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Business and work Events and Life Mindsets Writing

In person kudos at the Automattic Grand Meetup

Appreciating our colleagues

We have an amazing culture at Automattic that includes giving each other kudos as one form of recognition for great work, whether that’s delivering happiness to a customer, or to each other.

Typically we use a Slack bot to share kudos, and that’s posted to an internal WordPress site dedicated to showcasing internal kudos.

At the Grand Meetup (which we attended in mid-September – I’ll probably share more from that soon), we also have the option of giving handwritten kudos to each other. I like the ease of giving digital kudos, and at the same time I really like being able to write a note to my colleagues to express my appreciation for their efforts.

Automattic kudos card
Kudos IRL

This year I was fortunate to receive a few cards from my colleagues, and really appreciate each of them.

I decided against sharing details of all of the cards I received as the messages can be pretty personal. At the same time, I’m grateful for each card.

Categories
Business and work Coding Mindsets Policy issues

New Automattic research on how to improve gender representation for technical roles

Our team has just released a white paper titled “Trust, Growth,Inclusion: A Study ofWomen Engineers’Job-Search Priorities” that explores what motivates women and non-binary technical professionals to join companies, and what helps retain them.

Better gender representation is a challenge. I’m proud of our team’s efforts to better understand this challenge, and how to meet it. It’s clearly not something that’s capable of a simple fix, but I’m glad that we seem to be moving in a good direction. Here are some links if you’re interested in reading further:


If you’re interested in joining Automattic, we’re hiring people for a number of roles, especially in Engineering!

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Events and Life Travel and places

My Lisbon experience

I’m in Lisbon for my team’s meetup (last year we were in Rome). Our first day was a free day, and we went on a walking tour of parts of Lisbon. It was a terrific introduction to this city. Of course, I made plenty of photos.

We took the Metro to where we were going to meet our tour guide. I really like Lisbon’s subway stations. They each have a distinctive design, most of which appeal to me.

Rossio Square

We started off in Rossio Square where we met our tour guide, and started our walk.

Lisbon Massacre Memorial

Our first stop from there was a church that was a focal point of a tragedy for the Lisbon Jewish community, the Lisbon Massacre.

From there, we made our way back past Rossio Square deeper into the city.

Carmo Convent

We made our way up a hill (Lisbon is pretty hilly) to the Carmo Convent, which is also near an archaeological museum. There was a public gathering ahead of the Portuguese Freedom Day (also known as the Carnation Revolution). According to Culture Trip:

The words “military coup” and “peaceful” don’t usually go hand in hand, but they do when describing Portugal’s Carnation Revolution. Every year on April 25, Portugal remembers the non-violent rebellion that ended a 50-year long dictatorship and reestablished democracy in the country. Also known as Freedom Day, April 25 has become a national holiday that is celebrated across the country and in particular, in Lisbon.

How the Portuguese Celebrate April 25th, the Carnation Revolution

Santa Justa Lift

The popular Santa Justa Lift is nearby, so we went there next. Most tourists seem to queue at the bottom of the lift (you pay to go to the top). We walked across from the Carmo Convent to the public viewing deck (no charge for that), and had a remarkable view of much of the city.

Snack Break

We made our way back down to the street to head to a famous pastel de nata bakery for a snack (it was still Pesach, so I just had to admire them).

Tram Ride to the Old Quarter

From our snack break, we took a tram up to the older sections of the city. Much of Lisbon was destroyed in 1755 by a massive earthquake so the buildings we saw so far were relatively new as the city was largely rebuilt. The older section of the city, higher on the hill, fared better as it was built on bedrock.

The view from up there was pretty spectacular. You can see the harbour, and much of the city from that vantage point.

Alfama’s Illustrated History of Portugal

Alfama also contains a curious history of Portgual in the form of a comic painted onto the walls of a tunnel.

After that, we made our way through the twisting alleys towards the bottom of the hill. It started raining on and off, along the way.

At the bottom of the hill, we passed a series of water fountains that were separated for the various classes of people visiting Lisbon at the time. The fountains were in one of the walls that, at one point, protected the city.