A Day in the Life of a Happiness Engineer

This post is part of a series describing what Automatticians do on a daily basis. You can read more posts like this by following the tag #a8cday on WordPress.com and Twitter. There’s other colleagues that also write theirs here!

7:00 – I wake up at Koh Pha Ngan, an island in Thailand, depending on the day I go for breakfast and an early swim to the sea, go for some fruit and coffee near by, or just stay at home and have a slow breakfast by the terrace.

Banana, mango and coconut ice cream
Banana, mango and coconut ice cream breakfast

I’m originally from Spain but I’ve decided to spend the winter months in south east Asia, who doesn’t like good weather?

I just had a face-to-face team meetup with my colleagues in Singapore last week, so why not staying around a little bit longer until the cold in Europe goes away? Does that mean I’m on holidays? Nope, I’m working, but I don’t need an office.

Team awesomeness
Team awesomeness in Singapore

I work at Automattic as a Happiness Engineer. We’re the company behind WordPress.com, Akismet, VaultPress, Simplenote, CloudUp, Jetpack, WooCommerce, … We are a distributed company and each one of us works remotely.

My place for this winter

So, how a normal day looks like for me?

8:00 – I go to a co-working space, a coffee shop or I stay at home, depending on the day. I turn on the computer. For the next five hours I will interact with users of (mainly) WordPress.com via live chat or via email, helping them to solve any issue or question they might have regarding their sites or any related product (domains, plans, purchases, etc, …). I also keep up with the news and updates across the company and hangout with my coworkers via Slack (chat) or Zoom (video), either work-related or not. Each one of us works from a different timezone, country and schedule, so lots are happening all the time even when you’re sleep!

Co-working space by the beach

13:00 – I stop for lunch, that normally takes me around an hour but I might extend it depending on the day. I take it easy as I like to have a coffee afterwards by some terrace, take a nap, read a little, … who knows?

14:00 / 15:00 – I come back to work and use the next couple of hours to close issues I had opened during the day, finish pending bug reports, testing new features, followup with users that I’ve interacted with during the morning, finish reading here and there, etc, …

Iced coffee anyone?
Iced coffee anyone?

16:00 /17:00 – Normally by this time I’m finished for the day. Now is time to meetup with friends, hit the gym (oh Crossfit you’re going to kill me) or dedicate time to hobbies. I’ve been into coding and contributing to Open Source (for example contribute to WordPress core) lately, so I try to do a little everyday, but is mostly a weekly objective I’ve set for myself

This is how a normal day looks like, however you would be surprised to know that most of the days are not normal! We deploy something new, test new features, we train a new Happiness Engineer (yes, the training is done by your colleagues), we plan objectives for the next week, month, quarter, year, etc, …

Some dinner on a local place

22:00 / 23:00 – By this time I’m at home and ready to watch some show or film and go to sleep, tomorrow will be another day as an automattician.

Does this sound like something you’d like to do? Well, we’re hiring!

I will never stop learning. I won’t just work on things that are assigned to me. I know there’s no such thing as a status quo. I will build our business sustainably through passionate and loyal customers. I will never pass up an opportunity to help out a colleague, and I’ll remember the days before I knew everything. I am more motivated by impact than money, and I know that Open Source is one of the most powerful ideas of our generation. I will communicate as much as possible, because it’s the oxygen of a distributed company. I am in a marathon, not a sprint, and no matter how far away the goal is, the only way to get there is by putting one foot in front of another every day. Given time, there is no problem that’s insurmountable.