Happiness Engineer,  Personal

A Leap of Faith

Today, I made a leap of faith by hitting the submit button on the Job Application for Happiness Engineer form at Automattic.

It started a few months ago when I was doing the random Google search on the keywords like “freelance jobs in Malaysia”. After a few clicks here and there, the Work with Us page of Automattic landed on my browser. The name of the company looks very familiar to me. So I Googled again on it and realized it is the company behind WordPress!

apply
This little blue box will appear if you visited the Happiness Engineer page a few times.

I immediately checked out the details on the page and the first sentence already caught my attention.

Everyone works from the location they choose.

That means employees can choose where to work! Furthermore, there is no longer 9 – 6 strict working hours, you can decide when you want to work. I used to work at home for more than 2 years for my online book selling business and I missed that flexibility a lot.

Next thing that caught my attention was this job title: Happiness Engineer. That’s a job title that I’ve never seen before and the job description looks interesting and matches my current job scope, i.e. customer support. The Happiness Engineer page describes the typical day of a HE as well as general skills that required to do the job. All of the descriptions look interesting but I was holding back to hit that “Apply for this job” button.

One of the reasons is because it’s been almost 3 years I didn’t touch anything on the Web and most importantly, WordPress. I used to blog on WordPress.com and later on self-hosted WordPress when I was still studying at college. When I started my online bookstore, self-hosted WordPress and WooCommerce is my first choice to host my book review blog and the storefront. With my relocation and change of career in 2015, I’ve decided to let go of the domain (and I forgot to backup before I cancel the account!).

Another reason is that I don’t have the confidence in myself in applying for a job at such a renowned company. I read a few blog posts on the authors’ journey to become a HE or end up not getting the offer. Even though I excel in the support team that I’m working in, I still think that something is missing.

So, I started to setup WordPress on my local environment, login into my dusted WordPress.com account, checked out the WordPress.org forum and even volunteered to help out in the WordPress Training Team to copy-edit a lesson plan. From there, I’m trying to familiarize myself with the WordPress community.

On the first day of navigating on WordPress.org forum, I checked out a few support tickets that have no reply yet. On the first attempt, I chose to answer two of them. One of it should have been a standard reply like “Issues with commercial plugins are not supported in this forum. Please contact the plugin author to get support.” but I was too kind to help out by trying to understand the issue and proposed some solutions to try out. Lesson learned.

The second one is the most memorable and it’s a confidence boost for me. The issue faced by the user has not much information that can be obtained by searching on the Internet. So I did my own study, trying to figure out what is the root cause of the issue and even asked in the IRC #wordpress channel for help. I made use of my local WordPress setup trying to simulate the error that faced by the user and took further steps to troubleshoot it. After 2 days of trial-and-error with the user, the issue was finally resolved. 2 days might be considered long to close a ticket but the feedback from the user is what brought me nearer to apply for the job.

Most probably the best and most helpful experience I have received on the wordpress.org forums, 10/10! Once again, thank you for your help!

Lastly is an ex-HE I found on LinkedIn who is a Malaysian (and he’s the first Malaysian that joined Automattic!) Most importantly, he’s super kind to answer all my questions on applying for the job, the interview process, the trial period, the overall benefits, etc. After getting almost all of the information I needed, I decided to give it a shot.

So I drafted my CV, got it checked for grammar mistakes, reviewed it again, updated my resume, trying my best to answer the questions listed on the application form, and finally hit that button.

I don’t know if I’m able to even get the chance for the first interview but at least I tried. Even if I don’t hear from them, I’ll definitely try again after a few months. So wish me luck! Hopefully, my next post will be a good news.

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