Four Years as a Happiness Engineer

Thank you, Automattic, for helping me improve and mature. Four years and counting, and loving it!

I like shifting my work schedule. I started with Tuesday–Saturday, switched to Monday–Friday during my Happiness Hiring rotation, and I’m currently on Sunday–Thursday. Dig it for helping reduce average response times. I’m happy to take advantage of the flexible schedule.

Happiness Hiring invited me for a rotation from mid July to early October 2015. I helped improve their process a bit by adding checklists and updating their internal documentation. Best of all, three of the trials are now my colleagues, and the fourth will start soon. So rad! ⭐

For the Grand Meetup, many Automattic musicians organized, rehearsed, and performed a set of several songs during the party on the last night. It was epic. I played bass guitar for the first time in years for a song during the party on the last night.1

Late last year, Matt suggested we get a USB headset with noise-canceling microphone2 if we participate in video or audio chats. It was great timing because I was able to record some solid training screencasts with fantastic audio quality.

Notable

  • 15 “weekly” reviews.
  • Coworked five times with other SoCal Automatticians.
  • Four training sessions for other Happiness Engineers (one trial, three full timers).
  • Published 88 posts in 2015.
  • Comfort processing DMCA notices and trademark complaints have improved.

Travel & Events

  • May 2015: Justitia team meetup in Barcelona, Spain
  • October 2015: Grand Meetup in Park City, Utah (second consecutive year)
  • January 2016: NAMM 2016 in Anaheim, CA — two days in the WordPress booth by WordPress.com

Boo this man

  • I was 56 short of my goal of 144 posts in 2015. Don’t worry, 366 in 2016!
  • I didn’t publish any posts for the WordPress.com Transparency Report.
  • I was short by 37 weekly reviews.

Previously: Two Years as a Happiness Engineer, Three Years as a Happiness Engineer


  1. “The Distance” by Cake. No video at the moment. 
  2. I went with the previous Wirecutter pick (before it was updated), the Microsoft’s LifeChat LX-6000. (Amazon.com affiliate link.) 

Three Years as a Happiness Engineer

Today, I chalk up another great year with Automattic. I’m still stoked to be here!

Summary

Attempts to resuscitate my first Thunderbolt Display failed, so I got another one. I stepped down as squad lead of Terms of Service to offer the opportunity to someone else. In mid July, I took off for a week due to burn out. (It was overdue.) Core Happiness was split into dedicated teams. The ToS squad “morphed” into team Justitia, and our response times are lower because we’ve grown by a few more Happiness Engineers. Our team also started experimenting with project weeks, where I was proud to be the first guinea pig. (It coincided with the series of posts, “A Day in the Life of a Happiness Engineer”.) We’re on our second round, and the idea is catching onto other Happiness teams. I’m into GTD more than before, and I’m still using Things.

Least importantly, I went as long as two months without a haircut. 🙂

Travel & Events

  • San Francisco, CA — Terms of Service & Legal Meetup
  • Budapest, Hungary — Write The Docs (conference)1, Happiness Engineer On–boarding Meetup
  • Playa del Carmen, Mexico — Workflow Learnup
  • Playa del Carmen, Mexico — Terms of Service Docs Meetup
  • WordCamp Los Angeles
  • Park City, UT — Grand Meetup
  • San Francisco, CA — UserConf
  • Puerto Rico — Justitia Team Meetup

Looking Forward

I’m interested to see how shifting my work schedule will further reduce response times over the weekend, and how it’ll affect the quality of my free time with Amy. Starting on the 24th, instead of Monday thru Friday, I’ll work from Tuesday thru Saturday. The quieter Slack channels on the weekend should allow me to fully focus on smashing our queues. 🙂

I also wrote my goals for 2015 a few weeks ago, which include the following:

  • Increase my comfort with DMCA and trademark notices. For example, I mentioned a fair use analysis the other day. Nailed it. ⭐
  • Rotate with Team Cerberus for a couple of weeks to focus on WordPress.com–related questions. (Yay for regular tickets!) It’ll happen in March.
  • Publish 144 posts on my blog in 2015, or average 12 posts per month.2 I’m on track so far. ⭐
  • Publish three posts for WordPress.com Transparency Report News.
  • Stick with iterating with Happiness Engineer on–boarding duties, which we call “D’OH” (Developing Our Happiness).

On that note, enjoy this clip of Kevin Nealon’s character in the movie, Happy Gilmore. This might be a stretch, but if you listen to his wacky message, it seems relevant to Happiness Engineers. 😉

Previously: Two Years as a Happiness Engineer


  1. I published several posts of notes from Write the Docs EU, which you can find at the handy tag “Write the Docs EU”. 
  2. For reference, I published 80 posts in 2014

Two Years as a Happiness Engineer

Two years ago, four months, and fourteen days ago, I sent an email to apply for the Happiness Engineer position. Two years, three months, and seventeen days ago, I began my trial period with Automattic.

Two years ago, I joined Automattic and changed my life forever.

I’d like to share my last twelve months1 as a Happiness Engineer.

Side note: Our About Us page says I’m a Happiness Magician. It’s true! We can pick our own title.

Continue the journey through Bryan’s mind

One year of marriage

Amy and I have been married for one year, two months, and 26 days. It’s been amazing to share our lives together, and we’ve learned so much about ourselves.

Our big goal is to get out of debt. We continue to have fun budgeting once a week — it’s really fun! At the current rate we’re putting towards debt, we’ll be debt–free in just under nine months from now. Incredible! It’ll be excellent to reach Baby Step 3 with the Total Money Makeover.

I’m looking forward to many more years with my sweetheart!

All Narfed Up marks two years

As of yesterday, I’ve been blogging here for two years. Incredible. Here’s a list of random things to wrap up my second year:

  • If you wrote a quality post that you think a lot of people will like, find a site that posts similar topics and email them!
  • According to Bloglines, I have 7 subscribers. I should really switch to FeedBurner to keep track of this, huh?
  • I’m subscribed to about 110 feeds. Out of those, four are comics, three are deals sites, two are for music album releases, 23 are productivity-type blogs. The rest are personal or tech blogs.
  • In terms of content, my blog has been all over the place for a long time. Fortunately, I think I’ve narrowed it down to tech and GTD pretty well.
  • I miss the forums. I’ve lost contact with the majority of people that used to participate there.
  • I’m trying not to reblog. I figure lots of people subscribe to most of the popular sites out there already.
  • It’s funny when I look through the busy months and I’ve barely posted anything. What isn’t funny is knowing that there’s a lot of people who still don’t use news readers and might’ve deleted my bookmark because of inactivity. Crud.
  • Along those lines, I wish news readers/aggregators became more mainstream. I’ll follow my own advice and see if emailing Kurt the Cyberguy will persuade him to do a report on the importance and effectiveness of news readers.
  • The more I’m away from the computer, the more I can notice things to write about.

Now, for some posts (which I deemed interesting) from this last year in blogging:

You’re one of the main reasons why I keep blogging…that, and I hope I become famous. 🙂 Thanks for sticking around, and I hope I help you even more in the years to come!