After years of freelancing answering questions from WordPress.com users, I’ve recently joined Automattic as a Happiness Engineer as of May 2021.
Wait, what did you do before now?
Since 2015, I answered questions from customers of many companies via a website called Directly. First I was invited to help Pinterest Business customers get help with their accounts. I don’t know how Pinterest picked to invite me, but it was a fun experience!
Because I helped bloggers connect their websites and Pins, I joined their Experts supporting WordPress.com in 2017. I hadn’t used WordPress.com as much as WordPress.org, so there was a lot I didn’t know! I’d used WordPress.com via Jetpack on my self hosted sites and I knew they owned WooCommerce now like I use on my craft blog, but I didn’t know a lot about Automattic.
Over four years I grew to know a lot more about the company! I took some turns answering LinkedIn and Shopify via Directly in the middle. I also helped other Directly Experts with their accounts, helped moderate their community forums, and sat on an Expert Advisory Board.
In 2019, I was featured on the Directly blog for my work helping WordPress.com users. I got to shoot a video of how I helped people, which was very cool!
Expert Stories: Darcie from Directly on Vimeo.
In February, I got a message that the Automattic team liked my replies and thought I should apply! I had been thinking of it, and I finally decided to give it a try. After applying, a test project, and a three week trial period learning all about the job, I was offered a position! I started on May 31, 2021, and I just finished my first eight weeks of onboarding for my position.
So what do you do now?
Kind of the same thing! But in a different way. I work directly for Automattic. 😉
I still answer questions via email and chat regarding issues people have with their websites. I still get to work pretty much any time I want, and we can work from anywhere.
But I don’t answer WordPress.com questions! I don’t tell people that they contacted the wrong company for help (as much)! I handle questions about WooCommerce instead, which is pretty cool because it’s back to how I was using WordPress for my own site. It’s been interesting to get back into that side of things again after some time away.
WooCommerce is a plugin added to WordPress powered sites to turn your site into a store. I’ve been using it since 2014 (with help remembering via the Internet Archive) after trying other plugins that I hated. It’s free and open source, and super extendable. I’ve used it for physical products when I looked into making bags, and I’ve used it for PDF sewing patterns. Tons of sewing pattern designers I know use it. Store owners can use our support and get help with WooCommerce or extensions to WooCommerce by chat and email.
I still like telling people what to do and getting paid for it. This felt like it was an easy move to support the same company, but as an employee. Contracting is great, but benefits are too! Automattic’s health plan and open vacation policy were definitely a factor. I still work from home, which is perfect.
I chose WordPress for my website long ago because I liked how it promoted Open Source. And while Automattic is a company, they dedicate 5% of company time to WordPress core.
We’re hiring more people! If you like telling people what to do or you love customer service or the internet is your thing, check out this page: https://automattic.com/work-with-us/
No I can’t help you with your website.
Because I’m not a freelancer anymore, I am not able to be hired to help people with their site. I just don’t have time! I get to have weekends now.
If you have a WordPress.org website, please see the forums. If you use WordPress.com to host, please use the contact form on their site.