A Day in the Life of a Happiness Engineer

This post is part of a series of posts describing what we do on a daily basis at Automattic. If you’re interested in reading more you can follow the tag #a8cday. I am a Happiness Engineer and lead of the Happiness Hiring Team.

I work at a distributed company and, with the exception of the one coworker who happens to live in the same town as me, I don’t see the people I work with on a day-to-day basis. But that doesn’t mean I don’t interact with people all day long🙂

Today was an interesting day for me. We had guests staying with us from out-of-town so of course I wanted to spend time with them, but since I make my schedule for the most part, I was able to re-organize things so I could both get my tasks done and spend time chatting with my friends.

Today 6am was wake up call.

First order of business is always a cup of coffee for myself. This morning I also prepped coffee for my guests since I wasn’t sure what time they’d be up and about.

I typically make a quick bowl of scrambled eggs while the coffee is brewing and with that in hand, I then stand at my dishwasher in the kitchen where I drink my coffee, eat my eggs, and figure out what I’ll need to do for the day. Yes, I stand in the kitchen, my laptop on my washing machine. It works for me🙂

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Here is a run down:

  • got accounts set up and communicated the details to 2 trial Happiness Engineers* and 2 support rotations** trainees.
  • said a quick hello to my teammates.
  • checked in with the group doing the training sessions, we’re working on a new training process so I wanted to make sure all was well.
  • looked at my email inbox, fortunately just a few questions about hiring to follow-up on and a couple of items to chat with the hiring team about (the perks of a company that uses minimal email).
  • spent some time going over news and updates from the weekend on our internal blogs (we call them p2s or o2s, depending on who you ask and their the reason for little to no email)

At this point I took a break. One of our guests and her little girl came into the kitchen. The little one wanted to swing on our hammock so while she did that, my friend and I chatted about their plans for the day and she decided to take her daughter out for an early morning car ride to see the balloons in the air. It’s Balloon Fiesta time in Albuquerque and every morning there are hundreds of hot air balloons flying over the city.

By 8am, my family was stirring so I sat down at my desk. I had a meeting with two coworkers, one in Budapest, Hungary and the other in California, to discuss a project that’s near and dear to me so I needed to focus a bit more and with me out of the way they can get their day started.

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Our chat started a bit later than I expected, but no matter what there’s always something to do. For the next hour, in addition to my meeting, I:

  • talked over some training program details.
  • discussed the progress of trials with the hiring team.

Time for another break, our guests were all up and about and breakfast was on. And it was time for a little web project. Our guests run a non-profit in El Paso and their website is a WordPress site, of course. We get together from time to time to work on things, today we worked on setting up a multisite. We also fought with domains a bit which wasn’t as fun as enabling the multisite.

After lunch, we said goodbye to our friends and it was back to my desk for a few hours. In the afternoon I worked on some loose ends:

  • notes for a summary of the project discussed this morning
  • final touches on a proposal for the Happiness team leads
  • prep for a team meeting tomorrow
  • a couple of non-work related chats with coworkers (yeah, we do that)
  • checkin with our events coordinator re: an upcoming trip to Buenos Aires.

To round out my day, I volunteer time to the local WordPress community and tonight was our monthly Women Working with WordPress meetup. Since I was pretty much in my pjs all day ( the joys of working from home) I knocked off work and showered up to be ready to go meet my local WordPress friends. All in all a great way to end a workday.

* A trial is part of our interview process for the HE role and it typically lasts 3-6 weeks.

** All new Automatticians do a 3 week support rotation, working alongside HE, helping users before they join the team they were hired into

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