Automattic Grand Meetup, Park City, UT

Theme Wranglers squad

Theme Wranglers squad with their dorky lead

Something magical happens when this company gets together. It reminds me of summer camp; you come away from it having changed, but it’s difficult to describe the experience to others. Suffice it to say, I work with some wonderfully smart, talented, and fun people.

Most of all, I love that I can be myself at Automattic. I’ve thrived over the last three years, thanks to an environment in which I feel safe to take risks and tackle challenges, knowing I’m supported by my team and my lead.

I was sad to leave, but I do so with many new ideas and forged connections. It felt like a week with friends, particularly the time spent with my team. My brain is full, my body is exhausted, but part of me has been rejuvenated. I’m ready to see what the next year has in store.

Gallery

Hello, Miami

I just got back from six days in Miami for a work meetup with our squad. This is the first squad event I’ve planned, so I was a bit nervous — mostly about the location, and driving in the city. Thankfully both things worked out (as they usually do).

The hotel wasn’t anything special, but it was affordable, clean, the internet worked, and there were a few restaurants and a Starbucks within walking distance.

We drove through the city and out to the South Beach area a couple times, and I was a surprisingly calm and competent driver (this coming from the woman who learned to drive on teeny back roads, and a highway where you’re more likely to hit a moose than another car…) We would have been totally lost without Michelle, my trusty navigator.

The food was especially great; a big win, since we had an array of unique dietary requirements in our six-person group. Lots of Cuban and Latin influences, and a couple Japanese restaurants stood out (I have a newfound appreciation for sushi/maki after this trip). It was usually possible to find something for everyone, and a couple of the dinners were particularly amazing. We also did a food tour activity on the last day, and that was a hit.

And there was the beach! We spent a couple hours just hanging out in the sun. It’s been such a long winter, the ocean breeze and sub-tropical scenery were a welcome change.

I completely forgot to take photos of everyone working; suffice it to say we did work, and you’ll see the results in the next couple weeks. All in all, it was a successful, engaging, and fun week.

With that in mind, I’m glad I don’t have to plan another one for at least a year. 🙂