Leadership in Fully Remote Teams with Aaron Douglas

Aaron Douglas, one of our mobile team leads, has been with Automattic for six years. Almost immediately after starting here, he struggled to find the ability to focus and prioritize his work. He’s put significant effort into understanding how to change behaviors associated with Attention Deficit Disorder which have had numerous positive side effects. Those tools have evolved further over the last five years of him being a team lead. To share what he’s learned, he recently spoke at THAT Conference on August 8th in Wisconsin Dells, WI, USA. The conference describes itself as a “Summer Camp for Geeks”:

Over four days, folks of diverse technology backgrounds and expertise levels gather to take advantage of multiple learning mediums to maximize one’s community and career advancements.

Aaron chose to focus on leadership within fully remote teams since he’s been leading a team at Automattic for the last 5 years. As the description of his session states, “Remote working brings a whole set of challenges that should be addressed by every employee and it’s a good leader’s role to make sure nobody is blocked by them.”

To learn from Aaron and how he approaches remote team leadership with his unique background, check out his slides and reach out to him on Twitter if you have any questions. If you’re more of a visual learner, we’ve got you covered with this awesome sketchnote from an attendee at the conference:

If you’re interested in getting a better understanding of Aaron’s personal experience working remotely and the impact it’s had, be sure to also watch his talk on WordPress.tv titled “How Working Remote Saved My Life”.

P.S. If you’d like to work with folks like Aaron, check out our jobs page! We’re hiring and would love to tackle problems together.

Automattic Developers at the Mid-Atlantic Developer Conference

Recently two of our developers, Brad Griffith and Jonathan Belcher, attended the Mid-Atlantic Developer Conference in Baltimore, Maryland. The conference is “designed to bring programmers from the region together, regardless of their choice of platform, for two full days of learning and community building”. We were excited to be able to show up, learn, connect, and share during the course of the two days. In the spirit of our creed’s “I will never stop learning” opening line, we were particularly keen to see what others had to teach us since the conference was not dedicated to any particular language, platform, or technology. Here’s some of the sessions that Jonathan and Brad enjoyed:

We were lucky to be able to share our own insights with those there as Brad gave a session on “Strategically Reusing Code”. Because we love to open source our work, we wanted to be sure to share links to Brad’s slides so you can learn from the comfort of wherever you might be in the world: 

Brad’s talk looks at how changes in the JavaScript and open source ecosystems can influence your decisions about which libraries, languages and platforms to adopt.  In the early days of the web, developers used libraries and tools to make JavaScript behave more like classical object-oriented languages and to isolate themselves from wildly incompatible proprietary browser platforms.  As JavaScript matured, developers began embracing it enthusiastically. Now, rather than attempting to isolate themselves from JavaScript, developers have embraced it in many contexts outside the browser, including on the server and in cross-platform mobile tools like React Native and Cordova.  

To those we had the chance to talk to at the conference, thanks for spending time with us!  

Growing JavaScript Skills with Grzegorz Ziółkowski

Recently, Grzegorz Ziółkowski, one of our developers who works full time on the open source project side of WordPress, spoke at the JavaScript for WordPress Conference on July 12th. As the name suggests, the conference was focused on JavaScript as it relates to the WordPress CMS and offered talks/workshops for folks no matter their skill level. Grzegorz focused in on helping bridge the gap between folks who have previously explored the welcoming world of WordPress and the new editing experience offered through Gutenberg.

We encourage you to check out the written version of his talk here to learn more and expand your own skills. From reading about the history of how Gutenberg came to be to sharing practical tips for how to improve the quality of your code, we think you’ll enjoy reading and learning alongside Grzegorz.

P.S. If you’d like to work with folks like Grzegorz, check out our jobs page! We’re hiring and would love to tackle problems together.