Dear Automattic

I’m very grateful for the opportunity to apply to your family. I believe I can be a great cultural fit, since I have been following you as a company for around 2 years. I also have been using one of your most famous products for about 5 years. I discovered WordPress.org when I wanted to give a big upgrade to my first blog. Since then WordPress.org has always had my admiration: how something free can be that good and easy to use?

One of the most important things that I can offer to you, I think, is loyalty. It is not easily gained, and of course it is even harder for a common company to gain it. However, you are not an ordinary company, you have done a great work showing the world your culture and your creed. I have researched and read a lot about Automattic and the daily life of an Automattician—thumbs up for the A8Cday tag. Therefore I can assure you that if I’m given the chance—to become an Automattician—you will have someone in your team who is long-term committed and willing to always give his best for Automattic.

Moreover I deeply feel that I have skills and traits within my personality that will allow me to work in synergy with the Happiness Team. Once I have said that I would like to share with you a list of assets I believe will be relevant for you:

  • I’m responsible, a good learner and researcher. Also I strive to be a good teacher since I like sharing knowledge.
  • I’m good and fast in trying new things out, specially when it is about technology.
  • I have a lot of empathy. I’m able to understand other’s perspective and feelings. Therefore I’m also good paying attention to details and have a lot of patience.
  • I’m good at writing and communicating. I’m also a good listener—both in English and Spanish 😉
  • Last but not least, I’m good at documenting. Organizing and simplifying comes at ease for me.

Books that I have read

Due to the nature of my career I have always been involved in costumer support one way or another. I’m a Systems Engineer and the most constant part of my job has been helping people with technology issues. However, I gained new clarity and perspective on support when two years ago I read two books: “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie and “Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose” by Tony Hsieh.

How to Win Friends and Influence People

The first book helped me to see relationships with people in a different way. Sadly most of us are used to give priority to our point of view and always be the one who is right. To be honest, the best thing I thank this book for is that I was able to greatly improve the relationship with my mother. Not that it was bad before, but now it is a more peaceful relationship. I totally agree with the author of the book when he says this:

The principles taught in this book will work only when they come from the heart. I am not advocating a bag of tricks. I am talking about a new way of life.

–Dale Carnegie

Delivering Happiness

We never want to become complacent and accept the status quo just because that’s the way things have always been done.

–Tony Hsieh

I know, there is no such thing as status quo, right?

The second book I had the opportunity to read was an interesting and very inspiring book. It changed the way I conceive the concept of a company. I believe it was the trigger that made me seek and research companies like Automattic and Buffer. Since then I have been chasing my passion. This book also changed the way I see relationships with clients, it faded away the robotic and cold perspective for a warm and more personal one.

Those books were read two years ago, and I plan to read them again and make more consistent notes about them in a new personal blog I’m just starting.

The Year Without Pants

I was—and I’m still—crazy to learn more about Automattic. Luckily for me Scott Berkun did a great job relating his experience. Reading this book was like seeing through a dream of what I want to achieve, where I want to work. I loved reading about Scott’s experience at Automattic, his chats with Automatticians, Automattic’s origin, the awesome culture, the good Chaos between experimenting and doing great work, and of course the meetups:

The room was full of waves of laughter and friendly debates. Some were working at laptops and others were drinking and playing, but the mix showed they wanted to be together in the same place regardless of what they were doing.

–Scott Berkun

I must say I developed a sense of belonging just by picturing Automattic in my mind.

Exceptional Service, Exceptional Profit

I’m one of those people who never feel it is good enough. If I want to work for Automattic I must learn as much as I can. So I started reading a book by Leaonardo Inghilleri that somehow ended up in an endless list of books to read. Up until now it has been a good set of advices when giving support and when having to deal with difficult situations:

The key to an effective apology, to getting back on the right foot with your customer, is to convey at the outset that you are going to take his side and share his viewpoint.

–Leaonardo Inghilleri

A customer support experience

There is one customer support experience I will never forget. As I opened my mail with the notification of a user’s answer I was filled with a unique sense of joy. It was in the WordPress.org Spanish support forums. There was a couple looking for help on how to customize their brand new blog. I gave them some help by installing the theme in a test site—I actually had fun doing it. The couple was able to made the changes they wanted, and after that they wrote a note saying a sincere “thanks.” It was wonderful:

… We want to thank you for your involvement and closeness when solving our doubts. In this world in which everything gets done through forums or email and not by phone we appreciate that a person like you gets involved in our doubts and answer promptly, running tests and communicating with a close and understandable language for people like us that are experimenting in creating a website…
—David & Vanesa from www.serpareja.es

Sadly,—I was very terrified when I realized about this—around two months later they wrote back with another question. I missed the post notification! I apologized and now I’m looking forward to help them again.

Support communities I have contributed to

I started helping in the WordPress.org support forums following a suggestion that I read about applying to “Happiness Engineer.” It has truly been a wonderful experience. However, I have paused my activity there in order to complete an English Composition course that I found important to improve my writing skills for my dream job.

Back in high school I used to contribute to a Spanish DotA (an online video game) community known as E4zone. I loved researching content in English, understanding it and creating Spanish content based on my findings.

Accomplishments in my life that I’m proud of

There are two accomplishments I’m proud of, they are related to my professional and personal life.

The first one was starting my own business. This accomplishment is not about success, but gaining experience. After reading the book “Delivering Happiness” I wanted to be part of something bigger than me. Something that would have the culture I valued so much in the book. I consider myself good at building WordPress.org websites. So I started a websites business with a very close friend, we named it: Katana. It was all about creating websites that would empower our client’s business with all the quality we thought everyone deserved. Long story short, I failed. We delivered great websites but the business model wasn’t right and the circumstances back there in my life demanded a fixed income. However, I learned a lot about working by myself for something I was passionate about, my friend supported me half-time with great insight and a his knowledge in numbers (he is an economist). Having to be responsible and to stay motivated working from home and from a co-working space, experimenting and being open to everything. Learning to “fail forward” which means learning from mistakes and taking the next leap. All of those experiences were enriching and at the same time tiring, I discovered meditation and found means to strength and perseverance within it. I learned that creating a business is not so easy as I dreamed, and that creating a culture is even harder. Now, of course I value those things a lot.

The second accomplishment is about materializing a remote relationship. I met my girlfriend over Twitter, she is from Venezuela and I’m from Ecuador. We started as friends and eventually decided to start a transparent and fully communicated relationship as a couple. Communication is definitely oxygen, not only to a distributed company but to any relationship. We went against all preconceptions about long-distance relationships. And after three years, between chats, calls and travels we are finally living together. It has been the best relationship I have had, and I believe its strong foundation was thanks to great communication.

Conclusion

I believe that the path I have walked up until now leads me to Automattic:

  • My professional and personal life.
  • My early hobby as a blogger.
  • My affection for building WordPress websites.
  • My love for technology and design.

I have growth and gained experience both in professional and personal aspects. Now I feel ready to grow and share surrounded by exceptional and talented people. I’m willing to give my best to contribute to Automattic’s goal: to democratize publishing. To make the Internet a better place through awesome services and unique support experiences.

Additionally, given my position on the globe, I would love to work from 7AM to 3PM PST from Monday to Friday. Of course, with high willingness to be a weekend warrior whenever is needed.

I read for the first time about the Happiness Engineer position in Automattic’s website.

You can find my résumé here.

Sincerely yours,

Jorge Calle