I’ve been to a lot of “All Hands” meetings over the years. For about 13 years at the bank, we had them four times a year, plus division ones. I’ve probably sat in on 50 or so of these where I’m supposed to understand the status of the company, how we’re doing and where we’re going. They’re usually 90 minutes long with slides.
For the first time, I’ve walked out of one and actually understood what the fuck is going on in my company, where we’re going, and where we’ve been.
It’s a whole new world these days, with amazingly obvious simple stuff. The basic “I’m not being treated like a criminal” is the biggest for me. Being trusted to do my work alone made me feel fantastic. But when you add in the fact that DreamHost wants me to enjoy my life and work, it’s everything I thought work was supposed to be. Having a passion for what I do is a huge part too. I like WordPress (I wish I could explain why) but I like working here. I get new and interesting things to fix, I get to
A lot of this is that I just wasn’t a great fit for a Bank. Anytime they asked me ‘Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ my answers weren’t in line with them. Yesterday I thought “Wow, in 5 years, DreamHost will be 20 and I’ll be 40. I want to still be here!” I’ve never felt that way before about work. I no longer see my work as my job, but as something I love doing and going to. I don’t want to call in sick, I want to be in the office, working, with the crazy people.
The meeting was just over two hours, followed by bowling (I don’t bowl, sorry, it’s bowl or be able to use my arm) and it had an open bar. I spent the hours listening, poking Shredder about 3.5, and sipping whiskey (on an empty stomach, I’ve done dumber things, but I did not get drunk). Simon mentioned me by name a couple times (we started making a mini-drinking game about the number of times he said ‘WordPress’ and ‘Mika’), and we cheered on news and bowling for two hours, which just sped by. I didn’t look at my watch, or wonder when it’d be over, until around the 2 hour mark.
On top of that, I’m in the (WordPress) news this morning as an example of how you can be a WP Professional:
How to Become a Top WordPress Professional
You do not need to know how to write code to get ahead in WordPress. If the only people involved in WordPress were developers, then WordPress wouldn’t be the software that it is today. Here are some of the things you can do:
- Project Manager
- Support Pro
- Documentation Writer
- Teaching & Training
If you aren’t convinced that you can make it doing these things, check out my post on the WordPress Economy to scope out some of the people who are already doing it.
A great example of this is Mika Epstein (more commonly known as Ipstenu). For her, WordPress started out as a hobby but it quickly became more rewarding than her IT job at a bank where she did everything from application installs on desktops to deployment automation and monitoring for servers. Recently, though, she’s started a job as a support specialist for DreamHost.
I would point out I can (and do) write code, but I’m no Nacin or Otto, where I dream in ones and zeros. I know how to unravel someone else’s code and fix it, which is why I’m awesome at support. Am I a developer? You bet! Am I a coder? Yes, I am! But am I also a documenter, a spin doctor, tech support, teacher, encouraging, enabler, and advocate. All of those things make me an amazing component of the WordPress ecosystem. I love helping people more than coding, but I also love helping them with coding. Go figure.
Don’t think I regret working for The Man for the time I did. I learned a lot about how things work together. The intricacies of how everything has to mesh to function as a company isn’t something I’ll forget any time soon, and makes me very respectful of my coworkers and their responsibilities. Help, don’t assume, and share. I’m taking all the best things about working at the bank and carrying them onward.
My life is totally different, and I’m totally happy.