Planet Automattic: February 2014

From time to time, we check in with Automatticians, the folks who bring you — and share what they’re working on and thinking about, online and off.

No matter where you are in the world, you’ll find people working on Developers deploying lines of code. Designers tinkering with themes. Engineers working one-on-one with users to help make their websites just so. (Want to join in? We’re hiring.)

One cool thing about Automatticians? We care about so much that we’re always thinking about ways to make it better, online and off. Here’s a glimpse at the 230 Automatticians around the globe — and things we’re working on and thinking about right now.

We blog about WordPress (naturally!)

At Automattic, we’re constantly communicating, breaking and fixing, and iterating and improving. Communication tools like the P2 theme, Skype, and IRC channels allow ideas and conversations to flow at all times, while our own blogs are spaces to reflect on and share the things we’ve learned.

In Moscow, Code Wrangler Konstantin Kovshenin works on the Dot Org Team, writing themes and plugins and contributing to WordPress Core. On his personal blog, he shares tips, code snippets, and even videos of his talks at WordCamps, like WordCamp Sofia 2013 in Bulgaria.

Meta engineer Nikolay Bachiyski, from Sofia, Bulgaria, chatting with others. (Image by Sheri Bigelow.)

Meta Engineer Nikolay Bachiyski chatting with others. (Image by Sheri Bigelow.)

Colorado-based Automattician Greg Brown works on search, natural language processing, and machine learning; his team wrangles data (and launched the Related Posts feature last November). On Greg’s blog, you can follow his recent posts on Elasticsearchindexing, and the future:

Humans express their dreams, opinions, and ideas in hundreds of languages. Bridging that gap between humans and computers — and ultimately between humans — is a noble endeavor that will subtly shape the next century. I’d like to see Elasticsearch be a force in democratizing the use of natural language processing and machine learning.

We blog about the web and technology

At Unencumbered By Facts, Code Wrangler (and Linux Geek) Jason Munro muses on a mix of topics, from programming to data, and even on moving from Wall Street to WordPress.

Over in Taipei, Taiwan, Growth Engineer Ben Thompson focuses on attracting new users to, and improving their experience, on Team Triton. Ben actively writes about technology from a strategic perspective at Stratecherylike his recent thoughts on messaging on mobile, and his follow-up piece on this week’s Facebook and WhatsApp deal.

On ebeab (or eight beats equals a byte), Marcus Kazmierczak publishes newsletters about trends around open source, web development, Linux, and more. Located in the San Francisco Bay Area, Marcus works on Team Tinker — a team focused on creating new products — and covers more than just your usual technology news: his latest edition dives into the world of crypto-currency and Dogecoin, and past editions focus on productivity and hacking and security.

Over on the east coast of the US, Sheri Bigelow (who snapped the images you see in this post) is a New York-based photographer and designer who strives to make the theme and customization experience the best it can be, and shares techniques and ideas on her site, Design SimplyWe especially like her tips on photography workflows and themes.

Theme Team lead Ian Stewart. (Image by Sheri Bigelow.)

Theme Team Lead Ian Stewart. (Image by Sheri Bigelow.)

Likewise, it’s cool to read design ideas from Theme Team Lead Ian Stewart from Winnipeg, Manitoba, whose crew of wranglers launches the new themes you see in the Theme Showcase.

This week, Ian ponders the principles of good design, but he also writes on general best practices and other interests, like writing. If you’ve not seen it, Ian’s talk at WordCamp San Francisco 2013 resonates as an inspiring, big-picture, yet personal talk on themes and web design.

We blog about other stuff, too

Automatticians write about all sorts of topics — from tread desking to fatherhood to musings on love and life to gaming to reading and writing. And even if we’re not working on, we bring the same curiosity and motivation to our other passions — and find that much of what we do and enjoy here overlaps in side projects.

Isaac Keyet, a Product Designer living in Sweden and working on the Data Team, writes on a variety of subjects. In his recent post on light, color, work, and sleep, he talks about the types of light that affect our sleep/wake patterns (and recommends f.lux, an app that changes your screen temperature to best fit your location).

Tokyo-based Automattician Naoko Takano, from Team Global.

Tokyo-based Automattician Naoko Takano, from Team Global, engineering happiness. (Image by Sheri Bigelow.)

Karen Arnold, who lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and works on the Happiness Team, started a blogging class as an experiment for a homeschooling group. (Karen also led a workshop last fall at the Digital Family Summit to teach kids and their families how to get started blogging on

Further north in Quebec, Canada, Kathryn Presner, a member of the Theme Team, recaps her experience mentoring students at Ladies Learning Code. Being a Happiness Engineer and WordCamp speaker, educating others is nothing new to Kathryn — it’s a perfect example of open source education in action, and how the skills and passions of Automatticians aren’t restricted to “the workplace.”

Are you interested in working alongside these and many other talented folks? We’re hiring for numerous positions — consider applying!

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  1. Egill

    Reblogged this on Egill.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Justin Shreve

    Reblogged this on BinarySmash and commented:

    Here are some good blogs to follow.


  3. Kev

    Amazing! I’m so glad that wordpress is on the international front. I have friends from all over the world that visit my blog thanks to wordpress. 🙂


  4. TalkingTraffic

    Who’s in Ethiopia? That’s where we’re headed today!


  5. Peter Slutsky

    Reblogged this on Peter Slutsky.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Jackie Dana

    Reblogged this on a fiend of awesome and commented:

    My colleagues make WordPress awesome. They also are some of the most amazing bloggers. 🙂


  7. thebritishberliner

    It’s so nice to see the faces behind the hard work and the international flair. Well done, guys!


  8. Bill Hayes

    WordPress is an amazing place to write. It is one of the few world-wide net services that does not seem to have some Uber commercial interest in what I write. I would really hate to wake up tomorrow morning and find that Facebum has bought you for the equivalent of a small country’s Gross National Product.

    Keep up the great work!


  9. elizabethgracelove

    This is really amazing! About working on WordPress themes, design products, and other fascinating things. I’m so amazed.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. raghav7586

    can anyone of you define happiness for me?


  11. M. R.

    Still want all those wonderful Support people to be outed. None of us would be here without them; and in my own case, I’d long since have torn out all my hair. Oh. I forgot. I can’t do that any more. Well … I would’ve screamed in fury and pushed my desktop onto the floor …


  12. jrmcclarren

    Hey, I was just wondering, after reading this post, if there is any way that we, as bloggers, could get a list of bloggers who have sites that might be similar to our own; those, of course, who are part of WordPress. It would be nice to make contact and share what we have produced with others who might enjoy them. It could be a help to all of us. I have a site of almost entirely controversial subjects. I know there are millions of people out there with interests in many of the subjects I cover, but in the last month or so I have had no really meaningful comments by anyone who might even seem interested. Most of my comments are bogus anyway, which, of course, is always very discouraging. Thanks.


    • Cheri Lucas Rowlands

      Hi John — thanks for sharing your thoughts. We don’t have pre-made lists of bloggers writing on various subjects, but you can tag your posts so people can find your latest posts (and blog) in the Reader, and also look at tags in the Reader on things you’re interested in, to build your Blogs I Follow list over time to include relevant blogs. You can also save specific topics in the sidebar of your Reader to revisit those streams of content:

      So, feel free to search for the subjects you cover, find blogs that way, and follow those blogs so they show up in your Reader.

      If we introduce a relevant feature that allows you to better follow bloggers, you’ll hear about it here on this blog. Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Eduard de Grave

    Why does the team use term “happiness engineer”?


    • Cheri Lucas Rowlands

      Hi there — “happiness engineers” are individuals in our Support Team — these people help users with their blogs and websites in emails, live chats, in the forums, and across They troubleshoot, solve technical problems, and generally spend their days helping users around the world to make their web and blogging experience the best and most pleasant it can be. The job listing page (linked in the first sentence) offers a bit more about what happiness engineers do at Automattic.


  14. Alyona

    Thanks to those who created WordPress blogs. It’s a great opportunity to express myself, my personality, and to share different interesting and useful articles with publics.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. neilmekh

    Yes, it’s truly a global sharing platform.


  16. morganwoodwardmw02

    Why are there WordCamps?


    • Cheri Lucas Rowlands

      Hi there — WordCamps are gatherings in locations all over the world, of varying sizes, where you can meet people who work on and love WordPress, attend educational sessions, share knowledge, and learn more about the open source community. Do click on that link for more info of individual WordCamps, if you’d like.


  17. iNotes4You

    Thanks to Automattic. It’s the best platform for bloggers. Blogging for me means improving personality and knowledge. It’s a pleasure to be part of this great platform.

    Thanks for this great post.


  18. tassianax

    Amazing..keep up the good work!


  19. Filipe Varela

    Reblogged this on Photografia and commented:

    Automattic, Automatticians, and the wonderful photos of Sheri Bigelow!


  20. dagmarawitalska

    worldwide family 🙂


  21. umanbn

    Wow, I gues I never thought about how many people there are working behind the scenes to keep wordpress ticking over…thanks all!


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