A beautiful San Diego Day in the Life

I work at Automattic, the parent company of WordPress.com and all that jazz, as a Happiness Engineer and a team lead. My team is in charge of creating happiness for a wide variety of users from Jetpack to Sensei. I’ve written before about what my days at Automattic have looked like but haven’t since “settling” down a bit more recently in San Diego.

7AM – snooze alarm for 20 minutes 

I still go to bed too late these days so a 7AM wake up call is something I’m trying to slowly adjust my body to in hopes I’ll pass out one day at 8PM at night 😉 So far, it hasn’t worked.

7:30AM: breakfast

I tend to eat nearly the same thing every day but will rotate what I eat on a biweekly basis or so. Eating tends to be something I don’t want to have to spend too much time hassling over especially working from home. Right now, I’m stuck on a piece of this delicious wheat toast and two eggs. I’ll typically check my email during this time and archive anything that doesn’t require any actions.

8AM: Friday’s a coffee day

I normally work from my house but, from time to time, I’ll head to one of my favorite coffee shops in San Diego. They have great wifi, fantastic staff, and even better coffee. I’m obsessed with this drink they call “the broadside” right now – cold brew, some cream, and a lot of cinnamon. I try to make Friday a “get out of the house” day because it tends to be a great way to end the week.

8AM – 10:30AM: Grind Time

I have a very strong ability to get into a flow state and during this time frame I plan to knock out a variety of items including:

  • Following up with our division lead and another team lead about an experiment I want to run
  • Answering tickets for our paid users
  • Finalizing details of a team meetup happening in April in Nashville (we meet up a couple of times a year in person despite being fully distributed!)
  • Prep work for the next round of the Diversity & Inclusion speaker series I’m running. The series revolves around bringing in an outside speaker to share their insights about the D&I space. Often times, Automattic is unique in our structure so working with the speakers beforehand is pretty crucial.
  • Reviewing/triaging any outstanding issues for one of our products.

During this time, I’m sure random slack pings (we use slack to communicate) will pop up from time to time. My slack “window” is always open so I really embrace being pinged as it always provides a great opportunity to both teach and learn.

11AM – 12PM: Mentor Everywhere Chat

Mentor Everywhere is a random side project I’ve been working on with some folks within Automattic. The goal is to bring a remote philosophy to mentorship so folks outside of the normal “tech hubs” can have direct access to high quality mentorship. I work to help run it as well as directly participate in it! As part of this, I have a biweekly chat with my mentee where we talk through struggles, work towards her goals, and generally catch up.

12pm – 7PM: Hike, groceries, reading, and more

I’m timeshifting a bit today in order to help out with our weekend response times in our queues. Rather than working a more normal schedule I’m splitting my day and jumping on tonight. It doesn’t hurt that it’s a gorgeous San Diego day and I’ve been itching to go explore Mission Trails more.

7PM – 10PM: Grind time

This time frame will be solely focused on interacting with our users, triaging any outstanding issues, and getting our work in the best position possible for the folks jumping on during the rest of the weekend. Weekend work is crucial for us to support our users, provide a consistent experience, and keep our work manageable throughout the entirety of the week so I try to do my part there. Some of the issues our users run into are quite urgent as well ranging from hacked sites to failed restores to being locked out of their site. Time and skill is of the essence in these situations.

Towards the end of the day, I’ll likely spend some time reviewing upcoming responsibilities to make sure nothing going forward is dependent on me as I am taking 2 weeks off from work to head to France for the first time. Part of working remotely is learning when to drive something and also knowing when you might be a roadblock. Right now, I’m working hard not to be a roadblock and to provide necessary resources for others to thrive while I’m gone 🙂

We truly believe communication is oxygen so whether I’m jumping off for an afternoon to rejoin in the evening or taking two weeks off, it’s important to be predictable for my coworkers so we can all be successful! With that, time to dig in.

Pst – did you enjoy reading this? You should apply 🙂 


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