No Pain, No Gain

There’s easy learning like spoon-feeding all the information required to you and there’s another way of learning which requires a certain amount of pain so you would remember well.

I learned a lesson recently in a hard way. After I was rejected by Automattic, I reviewed the CV and the assignment I submitted to them and I realized there were so many mistakes I made in both the CV and the assignment!

I blamed myself for not being careful in preparing for it. And then I realized, I was too desperate and too rush in the application process. Even though I did re-check everything (for at least 5 times) before I sent off the work, that is still not enough. What a careless mistake I made and here goes an opportunity.

So I blog this down to remind myself not to make the same mistakes again during my next application and for the rest of my life.

Do not rush to present the outcome of your work

The assignment that I received in the email stated there’s no deadline on submitting it. On the day I received the email, I quickly did some of the steps that I thought are easy and pretty straightforward.

When I went back home after work, I quickly turned on my laptop and continued the rest of the assignment. I submitted the assignment after approximately a total of 5 hours of time spent on it, with 3 hours spent mostly on the part which I took it too lightly.

I have some experience in both and self-hosted WordPress since 2006. However, since I moved over to self-hosted WordPress, it’s been about 10 years I didn’t blog on The assignment I received required me to work on which the platform evolves along the way since 10 years ago.

I have to admit that I’m not really familiar with the new Admin Dashboard interface. But that’s not a big problem since provides extensive documentation on most of the features and topics. The real challenge is that, how do I make use of this information to achieve the goals that require to be completed according to the instructions given?

In the email, below is mentioned:

If anything seems unclear along the way, aim to use your best judgment with regard to what a typical user might be trying to do.

So how do I make judgement and decision if something is not working as expected since I’m not really proficient in

If I spent more time, giving myself more space to think outside the box, not to stress myself to submit within the same day, probably I would spot the errors and corrected them.

So lesson learned. Notes to self:

  • No deadline? No rush.
  • You’ll not be in the best shape to perform well when you’re stressed and tired. So rest and relax.
  • Take notes on the instructions given and write down all the steps required to perform the task.
  • Treat the first work as a draft, need to be revised.
  • Review first work, check for potential errors or list down other possible solutions.
  • Correct potential errors and consider the possible solutions. Are they feasible?
  • Review work again by checking it against the instructions.
  • Perform thorough testing and verification for each of the requirements in the instruction.

And I’m going to include one of the Automattic’s Creed as an extra reminder to myself.

I am in a marathon, not a sprint, and no matter how far away the goal is, the only way to get there is by putting one foot in front of another every day.

Do not assume

As I mentioned above, my experience with WordPress is more on the self-hosted version. So I assumed that should work more or less the same with the self-hosted version. Without further verifying if my assumption is correct or not, I submitted my incorrect answer.

So, do not assume. There’s no harm to check various more places to verify the information that I have is accurate. If possible, perform testing to verify.

Be prepared for any possibility

There’s one part in the assignment which I still couldn’t figure out the solution. That keeps me wondering if that part is meant to be so. Is it supposed to be a test to see how applicants solve the problem using alternative way if the standard approach is not applicable in the current environment?

Honestly speaking, I don’t know the answer. This has been puzzling me for days. So I guess I just have to be prepared for any possibilities since I couldn’t be sure of that.

For now, I’m not going to spend time on reviewing the assignment again. I’ll focus more on the checklist that I worked out for myself in preparing myself for the second application.

I’m struggling but I think it’s worth it.

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