Still One of the Happiest Professionals on Earth

W00t on being part of the best band o' brothers (and sisters) workforce around.

It has now been over a year since I joined Automattic and I am still as ecstatic about my job as I was on day one!

As a Systems Wrangler, I was venturing into unknown waters, taking on a huge challenge: coming in to a systems administration position. Systems was the missing link in my web career, being the only web-related role I had not worked full time before, despite having had to handle some of the responsibilities the task entails as a developer before.

Since 1994-95, I’ve held the positions of application architect, software developer, interface and user experience designer, database administrator, project and team leader. I’ve dealt with client relationship management and even was co-founder of a consulting firm. I believe that an inherent component of my ultimate personal career vision, which is to be the best team and project lead possible, is that one should be able to actually do everything his/her team members face in their own subject of focus. I am not going to get into the reasoning behind this philosophy, its details being likely as obvious to you as they are to me.

The other challenge implied with the systems administration responsibilities was the scale of it all. and our other properties are after all some of the largest sites on the Web, sporting over a thousand individual servers spread across multiple datacenters, powering millions of blogs, and being home to millions of individual users.

My year in systems had to be THE most challenging I have ever faced in the past. It was also easily one of the best. Combining the people I have the incredible luck to be working with with the constant stimulation it provides was nothing short of – pardon the analogy but… – intellectually orgasmic.

However, hardware, network and systems is not where my heart lies. I found myself missing the creative aspects of development too much. Unarguably, infrastructure design and low-level troubleshooting can require just as much creative thinking as many other web-related tasks, but they did not spur mine as much as development does. One has to be true to his/her own strength and affinities. :)

With this in mind, I have now switched to a development role, thanks to Matt and Toni‘s (as well as the entire company’s) firm belief in a happy, inspired and motivated employee invariably translating into a peak-performance one.

I have now joined the ranks of the NUX team, along with Joy, Nikolay, Michael and Terry, as a Code Wrangler. NUX standing for new user experience (or as Matt once put it, the opposite of SUX).

User experience, as defined on Wikipedia:

User eXperience (UX) is about how a person feels about using a system. User experience highlights the experiential, affective, meaningful and valuable aspects of human-computer interaction (HCI) and product ownership, but it also covers a person’s perceptions of the practical aspects such as utility, ease of use and efficiency of the system. User experience is subjective in nature, because it is about an individual’s performance, feelings and thoughts about the system. User experience is dynamic, because it changes over time as the circumstances change.

Our team’s primary focus therefore revolves around making sure that our users have the best experience conceivable when using our products, but as every one of our teams, we have a hand in every aspects of the Automattic empire.

Variety is the spice of life and I like it hot. I cannot fathom being any happier!

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