Photocrati, the company behind NextGen Gallery has hired on a lead happiness engineer. Edward Caissie who is better known throughout the WordPress community as JellyBeen was the person hired into the position. The hiring couldn’t have come at a better time considering how many people have NOT been happy with the latest version of the plugin which lead to the company publishing an open letter to the community. I reached out to Edward to find out why he applied for the job and what his responsibilities will be.
Why did I decide to take on a job with Photocrati?
Well, to be honest, I had been looking for a position with a WordPress-related company for some time and kept my eyes open for promising opportunities. The position as the Lead Happiness Engineer – NextGEN Gallery pretty much was made for me. I have over 20 years of Customer Service, 10+ years in web development, and I’ve spent the last five years or so honing my WordPress skills to a point where I was able to not only write themes and plugins but also help others to do the same. The job description just seem to hit all the points I was looking for as well.
I get to work online, which basically means I get to work from home, or the cottage, or a coffee shop … anywhere there is decent Internet. There is also opportunity to grow with Photocrati.
In the midst of all the hoopla surrounding the latest release of NextGen Gallery, what will you be doing to calm down all of the upset people who have broken sites due to the update?
The thing is, we started talking back in February; long before any of the recent issues with NextGEN 2.0.x came to light. So I am on board with Photocrati to primarily help with Support. Mostly for paying customers but also for support (to a certain extent) of the free version of the NextGEN Gallery plugin as well. The opportunity to work with the developers is always there and as Photocrati grows more opportunities may become available as well.
Most of my primary goals and fairly much most of my first days/weeks will be supporting customers and helping to get NextGEN to a much more stable release. I’ll be doing whatever I can to help out the customers, but to be quite honest NextGEN Gallery is a very large and quite complex plugin and when I am not helping customers I am delving into the code to learn its workings as well as offer any assistance and/or enhancements/improvements I find.
Is the position equal to that of the Automattic happiness engineer where your primary goal is to make customers happy?
Essentially, the “Happiness Engineer” part of the title is derived from Automattic’s ideals but being a much smaller organization the role definition is probably a bit more encompassing than what Automattic’s might be.
Edward has been a long-standing member of not only the WordPress community but of the WPTavern community as well. I congratulate him on getting a job he is happy with. If the lead happiness engineer is not happy, how would he be able to spread happiness to customers?