Automattic Women: Anne Mirasol

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, engineer Anne Mirasol, talks to us from her home workstation in the Philippines.

Anne Mirasol at her Automattic workstation.

Who are you, and what do you do? 

I am Anne Mirasol, a software engineer for Automattic. My team is currently working on bringing P2, Automattic’s homegrown remote collaboration platform, to the world.

As a software engineer (or a code wrangler, as we sometimes call it internally), my job is to implement new features, maintain existing ones, and just basically keep P2 running as it should.

What’s a typical day like for you?

I’m a big fan of slow mornings–easing myself into the work day. Even though at Automattic, we work from home, I try to keep my work hours fairly consistent. I find that it personally helps me maintain a healthy work-life boundary.

My work day typically begins in the afternoon, which is also conveniently the time that most of my teammates start their day. We don’t have a lot of face-to-face meetings over Zoom, but we do communicate a lot via Slack and P2.

Whenever I need to step back and do some back-burner work, I go for an ice cream break at the small convenience store near my place. It’s never-ending summer where I am, so every day is a good day for ice cream.

What drew you to Automattic and what keeps you here?

My best friend introduced me to Automattic. She said that it was her dream company, and encouraged me to apply. I valued her opinion a lot, so I was intrigued. It then turned out that the more I learned about the company—by reading all the articles and employee blogs I could find—the more her dream became my dream as well.

I was hesitant to apply at first, since I didn’t know anyone at the company personally, and I thought it just sounded too good to be true. I’m truly thankful for that one Sunday morning where I told myself to stop overthinking, sat up, booted my gaming computer, and just sent in my application. I can say that the company has far exceeded my expectations, and I’m glad to be part of it.

What I like most about Automattic and what makes me stay is the opportunity to work with extremely kind and talented people without having to move to another city or country. It feels like a bigger world has been opened to me, and I didn’t have to leave my family and friends.

A photo I took of my sister and her dog during one of our late afternoon walks around her neighborhood. My sister was telling me to catch up, because the dog doesn’t like leaving anyone behind. “Snowstorm” is our code word for it, and it means I have to walk faster.

What’s your favorite non-work activity?

Before the pandemic, I loved spending the weekend with my twin sister and her dog. She teaches literature at my alma mater, and stays at a housing facility for faculty, so I would regularly spend a night or two with her, and we’d drive around the campus and eat street food, walk the dog, and read paperback fiction while sitting on the university library stairs until after sunset.

Now that I can’t go out as much, I’ve been sampling hobbies and interests and just seeing what holds my interest the longest. To my neighbor’s dismay, I’ve also started learning to play the violin again, working my way through a first-grade book.


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!

Automattic Women: Rebecca Williams

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, Rebecca Williams, talks to us from her home on the Wild Atlantic Way coastline of Ireland’s Louisburgh, County Mayo.

Who are you, and what do you do? 

I’m an Engineer Development Wrangler, and I work within Engineer Development in the Developer Experience (DevEx) part of Automattic’s Talent division. Our team supports Automattic engineering teams in the areas of growth, onboarding, and leadership. 

Rebecca Williams in her home office.

My role oversees engineer onboarding and engagement. This involves working with over 150 new starters each year, as well as building and maintaining relationships with leads and other engineers. I am definitely kept busy, but I enjoy every minute of it!

Our process begins at the intersection of hiring and the start date, and we provide support to both our new starters and our leads to ensure that everyone is correctly prepared for the start date. 

As well as individual check-ins, we also hold monthly onboarding calls. These calls are a great opportunity to touch base with our new starters, and to find out what has been working well for them and what we can help with.

Any feedback that we receive during these calls, or via the surveys, is followed-up and acted upon whenever possible to improve the process for future new starters. 

The ultimate goal is to ensure that all of our engineers land smoothly in their teams—that they know what to expect and what is expected of them, and are well placed to begin contributing and feeling productive at the earliest point. We want everyone to feel like they are reaching their full potential, and to consider what else they could achieve within Automattic.

What’s a typical day like for you?

Freedom to choose where we work is one of the great things about jobs at Automattic. Working from home is great, but I also really enjoy working from a coworking space, too. That way I can support small businesses in my local community, and enjoy a change of scenery.

I drop my daughter off at school, then pop into my favorite coffee shop for a caffeine hit. I make my way to the coworking space, or to my home office, depending on where I decide to work that day.

I start my day by checking emails and Slack pings, as well as reading up on any news that happened while I was offline. I try to keep myself organized with productivity tools like Todoist, which I use with Slack integration, enabling me to mark things for attention later.

I start my day by getting all of my operational and process-driven tasks completed, and then I gravitate towards more focused work. At lunch time, I make an effort to take a walk—often to the beach. I find that this is a great way to reset myself and perhaps untangle anything I have been concentrating on in the morning. 

By the time I return to my desk, I am usually ready to go again. I might have some calls, or I might be ready to switch my focus on some other tasks. 

I find time-boxing whatever task I choose to do to be a great way to provide focus for myself. I am definitely a morning person, so by splitting my afternoon, I give myself specific time-frames to work in, which works really well for me. By 3:30, I am ready to pick up my daughter from school. 

When we’re home from school, I log back on and pick things up where I left off until 5:30-6pm. I usually end up feeling pretty productive by the end of the day!

What drew you to Automattic and what keeps you here?

I discovered Automattic at a local remote-workers’ meet-up run by Grow Remote. Afterwards, I read as many blogs by Automatticians as I could find, and one in particular really spoke to me. Having previously worked in a great team, I decided that this emotional connection with others was a really important factor for me, wherever I landed.

The entire Creed resonated with me, but particularly “I will never pass up the opportunity to help out a colleague, and I’ll remember the days before I knew everything.” This is still incredibly important to me, and something that I see for myself being demonstrated on a daily basis. In many ways, onboarding embodies this statement perfectly!

Snapshot from one of Rebecca’s favorite walks. “It was a magical evening when I took that shot; everything was just right!

Another thing that was really important to me was finding an organization that was family-friendly. Being able to do the school run, and be present for my daughter is crucial. Additionally, being able to move my working day around to accommodate dental, physiotherapy appointments, and school visits means that I can spend my annual leave with my family, and really get the benefit from that offline time.

This role provides me the best of everything: a great and supportive team, awesome colleagues, work that keeps me interested and curious—and being able to do all of this from my home. What’s not to love?!

What’s your favorite non-work activity?

Two things really recharge me: spending time in nature, and focusing on a project. When the weather is kind, I will take a long walk—there’s no shortage of interesting routes to take and I have some favourites! 

When the weather is not great, I love to cross-stitch: I immerse myself in really complex projects that are intricate and time consuming. My last stitching project was Cinderella’s Castle, and that took four years to complete (with a Master’s degree in the middle of that!). My current project is An Evening in Venice. It’s taken two years so far, and I’m not even halfway through!


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!