My experience on Trial at Automattic

I recently finished my (unsuccessful) Trial at Automattic, but it was such an eye-opening experience, that I wanted to share it with the wider world to show what an incredible company it is to work for, and to see some of what’s behind one of the busiest websites in the world.

Last week, I finished my Trial at Automattic. While I wasn’t successful in my bid to work for a company that I hugely admire, I appreciate the experience and insight that I was able to gain from my few weeks working with them.

How it all began

I’ve been toying with the idea of giving up engineering as my career and moving into web development full-time, as I’m enjoying it a lot more.

My plan had been to do freelancing full-time, but to give up a steady professional salary and benefits for the uncertainty of freelancing is daunting. If someone could pay my salary for 6 months while I build up my workload and client list, I could easily earn well in excess of what I make as a professional engineer. However, I haven’t had any applications for someone willing to do that for me.

So when I read that my friend Dustin Hartzler had recently landed himself a job at Automattic, it turned on a light bulb in my head. I started considering whether I wanted to work for Automattic, and the more I read, the more I wanted to jump right in (I’ll explore the benefits of working for Automattic later).

Continue reading “My experience on Trial at Automattic”

Manage your GMail inbox like a boss

I recently saw a tweet about making your GMail inbox more efficient. I thought mine was already pretty efficient, so I was intrigued as to what ideas he might have. As it happens, he had quite a few good ideas that I hadn’t put into practice, so I took his approach, slightly tweaked it for my needs and I’m loving the new setup.

Default to text (HTML) editor in WordPress

The visual editor in WordPress is generally very good and helpful, but if you have code or special formatting on some of your posts, the visual editor can sometimes screw up the formatting.

This little snippet solves that by defaulting to the text (HTML) editor every time you open a post, while retaining the ability to use the visual editor if needed.

Customer service: the right way

I’m in the process of relaunching The WP Butler and when I do, I plan on codifying my customer service charter, based on an article I recently read by a company called Fog Creek, identifying the things they do to make their customers insanely happy with their products. These had already been many of my guiding principles, but it’s good to note them down and make them “policy”, as I will be doing soon.

Shaping your workspace and environment for productivity

Jason Fried discusses how the very places that were meant for productivity and work (offices) are in fact very detrimental to our ability to perform.

Jason Fried discusses how the very places that were meant for productivity and work (offices) are in fact very detrimental to our ability to perform. A lot of very good points about how to tweak your workspace (whether you work for a corporation or for yourself) to improve your productivity and ability to work. Continue reading “Shaping your workspace and environment for productivity”

The power of faking your body language

Amy Cuddy discusses how you really can “fake it until you make it”, becoming more extroverted simply by consciously adopting more high-power poses.

Amy Cuddy gives a talk that’s very encouraging to anyone who considers themselves an introvert. Just by adopting high-power poses, you can fake it until you internalise the attributes of the person you desire to be, and there will be a eureka moment, when you realise that you have become more extroverted and aren’t afraid to do things that you once were. Continue reading “The power of faking your body language”

How to add custom buttons to TinyMCE in the WordPress editor

Some plugins provide buttons in the TinyMCE WordPress editor to provide quick access to frequently used shortcodes and styles and this is how to add one.

Some plugins add additional buttons to the WordPress editor to make life easier for functions such as entering a shortcode into the text editor without the user having to remember the syntax, or applying a specific style to a selected portion of text and this guide shows you how to do with relative ease.