We started the day showing off each group’s project work that had been done over the last two days. My group was focused on making the entirety of VaultPress easier. To that end, I was able to dive into the code and tweak things to make our overall system more user friendly, more informative, and overall less cluttered. I’m excited to get these changes committed as I think they’ll solve some recurring issues we’ve had. With that said, there’s a lot left to be done and I have a lot left to learn! I found that some changes I made initially that seemed awesome turned out to not be so great for certain situations. Throughout the entire process, I realized the importance was progress and moving in the right direction rather than letting the fear of something imperfect come to light. Sometimes it’s easy to let perfection ruin progress. I know I felt very nervous at certain points showing my work because it just wasn’t.. perfect. However, I’ve found these exercises in being imperfect are beyond necessary to get better because they push you outside your comfort zone while leaving you vulnerable. Doing this while I’m the youngest and most inexperienced person on my team adds another level in my mind to the mix as I feel like I want to prove myself! However, if I focus too much on the outcome of these projects I realized I missed the real goal of these meetups: to work together, to re-envision the product, to brainstorm, to flex your creativity, etc etc etc etc.
For me, the trick is to just let perfection focus and motivate progress in the right direction. Perfection is a moving target at Automattic though as changes are made daily internally as well as externally in terms of audience, competition, etc. Adapt or die. Beyond just that, don’t take your code personally because one day you may have to change the exact thing you wrote 🙂 I have always been a perfectionist but I’m also a hard worker. I say ‘but’ because things don’t naturally come easy for me yet I’ve learned if I work hard enough at it I can go much farther than I may have initially thought. These two sides of my personality have served me well as the perfectionism motivates me while the hard work gets me to where I want to go. While it’s not as simple as that day to day, in the bigger picture I have seen that pattern play out repeatedly. The dark side is when perfectionism only frustrates me and the hard working nature goes to the wayside on an off day…. but that’s another story for a different day.
Overall, it’s really awesome to see what my team can be accomplished when given the time (& caffeine). I’ve found that watching other people’s creative process only enhances my own and motivates me to be better. We finished that up with an overview of our backup system by our team lead. I walked away from the session with both a greater respect and understanding of what exactly our backup system does and how it does it.
I realized that all throughout this meetup being together with my team felt… normal and natural. The minority of my time has been spent working with people in person so typically it can feel quite awkward for me. I can imagine that for most working remotely then coming together would be quite a shock to the system but it hasn’t been at all. To me, that’s a complete testament to the culture Automattic has in place.