This Friday at 3P.M. Eastern on WordPress Weekly, book author Scott Berkun will be our special guest to talk about his experience working at Automattic on WordPress.com in his brand new book, The Year Without Pants. I recently finished the book and it was a great read. I learned a bunch of things that I didn’t know before hand. In fact, here are 10 things I learned from the book.
- Prior to Scott being hired, Automattic was a completely flat company from a hierarchy stand point. They had less than 50 employees when he was hired.
- Do not play against Andy Peatling in any pub games, especially shuffleboard.
- The code name for JetPack was “.org connect”
- Scott was one of the people responsible for getting rid of the ‘NASCAR’ effect of using share buttons from different services
- While Automattic has a ton of P2 sites and wants everyone to know everything going on in the company, certain private back channels of communication proved necessary to acquire valuable feedback
- IntenseDebate was a mess of code and architecture which was one of the reasons why no one wanted to tackle the project for so long
- Scott finally got the opportunity to work on a pet peeve project and the result was instant feedback after publishing a post on WordPress.com
- I believe Scott’s successful experiment as team lead has led to other teams and leaders throughout Automattic. It’s part of the way the company works now.
- Scott and I are on the same page as it relates to the dashboard experience for WordPress.com. It could be vastly improved.
- Many of the features at WordPress.com were built-in isolation, not taking into account how features will display or interact with each other.
This is just a small sampling of great information I picked up from this book. If you have read it or have any questions you’d like me to ask Scott, post them in the comments!