WordCamp San Francisco 2012 and Meeting My New Team
August 7, 2012 — Writings
It’s been a couple of months since I left my last full-time position and I wasn’t sure at the time what was going to happen or what direction I would go in. I knew that I wanted to stay in WordPress and work on some of my own projects, but was a little burned out on client work and the quick cycle of the type of projects I have worked on in my full time and freelance careers for the past 7-8 years. I went straight back into freelancing to keep the bills paid, but all the annoyances that I loathed before seemed even more pronounced and I knew I couldn’t maintain it very long. So I began to look around for new opportunities.
I wound up applying for several positions, including jobs that would even require relocating. I was surprised to hear back from as many as I did and flattered to receive a few outstanding offers. When Jake Goldman from 10up responded positively to my inquiry about working with his team, it didn’t take much for me to feel like it would be the right move. Tomorrow is my first official day, and I am excited about the road ahead.
10up is a distributed company and I am the 13th member of the team. We’ve only been around for about a year and a half, and we are growing in client base which has led to doubling the team size just since Spring of this year! We are scattered across the country with a few cities being home to more than one team member. I’m proudly the first one to represent the South.
We are a creative agency that works on a wide scale of projects. Our clients range from smaller local companies to well known names like Trulia and Techcrunch. Even though it is client work again, the projects are bigger and more ongoing than anything I’ve done before.
The thing that really excites me about being a part of this group is that all but one of us are developers. The resumes that my teammates have are so impressive and it is amazing the talent and skill Jake has brought together. I think it’s pretty awesome that my boss has plugins in the WordPress repository and contributes to core. How many people can say that?
One benefit of joining 10up was the new annual meeting of the entire team at WordCamp San Francisco. I’m on my flight home now, and although I am completely exhausted, I am also really excited about everything I learned this past weekend.
The format this year was a bit different with each track having two, short, back-to-back sessions and then a 20 minute break between. At first I thought this wasn’t going to work, especially since each speaker only had 15 minutes to present his topic and 5 minutes for questions. But as the day got started, I really began to like it. Instead of speakers drolling on and on, they got straight to the point and left us with piqued curiosities and in your face facts to take home and digest. I was able to take in just as much information in one day as I was in the longer two day format they used last year.
On Sunday, Automattic hosted a developer hack day. I’m not sure what the final head count was, but the turnout was really great. Andrew Nacin gave us beginners a crash course in contributing to core and how to use Trac, and then we all broke out into teams to focus on various areas of WordPress that need attention. A few of those areas were retina support, bbPress/BuddyPress, and general 3.5 tickets. I wound up working with the 3.5 UI group which was led by 10up’s own Helen Hou-Sandi, the official UI lead for 3.5. We had some great brainstorming sessions and worked on a few tickets. I was a bit handicapped since I don’t have a mobile machine, but I did get to start a spreadsheet we’ll use to take notes on how the admin area can become responsive. I also proudly fixed a typo in the new core handbook, changing “A bug in an error” to “A bug is an error” on the page about Trac. 🙂 I am really excited about getting more into helping with core items, especially development heavy items when I can get back home to my dev machine.
In addition to attending WordCamp and helping out with the WordPress community, team 10up did a lot of bonding. We had dinner together a few tiems, had a big team meeting, went bowling, and shared a few San Francisco moments like witnessing the Richmond Chevron refinery fire and riding the BART. We also did a lot of goofing off which is really key to team bonding. There are moments I’ll never forget, a few being some we’d probably like to. 🙂 LOL haha
I have to give God the glory for carrying me through the tough things I and my family have faced the past few months and even the past couple of years. I also want to thank all my friends and family for their thoughts and prayers. My future feels bright again and I am ecstatic about diving more into my new job and working with these amazing people. To borrow words from Matt Mullenweg’s State of the Word 2012 address, I think this job is super duper!