Automattic Grand Meetup 2013

One of the perks of being an Automattician is the ability to travel all over the world. Fabulous, right?

My maiden voyage as an Automattician was to our annual Grand Meetup in San Francisco and Santa Cruz, California where I spent 8 crazy days with some of the nicest, most welcoming, and funniest people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. A good time was had by all. See pics at the bottom of this post for proof.

Speaking of meeting people, since we are a 100% distributed company, I had only met one other Automattician face-to-face before this trip, but that quickly changed, starting at baggage claim at SFO where I was greeted by a small group of my co-workers who landed around the same time as me. It was a lovely welcome that set the tone for the rest of day. By the end of the day, I estimate that I had met roughly 75 to 100 of the 200+ Automatticians gathered at the company office.

Words really can’t describe how uh-MAZE-ing this trip was. I can’t decide if my favorite thing was meeting almost all of my co-workers, hearing the many accents from around the world (did you know Finnish people roll all of their r’s?), learning about so many different cultures and countries, the 4-minute flash talks that everyone had to do, or learning some cool code during my Code Academy sessions.

Or maybe it was the presentations and workshops on creativity and on legal issues affecting the web and Automattic (think NSA and the like), Scott Berkun’s book talk on  The Year Without Pants, or the project presentations as people rolled out improvements and pushed code in the midst of all of this. Or maybe it was the food! <sigh>

As awesome as all of that was, I think at the tippy top of my list in no particular order are putting faces and voices together with the names and personalities of my teammates that I’ve come to know so well over IRC, P2s, and Skype and getting to meet and shake the hand of our founder Matt Mullenweg, who greeted me by name before I could introduce myself. Despite doubling the size of the company over the last year, I think he knows everyone’s face and name – an incredible feat and a testament to a personal and personable leadership style.

Have I mentioned yet how incredible this whole experience was? I’ll have to stop here before I start gushing over the whole thing. Check out my pics or find out how awesome it is for yourself….we’re hiring. 🙂

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