Probably best just to bash out the sequence of events…
|5 years before Day Zero||Built my first WordPress site for myself – for camera club competitions and photo assessment. Had no idea what I was doing. Spec was ridiculous – way, way too sophisticated for a first site. Looking back now, wow. My code, my approach, everything – just all horrible. Embarrassing. But it worked! And I had fallen in love with WordPress, coding, the lot.|
before Day Zero
|Read “The year without pants” – very struck and inspired by Automattic approach and culture, plus open source generally. (I only know it was 4 years ago because I mentioned it in a blog post at the time.)|
|In the meantime||More amateur web development using WordPress for friends. Plus a realization IT was where I wanted to be. Some studying in different spheres: a couple of computer science Open University modules using Java and Python, some dabbling in machine learning techniques, and the Cisco IT Essentials and CCNA Routing and Switching courses.|
A plan to get into IT developed – take the CCNA exam and use the qualification as a way to get a first job in IT. Made sense given it’s a proper industry-recognized qualification and I didn’t really have anything else in the locker CV-wise to get an IT job.
|Tues 22 Sep||Took and passed the CCNA exam. Yes! OK – time to look at network engineer jobs.|
Sun 27 Sep
|Can’t sleep. Something not sitting well about this whole approach – write the new plan. Auttomatic gets a mention in there as the kind of group I’d really like to get involved with – based on what I’d read 4 years previously.|
|A few hours later|
Sun 27 Sep
|Do an initial look at Automattic site for jobs and so on. Man, I love their approach to, well, just about everything 🙂 . Let’s see what they’ve got on offer. A few developer jobs look really neat, but they all seem to talk about needing to have professional experience – something I don’t have. O well.|
Wait, what’s this? Happiness Engineer – oooh, now that I reckon could do, and sounds fun. Maybe not what I was first thinking of, and maybe not my thing forever, but actually this could be exactly what I need right now. When’s the deadline? Holy @&$%! 9th October – that’s only, uh, 13 days away. Not sure that’s enough time to get all the stuff together I said I’d do in the new plan. But maybe, just maybe…
What I need is another plan – a 2-week plan to see if I can squeeze it all in. And to try to stick to. I know myself, see – without it I’ll disappear down a rabbit-hole of endless fiddling and tweaking, then I’ll surface with only a day to go and a bunch of things not even started…
|Fri 2 Oct|
|Managed to get my old sites out of mothballs and up on the new Sneezing Trees showcase. Plus both my WP plugins are updated. Bit behind schedule though – still another day’s worth of work at least to get the showcase looking and working right.|
Anyway, today is checking out Automattic and building a WordPress.com site. After all, if I’m going to be a Happiness Engineer I need to at least have used the product myself. Hope I’m going to love it…
First things first, a bit more reading about the application process.
Hmm, interesting. Even more enthused now. And particularly encouraged by Jerry’s blog about being hired. Maybe I do have a shot at a developer position. Long one, no doubt, but if I can show how much I love learning and how quickly I pick things up… Anyway, focus on Happiness Engineer for now.
|Right, time to crack on with building a WordPress.com site. So… what to build? Ah, well it’s obvious isn’t it? Blog about this whole application experience of course, like Jerry. In fact, it can be a bit broader than that – I can talk about the experience of building this site too (very meta), and actually it doesn’t have to be about just Automattic. Bit presumptuous to think I’m sure to get hired by them, so the blog could be about the whole shift in career thing. It may go on for months and months as the rejections pile up…|
Anyhow, decision made on topic. Now for a domain. Cool, I like the way WordPress.com makes suggestions for domains based on ideas you chuck at it! And I had no idea there was a .life top-level domain. I like that – can I use it? Well, without getting too misty-eyed about it, I guess this is about trying to craft a new life for myself (and by extension, my family). I don’t suppose – no, of course anew.life is taken. Well, part of all this is the belated realization on my part that I’m only getting one shot at this life and I’d better make the most of it. Hah – available!
Done and done.