Matt on distributed/remote work

Automattic’s CEO, Matt, spoke on distributed work and how we approach it.

My first job was at Freshworks Inc. and I jumped ship in approximately 8 months, in favour of remote/distributed work.

Primary reasons behind the change:

  • I get to work from the comfort of my home.
  • I choose my own work schedule. I initially chose to work from 10am to 6pm, but these days, I work from 5.30am to 1.30pm. See how it gives me the flexibility to focus on personal things during the rest of the day?
  • I am not really comfortable working/being around many people. A small group’s fine, but when there are many around, not necessarily talking to me, I find it tough to focus on my work. Traditional office spaces is a no-go for me.
  • I am also able to leverage my skills to the best – I am more comfortable with written communication/documentation over in-life communication. It’s tiny things like this that bring out improved work results, productivity and help one to do better at their job.

One of my coworkers also wrote on “Thriving as a remote worker“, which you should read.

There are tons of other benefits to distributed work – GitLab.com has put together an interesting handbook on how they manage their company, and a website on remote work on how others approach it.

I am joining Automattic

I have an exciting news to share today.

I am joining Automattic as a Happiness Engineer. Automattic is the company behind WordPress.com, Jetpack, WooCommerce and many other tools that you use every day. As a Happiness Engineer, I will responsible for creating happy, passionate and loyal customers.

Without doubt, this is a role that I have been looking forward to, for many months now. This is an exciting journey and I couldn’t be more proud of having come so far.

I am grateful for all my colleagues at Automattic, at Freshworks Inc, and my parents, for having been supportive of this all along. Thank you for being there!

Learn more about Automattic. We’re also hiring!
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I am now a dotblogger

Choosing a brand new name for your personal website, or for your business can be challenging, especially when your favorite top-level domains (TLDs) are unavailable.
.blog can help you change that.
.blog is fairly new.
.blog is eye-catching and easy to remember.
It’s a fairly new namespace thatΒ allows everyone to be a publisher on the internet, with their favorite name.

The word blog has expanded from being almost just like personal journals to really sort of indicating, a more interesting website. In a world where everyone is a publisher on Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, etc, more businesses are starting to realize as well that, conversation that happens in the comments of a Instagram photo, or people tagging each other, or things like that, is often what drives a lot of value. Now, it is a conversation. It is social. But, you are not going to build the next big thing, purely on someone else’s domain. You need to have your own domain. — Matt Mullenweg.

It’s almost like 500 years ago, everyone in the world have their own printing press and could publish as much as they want. That is the opportunity that we have today. — Matt Mullenweg.

I now have a brand new address at arunsathiya.blog.
I am now a dotblogger. Join me on this journey. Secure yours now.
Or, become a .blog registrar.
It’s one click away.

Attending a WordPress meetup for the first time

Today was an eventful day. I mean, January 30 of 2018. I attended my first WordPress meetup ever at Mumbai. #WPMumbai was hosting a WooCommerce workshop for women, and was hosting a speech by Andrew Spittle of Automattic and Artur Piszek of Automattic, on the same day.

I attended the speech sessions and everything I learned over there was incredibly valuable. Andrew spoke on how the customer support team at Automattic works – the company the powers WordPress.com, Jetpack, Simplenote, Longreads, WooCommerce, Gravatar, VaultPress, Akismet and Polldaddy among the most popular names.

Artur Piszek spoke on Jetpack’s Simple Payments module, which allows anyone to get started with collecting online payments. Simple Payments enables anyone to become a seller online and works with PayPal to collect payments. It’s available for use for WordPress.com Premium plan users and above, or for self-hosted WordPress (WordPress.org) sites that are on the Jetpack Premium subscription.

Right after the speech sessions, we had a networking session over snacks and it was amazing to speak with Automatticians in real-life. I spoke to Andrew who gave me an outline on how the hiring process works at Automattic, and clarified a few doubts I had around it.

I also met Karen Arnold at the venue. Karen is the lead of the Happiness Hiring team and oversees the Happiness Engineer applications.

I also got a chance to meet other Automatticians based out of India, Nagesh Pai and Gala Khyati. They’re Happiness Engineers at Automattic. The Happiness Engineer team members are responsible for answering customer support questions and ensure that all users across all the Automattic products have a happy user experience.

I also got a chance to say hit to Alex Gounder who has been a major driving force in growing WordPress in India. Meeting him reminds me of Aditya Kane is a close friend of Alex, and I have worked with Aditya Kane in the past. We used to write at Devils’ Workshop, a tech blog by rtCamp. Aditya is probably the only person I know in the WordPress community, whom I haven’t met yet. I hope to see him at #WCMumbai which is happening on the 17th-18th of March, 2018.
I also met Meher Bala, who is a freelancer WordPress developer and is another major driving force for WordPress’ growth in India.

To summarise, #WordPressMumbai meetup was extremely valuable and I am really glad I went to the meetup. Having been a WordPress enthusiast for over 8 years, I never got a chance to attend meetups and WordCamp events, thanks to school and college days. Now that I have graduated, it’s time to explore the WordPress communities in India better, and this is the only the first step of the process.
2 flights later, it’s time to hit the bed. Goodnight, WordPress!

WordPress users, did you know that Jan 28 is "Thank a plugin developer" day?

I learned something today. I learned that Matt Mullenweg officially named Jan 28 as the “Thank a plugin developer” day, 9 years ago. Back in 2009, on the same day, the co-founder of WordPress and the CEO of Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, coined this day.
WordPress in itself is a free open source software that’s aimed at enabling everyone to get started on building websites with ease. Being a truly open source software, it also enables people to make a living out of it. Over 32% of the total respondents in a survey conducted by WordPress responded that they make money with WordPress and that it helps them run their daily lives.

WordPress is not successful all by itself. It’s largely driven by the theme developers and plugin developers that contribute their coding skills to building a better WordPress experience for all users. WordPress will never be the same as it is now, without plugins.
Back in 2009, when WordPress 2.7 had come out, WordPress plugin repository had just crossed 4000 plugins. Today, it has over 53000 plugins! Some of the most popular ones like Jetpack, Akismet, Yoast SEO and Contact form 7 are used by millions across the world, all many WordPress setups and many WordPress.com sites, which help in a range of activities including SEO, publishing, sharing, customization and more.
WordPress life would never be the same without plugins. There’s no doubt that plugins haven’t improved your life, and on that note, take a minute and “Thank a plugin developer” today.

Moving from Tumblr to WordPress.com

It was just yesterday when I was rambling about how Tumblr offers custom domain mapping for free while WordPress.com does not. I am a huge fan of WordPress for the open-source contributions it has done to the world. Having used self-hosted WordPress sites for years, I am recently blown by how much has changed in the past few years on WordPress.com.
Automattic has shaped WordPress.com into a powerful medium since what I knew about WordPress.com a few years back.
Here are key reasons why I moved away from Tumblr to WordPress.com.

  • Rich ecosystem. Interesting niche content that I can follow, subscribe to.
  • Community forums. I love volunteering as a customer support member. Look at my participation with Google Top Contributors program. Also, a SUMO member with Mozilla, Support Support member with Firefox.
  • Having been with self-hosted WordPress sites for long, adopting WordPress.com is easy and WordPress.com’s dashboard can serve as a single place for my new WordPress.com site and all other self-hosted WordPress sites I own.
  • Clean mobile apps. Tumblr has one too, but I just don’t feel content in the Tumblr environment.

I am on the WordPress.com personal plan and it costs Rs 2400 per year. Decent enough. Not free as Tumblr though. But, helps connect with the right WordPress bloggers in the community.
Let me see how my experience with WordPress.com goes! If you have questions, ask on WordPress.com community forums and look out for my answer! πŸ˜‰