I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently. A year ago, I’d say I wanted to get more into coding, but right now… Right now I think I’ve accepted my god given talents. I write well and I’m good at helping people. So my dream job is crazy simple. And as far as I can suss out, the job doesn’t exist. But here it is, here’s a job I think I could do for a very long time and be very happy.
I would love to be a WordPress.org happiness engineer, with a dose of getting people to follow the rules, organizing support, and improving processes/UI based on that support.
I’m terrible at helping people who don’t want to be helped, mind you. The ones who just want it fixed, and don’t tell me why or how I can fix it myself, just fix it. I want to help people who want to learn and pay it forward. That’s why I love the .org forums. Many people just want a fix, but then you get the people who want to know and learn and go forward. Which is why I would be a terrible .com help tech. There’s very little to go forward on .com, and that isn’t a bad thing, but it’s not my passion, plain and simple. That’s why I’m not a Happiness Engineer on .com, though I’m sure if I applied for that job, they’d snap me up.
What I like is the infinite complications of WordPress, the myriad installations, and the bizarre situations people get into. And I love helping them get out of it.
Last year, I didn’t accept that. I thought that I’m smart (which I am) and I can figure anything out if you hand it to me and tell me it needs to be figured out (which I do regularly). Within a month of being on the plugin review team, I now understand a lot more about database security (thanks to Mark, Mark, and Scott), and a little more about Facebook (thank you Otto, but I just don’t like it enough to want to master it). I can spot crap code faster, and while I may approve your no-right-click plugin, you can damn well be sure I’ll check if it works first.
So why shouldn’t I be a coder? It’s just not my passion. There. I said it. I love code and tech, but not coding. Isn’t that a head trip? I don’t see code as a way to invent the future, but how I solve problems. I don’t theme, but I can help fix them. I don’t design.
Except that’s not true either. I do design, but it’s more that I tweak. Like when I proposed we make WordPress widgets look like menus. I see a design that needs improving, or betterment, and I pitch it at a wall. Because what I excel at is figuring stuff out. Solving problems. Making them (I hope) better.
So being a .org Happiness Engineer would be, to me, solving peoples problems, whatever they are, whatever the day or the issue. Helping you find and use plugins, helping you fix themes, and helping you learn. That’s why I wrote a whole ebook about Multisite. I learned all that stuff over the course of 18 months and I wanted to share. I want to help you sort out why the plugins don’t work together, teach you to troubleshoot and think logically, and when necessary, follow the rules to get everything working for more people.
And sadly that kind of job just doesn’t exist unless I want to freelance, and I really hated that.
The job I want doesn’t seem to exist right now, so I’m going to keep coding and learning and improving my skill set. Hopefully, one day, it will.
In light of all that, my followup ebook is ready to go! WordPress Multisite 110. Electric Boogaloo.