Thanks for a great 10 years, WordPress!

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.

Taken at WordCamp Toronto 2018

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.

Speakers, sponsors, volunteers, and attendees gather for the inaugural WordCamp US 2015 #wcus, https://www.flickr.com/photos/wordcampunitedstates/23801673750

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!

The “silly” group photo from the WordPress Community Summit 2017, in Paris

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.

15 Comments

  1. I posted this on Twitter, but Twitter is transient, and I want this to live on the web forever.

    The WordPress community wouldn’t be anything like what it is today without all of your hard work, dedication, and willingness to make hard decisions. And without that community I wouldn’t be the person I am today. Thank you so so much you dear, wonderful person.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Thank you for everything you’ve done for the community and the project, Andrea. You’ll be missed, but the processes and the spirit you put into your contributions will stick around for a long while I’m sure.

    See you around!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Andrea, I’m so excited for your next adventure – congratulations! As others have said, you have brought immeasurable goodness to the WordPress community over the years, and I suspect we don’t even know the half of it. For me personally, I have been fortunate to encounter you in many different settings modeling kindness, firmness, clarity, and a willingness to wrestle with hard things in productive, respectful ways. I’ve always learned something from you when I witness you in action!

    I don’t think it’s hyperbole to say that you’ve shaped the foundations and landscape of the global WordPress community in ways that will continue to make us better for many years to come. Thank you, and best wishes!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I remember when I was organizing WordCamp Portland and found out shortly before the event that Automattic had hired you into the role and was pleasantly surprised you were local. I enjoyed those first few years as we worked side by side on the local event. You certainly had a big impact on the WordPress community over the last 10 years, and even though I didn’t always agree with all the decisions, I always felt like you were striving to serve as a community leader from a place of authenticity and I applaud that. I look forward to the positive impacts you’ll be able to make in your new role. Congratulations!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Andrea! I am so excited for your new adventure and envy the folks at Reddit that will get to rub elbows with you on the regular.

    Who knows the scale of impact you’ve had on the larger open source community, but I know the impact you’ve had on me personally and professionally. From that time at WCATX 2013 when you encouraged me to apply to speak at WCSF (I would have never dreamed of doing that before you mentioned it), to introducing me IRL to my WP instructor Morten (which literally changed my career trajectory), to championing (and providing support for) the reboot of my local DFW WP community, to an empathetic ear when I told you about my pending divorce at WCUS 18, to straight-up authentic human sharing over illegal french fries in a booth at WCUS 19… And that’s just the highlight reel.

    You’re an amazing human, listener, friend, leader, and contributor. I’ll miss seeing you around WordCamps and wish you every success in your new adventures.

    ❤️

    Like

  6. Congratulations on new challenges!

    As many have said already, thank you. On behalf of the project and personally. You’ve given so much wisdom to all.

    The impact that you have had on many WordPress’ers life, including me, is beyond words.

    Like

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