, nginx microcaching, and a robust CDN, there was really no cause for concern.
Continue reading Planning for the post that Matt links to

Automattic as long-term employer

July will mark the start of my fourth year with Automattic, a milestone I’ve never before crossed in my professional career1. Generally, after about two years, my interest has waned and I’m better off finding a new employer. It’s different with Automattic.

Continue reading Automattic as long-term employer

  1. Contrary to the popular myth, this isn’t uncommon for my generation: “Enough Already About The Job-Hopping Millennials” from 538.

Ten Years of Automattic?!? Crazy.

My employer, Automattic, recently marked its tenth anniversary. For a web company, that’s pretty impressive.

Really, think back ten years to the online services you were using and I’d bet that only a few–though notable ones–still exist. Even as I’m approaching my three-year anniversary with the company, I still find it hard to believe that I get paid to do what I do, without leaving my apartment.

In addition to this video, we’ve a post on our primary product’s blog that highlights the scale of what Automattic and WordPress have accomplished in those ten years:

2014 Travel Stats

Last year around this time, I posted my TripIt travel stats after a year of constant living as a nomad. Before 2014’s data disappeared, I thought a comparison was in order.

This year, despite settling in Southern California, I managed to visit 53 cities across five countries. I covered 94,518 miles (152,112 km) in 210 days. Compared to last year, I traveled 92 fewer days and 35,891 fewer miles.

All told, TripIt reports I’ve traveled 304,626 miles (490,248 km) to 108 cities in 10 countries, taking 671 days.

I loved the two years I spent wandering, but it’s been really nice to spend many consecutive weeks at home. I look forward to even less long-distance travel in 2015.

Header photo from