A Walk in Whinlatter Forest

This weekend my family and I took a walk in Whinlatter Forest, following the Gruffalo’s Child trail. I’m not much of a photographer – I rarely have a camera with me other than my phone – but it’s something I would like to get better at. With a small amount of forethought I remembered to charge batteries for my friend’s Canon EOS 300D (actually, it’s a DS6041) – which he loaned to me in 2007…! – with the intention of getting some half decent shots.

Obviously there were lots of great pictures of the family, but I was quite pleased with how these ones turned out too.

I will never stop learning

Today – after seven-and-a-half years at Canonical – I have started work for Automattic.

What brought me here wasn’t the products – which are awesome – but the company itself.

The more I learned about my new colleagues and how they worked, the more I knew I wanted to – no, had to – work here.

The Automattic creed sums it up far better than I can:

I will never stop learning. I won’t just work on things that are assigned to me. I know there’s no such thing as a status quo. I will build our business sustainably through passionate and loyal customers. I will never pass up an opportunity to help out a colleague, and I’ll remember the days before I knew everything. I am more motivated by impact than money, and I know that Open Source is one of the most powerful ideas of our generation. I will communicate as much as possible, because it’s the oxygen of a distributed company. 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. Given time, there is no problem that’s insurmountable.

Our founder, Matt Mullenweg, introduced the creed in 2011.

Much is written on the hiring process, how we work, and the benefits of a distributed workforce. There’s even a book! I’ll be adding my voice to those over the coming months and years, but from everything I’ve seen so far, and everyone I’ve spoken to, those articles have only scratched the surface.

So if this sounds like the sort of place you’d like to work, come join us.

On inadequacy and space ships

Like most people involved software – and I believe it extends to most creative professions – I occasionally succumb to impostor syndrome:

Despite external evidence of their competence, those with the syndrome remain convinced that they are frauds and do not deserve the success they have achieved.

On viewing this video I am now painfully aware that not only am I an imposter, I am a terrible, terrible father for not creating one of these for my children.

Wow. Just wow!

Read more about the project here and here.

Using a Chromebook offline

There’s a recurring “meme” about Chromebooks being the equivalent of a paperweight without a network connection.

Since I just spent a two-hour train journey working on a large presentation in Google drive without a connection in sight, I’ll have to respectfully disagree with those naysayers.

Oh, and I still have six hours left on the battery!