My friends! After 10 years of working full-time on the WordPress open source project, I have some news: I have accepted a community-focused role at Reddit, and will be leaving Automattic in September.
I will take a break from contributing to WordPress until the end of the calendar year, if not permanently. I think the transition from a full-time, paid contributor to a part-time, volunteer contributor is made smoother with ample “reset” time.
I was hired by Automattic in 2011 to implement a new WordCamp program, which had been designed and launched by Jen Mylo (Jane Wells at that time) and Matt Mullenweg. Helping WordPressers understand why it was necessary for them to follow rules/guidelines/expectations was… a challenge, I’m not going to lie! Looking back, I can clearly remember all of my mistakes, and only dimly remember my successes… but we’re all still here, so I guess we didn’t do too badly in the end.
Since starting that journey I’ve organized events large and small, advised/cajoled/cautioned/mentored/encouraged countless contributors, resolved and de-escalated conflicts, spoken at conferences, recruited innumerable contributors, and trained many, many leaders. I’ve helped onboard people and businesses all over the world to open source culture and philosophies, and helped bring people together to work on (and sometimes solve!) complex problems. I couldn’t be more proud of what we’ve all accomplished together!
I am so grateful to have spent the last 10 years working with WordPress contributors. I don’t think there’s a better place to learn about and grow open source, and it’s been my honor to collaborate with so many ambitious & independent optimists over the years, even if we didn’t all always agree! I absolutely *LOVE* to learn new things, and the WordPress ecosystem has never failed to bring me valuable lessons on the regular.
I know that I’m leaving the people of WordPress in excellent hands with Josepha and all the other clever, compassionate leaders that have joined us over the years. I hope that, if you’re a WordPresser and you have the energy to help, that you’ll take every opportunity to lead at any level, making WordPress a little more friendly and welcoming for others. If I’ve helped you in any way, the best way to thank me is by helping someone else. Maybe even more-than-one someone else. 🙂
I plan to continue using this site to share my musings and learnings about community, open source, and leadership, as I discover what Reddit has to teach me. If you want to keep in touch, be sure to subscribe to this blog (in the footer), or come find me on Twitter or LinkedIn.
Thanks for all the fish, WordPress! It’s been a wonderful decade, and I can’t wait to see what you do next.