My first GM experience

A grand meetup is an event here at Automattic where the whole company gathers once a year to do classes, projects, or just hack around ideas in general.

This year it was held in Whistler, BC, Canada.

Working remotely with strangers and meeting them in person was a bit weird and overwhelming in the beginning.

However, I had already met my team during a team meetup in Vienna, so hanging out with them during the GM was more relaxing 🙂

I also met Matt!

Then, besides meeting all of these nice folks, I also played my first D&D game ever! My character was a Human Wizard (named Matt :D) and we slayed the dragon!

The food at the hotels was really good!

The village had some really nice views! We went for some souvenir shopping.

Then, for the closing party we had some arcades!

Also, my team Woo rocked the stage 😀

Some stats: before the GM I had met 1% of all Automatticians. Now that has moved up to around 20%. With that, my objective of meeting all the folks that I have interacted or worked with was completed!

So a few words about the company: Automattic is about transparency, passion, freedom, impact, people, differences. If you care about these things, Automattic is hiring and you can apply.

Thank you A8c for this great experience!

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Soft skills

This month my professional career as a Software Engineer sums up to 10 years (although I’ve been programming longer than that). Here is a summary of what I think is really important for a good career.

Technical skills are important.
As you might have noticed, my blog is mostly technical.

But in this article I’d like to praise soft skills.

Being good with everybody, communicative, adaptable, helpful, truthful, modest, and being a good listener, observer, and learner is just some of the most important skills.

I would also like to quote our creed here at Automattic:

I will never stop learning. I won’t just work on things that are assigned to me. I know there’s no such thing as a status quo. I will build our business sustainably through passionate and loyal customers. I will never pass up an opportunity to help out a colleague, and I’ll remember the days before I knew everything. I am more motivated by impact than money, and I know that Open Source is one of the most powerful ideas of our generation. I will communicate as much as possible, because it’s the oxygen of a distributed company. I am in a marathon, not a sprint, and no matter how far away the goal is, the only way to get there is by putting one foot in front of another every day. Given time, there is no problem that’s insurmountable.

If you try to look 10 years back, you will mostly see memories of events and people and the time spent with them, not how you optimized that loop or that DB query (not that the latter is not important, thus the reason I said “mostly”).

Find inspiration and motivation in your successes, yourself, your family, nature, and other people. Maintain inner peace, and most of the soft skills will come naturally.

Life keywords

A few keywords for life that everybody should be doing on a regular basis. 🙂

Life. Family. Love. Health. Work. Improve/Grow. Socialize. (Keep) Try(ing). Patience. Belief. Balance. Food. Rest. Relax. Think.

If you can do most of these, you should be happy and consider yourself lucky.