Automattic Happiness Engineer For 3 Weeks: Part 1

3 Weeks Supporting WordPress.com Customers

This is another post in which I look ahead to what will happen after Automattic interviews me, graciously gives me a trial work period, then happily hires me! 🙂

Right after a couple days of employee onboarding basics, every Automattic new employee spends three weeks in WordPress customer support, if what I’ve read about new hires is still being done.happiness engineer

“…After two days of training with full-time Happiness Engineers, new employees are thrown right into the fire of support forums and tickets and oh god I don’t know anything about domains, I better figure that s*** out asap. No sir, I have no idea why your theme isn’t working, guess I should set up a test blog and try it out for myself.

I’m going to be honest: when I started, I had only used WordPress.com a little bit. I’ve always been a self-hosted user. The ridiculous amount of information I’ve crammed into my skull during my three weeks of support about WordPress.com has transformed me into an expert. I know where everything is. I have whole swaths of support documentation memorized…”

My top reason for doing this blog is to be hired by Automattic, and the second is to be an excellent temporary Happiness Engineer. To expand on that, here are the four prioritized reasons I’m writing this Events Wrangling blog and publishing it on WordPress.com:

  1. I’ve applied for a position as an Events Wrangler at Automattic, and this blog is one way to demonstrate my domain knowledge for that position and my seriousness about being interviewed for it, doing a trial work period and being offered the job of Automattic Events Wrangler.
  2. Publishing this blog on WordPress.com will help me have a more enjoyable and successful three weeks as an Automattic Happiness Engineer.
  3. The blog will help me be a better events wrangler by keeping current on relevant news and ideas and will help me connect with other events wranglers.
  4. Publishing this on WordPress.com will improve my website development skills, which can be used for my many TIME Community Advocate [Tech, Innovators, Makers, Entrepreneurs] activities and my entrepreneurial ventures.

What Does A Happiness Engineer Do?

So what will I be doing in those three weeks as a Happiness Engineer (and one week per year after onboarding is done)? One good place to get an answer to that questions is the official job description. According to Automattic’s website, a typical day for a new-employee three-week Happiness Engineer involves:

  • WordPress logoHelping people use WordPress.com
  • Troubleshooting, investigating, and creating detailed bug reports
  • Crafting and editing helpful support documentation
  • Building a community of support by sharing knowledge and insight amongst Automattic team members around the world
  • Being an active member of a global team that provides 24/7 support to our users via live chat, forums, and email

Automattic also says being a Happiness Engineer requires:

  • Patience, grace, and a sense of humor
  • Excellent writing and communication skills
  • Working knowledge of WordPress, HTML, and CSS
  • A knack for taking technical language and making it understandable
  • A passion for solving tough problems and proposing elegant solutions
  • Happiness Engineers must be fluent and eloquent in written English. If you know additional languages, be sure to tell us!

Reading what a job description says is all well and good, but those can sometimes be what the Human Resources department thinks a position should look like rather than what the people doing the work actually spend their hours, days and weeks on. It seemed like a good idea to get first person perspectives through a bit of online detective work. What made me smile and feel good about Automattic (even though I don’t work for them, YET) is that one of those first person perspectives says:

“…the newest revision of our Happiness Engineer job page describes what we do extremely accurately…”

What my Google detective work made abundantly clear is that there is a nearly boundless supply of posts about what it’s like to be an Automattic Happiness Engineer. I wanted to read every one of those posts — didn’t want to miss any key insights, funny stories, or suggestions and viewpoints that might be helpful to me. But if I’d tried to read all of them, I still wouldn’t have started this post.

So I read a bunch of the posts…and will be reading more in the coming weeks…

You’re Still The One!

automattic logoWhat those posts are telling me is that I want to work for Automattic even more now than I did when I first applied! It feels like I should spend every waking moment becoming more knowledgeable about and skilled at events wrangling and learning more about WordPress.com and what types of issues I’ll likely be helping users resolve!!

If you are considering working for Automattic (they’re hiring!) and want to read more about Happiness Engineers and the three week orientation period, click on the links above or the additional ones I included at the bottom of this post.

I called this post “Part 1” because I plan to update it in four weeks. In preparation for writing this post, I researched what a new employee goes through during their three week orientation as a Happiness Engineer. My research showed how little I knew about that orientation period and how much has been written by people who’ve gone through it, as well as the many accounts about what it’s like in general to be a Happiness Engineer.

In my spare time I’ll read more about being a brand new member of the Automattic team and how to survive and thrive during those three weeks. Then I’ll write Part 2 about my updated perspective on what sounds like a challenging, exciting, scary, exhausting and fun way to start out my Automattician Adventure!

Automattic GM 2015

Automattic GM 2015

——————–

Links about the three week onboarding process in customer service and about being a Happiness Engineer:

https://unencumberedbyfacts.com/2013/05/17/at-wordpress-happiness-is-automattic/

https://boringstevek.info/2015/06/19/my-first-week-with-automattic/

https://blog.olark.com/engineering-customer-service-at-wordpress

https://zandyring.com/2014/01/14/what-i-do/

https://rachelsquirrel.com/tag/happiness-engineer/

https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=automattic%20a%20day%20in%20the%20life

*****

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