Monday was my first day at my dream job.
What I hope it means is that I’ll be able to devote more of my time to building up the infrastructure behind the WordPress community, as it extends beyond the software: things like the wordpress.org site, handbooks, and the API reference, for example. This is nothing short of a dream opportunity for me, to be contributing to open source and working on WordPress all day.
I’m working at Matt Mullenweg’s investment and research firm, Audrey Capital.
There isn’t much publicly available about Audrey just yet as everything is just getting off the ground. (You can see some of Matt’s investments on his blog and the placeholder site.) Matt even joked that a downside to working there is that it will be tough to explain what I do, or even where I work.
Beyond core development, a lot of my work for now will be behind the scenes on wordpress.org — the site and its infrastructure — a space where there are many visionary ideas to implement. Far too many projects have been left sitting on the back burner. I’ll be working on WordPress, and probably BuddyPress, bbPress, and GlotPress too — whatever comes across my plate, really. Of course, I’ll also be working on other random projects, at both Matt’s behest and my initiative.
The day I accepted an offer to work at Audrey was coincidentally the day that it was jokingly suggested on Twitter there should be a betting pool for the date I become an Automattic employee. Automattic is an amazing place to work, without question. But I want my role to be about the community, and I’m not sure getting my fix there working on other projects would truly allow for that. To me, working there would be about the people. But I’ll see my many friends there at WordCamps and meetups, regardless of where I work.
I’ve always felt a certain debt to the community. It’s why I got to where I am today, and I feel an important responsibility is to communicate with developers and users at large. The open source project is where I was given the opportunity to prove myself. It was only in January that I realized that I might eventually be able to make a living as a freelance consultant. When I was named a committer in February, my outlook changed quite a bit. My, how far we’ve come.
The project is where I feel I can continue to make the most impact. While freelancing, I’ve had the freedom to choose what I want to work on, and, above all, continue my active participation in the open source project.
But over the last few months, I found that even the most exciting project could not motivate me the way WordPress core and the community do. And eventually, my momentum on core would have slowed as I took on more projects. So when Matt asked me if I wanted to join Audrey, it was an offer I could never refuse, coming from someone to whom you could never say no.
It’s my dream job, complete with an awesome employer and so far one awesome coworker. My title, like Otto’s, is Tech Ninja.