Back in 2012 we had a talented designer do some posters for WooThemes dubbed WooVille, and this is one of my favorites. I’m in the process of getting our WooVille comic series printed as posters for my home office. Sitting at 25 people, we managed to double in size over the next three years before we were acquired by Automattic.
Hiring people that don’t live near you or your office is becoming more common, and we have embraced this from the start at WooThemes (and Automattic).
At WordCamp Europe, Tom Wilmot from Human Made did a great presentation on this:
Mark (my co-founder at Woo) spoke at WordCamp Europe on the story of WooThemes. If you are interested in how we grew Woo from 3 to 55 people in just under seven years, and how we were eventually acquired by Automattic, then take a look at the video of the presentation.
I had the chance to visit the beautiful British Columbia on my last fishing trip. We flew from Vancouver to Smithers, a cozy little town over the mountains, and we fished for Chinook (King) Salmon on the Kemano and Skeena river. During the week we saw a lot of big bears, and even had a few close encounters with some grizzlies.
If you like the video above, feel free to check out my other Vimeo videos.
Going through due diligence with Automattic meant learning a lot about the company. One of the amusing things to discover was all the acronyms used, and the first time I saw “a8c” I had no idea what it meant.
Was it a code word for some secret project?
Did everybody else but me know what it meant?
— kat 猫 ✨🐙✨ (@wirehead2501) September 17, 2014
Luckily I’m not the only one who didn’t know of these acronyms, and I’ve since learned about a11n, a12s and even a16z from reading The Hard Things About Hard Things
I’ll be honest and say that I never knew what the hell Il8n meant when reading about translating WordPress into other languages – and probably too lazy to Google it. But now it all clicks!
Consider this a crash course in abbreviations of long words, and know that you aren’t the only one.
After several months of due diligence, we inked the deal in the middle of May and were waiting for closing items to be completed. One of the biggest items on the closing agenda was the approval from SARB. For those fortunate enough to have dealt with the banking system in South Africa, you’ll know that timeframes are very hard to establish.
We had pegged 1 July as the start date for all employee contracts but weren’t too optimistic about getting a response by then. To our surprise, we got the approval on Monday so we could go ahead with the last closing items. We worked frantically for two days to tie all loose ends and finished our accounts for June in record time to allow us to be able to keep the 1 July date.
9th of July would have marked the seventh birthday for WooThemes, after creating it with Mark and Adii back in 2008. It has been one hell of a life-changing journey to be part of, and I’m so happy that our team of 55 people (minus 2) are joining us in this next adventure as part of Automattic.
Today marks my first day at Automattic, and however overwhelming it may be I’m really excited for what the future holds.
To begin in a new company can be overwhelming, especially Automattic which hires only the brightest people. Feelings of not matching up to you new colleagues are often described as impostor syndrome, and this presentation gives a fun explanation of it.
If you’ve worked for Automattic for more than 5 years, we encourage you to take a paid sabbatical of 2 – 3 months. Taking an extended leave allows you to break away from the usual routine and return to work refreshed. “What should I do on a sabbatical?” you may ask? You could use the time to fulfill a goal, build a skill, or do research. Or, simply rest and relax. The key is to get away, renew, and refresh.