Welcome to Automattic Women—conversations with some of the remarkable women working all over the world to design and develop Automattic software and make the web a better place. Today’s interviewee, Damianne President, talks to us from her home in Prague.
Who are you, and what do you do?
I was a third culture kid, now a third culture adult. I like to think of myself as a world citizen, a curious person.
At Automattic, I’m the product liaison in Woo Happiness. I help drive change by working at the intersection of Happiness and the Woo Business Unit (BU). My role is focused on what Woo Happy does, ensuring that communication is clear and effective between Woo Happiness and the Woo BUs, and that Woo Happiness is contributing to the priorities of the Woo division.
What’s a typical day like for you?
I like to wake early, usually around 6:00, preferably before my alarm goes off. I begin my day with a walk around the block, and have time to putter around the house before I dig into work.
I typically work from 7am to 5pm, with a longer lunch that involves a walk. I work at home, moving between my kitchen table and my desk, but I also like to work for 3–4 hours at a cafe two or three times a week. Breaking up my time and location that way gives me just enough human interaction.
I rely on Asana and my calendar to know what I should be doing all day. In the morning, I look at what I have to do for the day. I like to start with a more complex task, or one that requires more thinking and creativity. It can be anything from working on a project to figuring out a process or documentation for one of the teams I work with.
After that, I usually respond to pings in P2s and Slack. I slot in email sometime during the day as well, usually as a reset
What drew you to Automattic? What keeps you here?
I was a teacher for 15 years. I taught in K-12 schools as a Maths teacher or a technology coordinator. When I left teaching, I looked at my skills and one of them was WordPress.
I was attracted to Automattic because I had a WordPress blog and had been a proponent of WordPress as a teacher. I thought that I would enjoy being a Happiness Engineer, and that it would use my skills but I wasn’t sure I was qualified. Long story short, I applied anyway and got the job. I’ve changed my role twice in the 4.5 years that I’ve worked for Automattic, and I continue to love the work. I enjoy working remotely, I like my colleagues, and I’m adequately challenged, which is an important element of retention for me.
What’s your favorite non-work activity?
I love reading. I blog about it at spoiltheending.com, and plan to expand that into a podcast. (After four years, I’ve just paused my other podcast, Changes Big and Small, to allow me enough time for this new project.) Beyond that, I love traveling and would like to go to Vietnam and New Zealand next year. I have a sabbatical coming up, and have one eye on visiting Oceania during that time.
Connect with Damianne on LinkedIn.
That’s it for this edition of Automattic Women. Follow Developer Resources and Automattic Design to meet more great women of Automattic. And if you’d like to do more than just read about these great people, consider working with us! Join our team of diverse, global perspectives building a better web, and connect your career to the power of Open Source.
2 thoughts on “Automattic Women: Damianne President”
Great to read about Damianne!! I’ve known her since the Bangalore days, 😂
You are a great asset to Automattic. I enjoyed reading more about your workflow, routine and your journey with WordPress. WOW – 60 countries – you are indeed a world citizen. I would love to see you again when you are in New Zealand.
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