Hi. I’m Austin McConnell
A few months ago, I discovered a new passion while thinking up business ideas for an entrepreneurship contest. That passion? Developing websites with WordPress.
I love how WordPress levels the playing field of personal blogs and websites. By removing the technical development aspect, WordPress allows the general masses to get online and start making a difference.
I began developing WordPress websites and discovered new capabilities each week. I looked for ways that I could add value and help others learn WordPress.
When I found out Automattic is hiring people to do what I’ve grown to love, I knew I had to apply. Here’s why I think I’d be a great fit at Automattic.
8 Reason’s I Would Make A Great Happiness Engineer
1. I Can’t Stop Reading About WordPress
I love the way WordPress makes it so easy to create a website and share my thoughts with the world. An engineer by nature, I’ve always been curious how to use a tool more effectively. I enjoy the technical side of things. How does it work? What do I wish it could do? Can I get it to do X?
To that end, I try to read at least two articles each day regarding the workings of WordPress. I’m devouring knowledge at a rapid pace and learning more each day.
2. I’m Active On The WordPress.org Forums
Although I haven’t been around for a long time, I’m doing my best to help others when I am able. The online community has been so helpful to me in learning the finer points of WordPress that I want to give back what I can.
If curious, you can find my WordPress.org profile here.
3. I Teach Matlab to Adults
Matlab is a high-level programming language useful for numerical computations, data processing, data visualization, and much more. It is widely used in the engineering industry to perform data analysis and signal processing for vast amounts of data.
At my current job, I’m often teaching adults between ages 40 and 65 how to program in Matlab to make their jobs easier. Some of them haven’t programmed since Fortran and many have never programmed before.
A considerable amount of patience is required to explain the programming concepts and Matlab syntax to new programmers. I’ve developed quite a knack for taking tough technical concepts and explaining them in a way that is understandable to anyone.
I’m proud to say I’ve had great success in teaching these adults to use a complicated technical tool to exponentially speed up their data analysis. One of my star students is a 63 year old man who has now written around 1000 lines of code to analyze thermal temperatures across various data sources, compare them to expected averages given multiple criteria, create plots with well formatted results, and save his results in various output files!
4. I Have Experience Releasing Software And Fixing Bugs
I designed, developed, and released a distributable program using Matlab that:
- catalogs thousands of files across multiple remote servers
- graphically shows user the catalog results and allows multiple selections based on advanced filters in a GUI
- parses binary flight data in hundreds of various formats and provides ordered output to users
Before I created this program, my company was using a third-party developed solution that took roughly one hour to generate results for one flight. Using my program, the same flight could be fully parsed in under 2 minutes.
Over the past two years, I have:
- Engaged users to gauge satisfaction and ask for feature requests
- Identified, tracked, and fixed hundreds of bugs
- Released 12 versions each with more functionality
This experience would allow me to quickly integrate with existing teams and make meaningful contributions.
5. I Believe In Open Source
Open source is the best way to develop well-written software. I predict the most influential companies of the next 30 years will be build around open source software. Automattic is a great example of success in this arena that others can follow.
Not only is the final code more secure, it usually enjoys a much shorter development time and has more features. Having hundreds of people write code for a project is vastly superior to the privacy model that so many of today’s software companies subscribe to.
I admire Automattic for its commitment to open source content.
6. I Want To Make A Difference
A job should be so much more than a paycheck. I want to do work that matters. Work that means something to myself and to the world.
As more and more people wake up to the idea of micro-entrepreneurship through small websites and blogs, WordPress will be the guiding star on their journey. I want to contribute to the rise of empowered small business. I want to teach people to “pick themselves”, help them “ship their product”, and guide them toward a life of passion.
I want to wake up every day excited to go to work. I want to help others on their journey to do the same.
Automattic and WordPress will continue to have a huge impact on the world and I’d love to be part of such a great mission.
7. I Respect Automattic’s Community
Culture beats strategy every time.
It doesn’t matter how much you plan, which tools you use, the genius of your strategic vision, or the implementation of your tactics if you don’t have the right people working for you. Yes, strategy is important, but the right people are vital.
I’ve read a plethora of posts describing Automattic’s amazing community. I deeply respect any office culture that values individual employees so much.
Thank your for standing up and going against the prevailing culture to create a community so alive, respectful, helpful, and vibrant. Automattic is great model of what a company can be. I hope others begin to follow suit.
8. I’m From Texas and I Love Barbeque
Nothing quite beats the taste of well-cooked barbeque, especially with a great barbeque sauce.
The best barbeque I’ve ever had was from Snow’s Barbeque in Lexington, Texas. It’s open one day a week (Saturday) from 8am until they sell out of all meat (usually around 11 or 12)
People drive from hours away to get this amazing BBQ and I can’t blame them. I still vividly remember my first experience with this heavenly meat.
If only I was one of the lucky few who could manage to get this every Saturday. Unfortunately, I’ll have to settle for every once in a while. It’s totally worth it. 🙂