Last week I went to the all company meetup (we call it the Grand Meetup). While there, I learned some PHP, including what my weaknesses in learning PHP are (very important).
More importantly, I got to know more people across the company. Since we are a distributed company, it’s difficult for us all to get together. We go to smaller meetups, and we go to conferences together, or those of us who live close will co-work. But for the most part, we don’t see each other. After this past meetup, I have met 81% of the company, which I am extremely grateful for.
Our distributed workforce means we can work anywhere in the world, at any time. We don’t need to pick from a limited pool of humans in one area – the world is our oyster. Distributed is the way to go. Part of being truly distributed means that we do need to make an effort to get together and make that week count (we get together as a company for a full week). Making the connection between name/Gravatar, face, and personality with 275 people can be challenging, but once you have an in-depth conversation with someone, you can ping them in Slack for a one-off question so much more easily, all while “hearing” their voice as they type.
Here are some of the things I talked about this week:
- Scottish independence
- The war in Israel
- Taylor Swift
- My children (x1000)
- Other people’s children
- Being new at Automattic
- Being at Automattic for several years
- Post-hire slump
- Swing dancing
- Passion (as in, things each party is passionate about)
- Film (I was mostly a learner for this discussion)
- The power of Automatticians teaching Automatticians
- Living in England
- How to switch an android phone to Dvorak (mind blown)
- Waffles (lack thereof)
- Non-digital things (woodworking, making things)
- Fake morning talkshows
- Mario Kart
There’s a lot more. And many nuances of each. Most of these conversations just wouldn’t have happened if we weren’t all in the same place at the same time. These shared conversations, shared experiences, make our day-to-day work lives more efficient. No more will I worry “oh can I bother so-and-so or should I post this for an asynchronous answer” because I have now met so-and-so and I know they will be happy to help me right then (or tell me what’s best). Times 222 people. Now to aim for the second star to the right, and straight on til next year.