Goodbye Soma, Hello Automattic

I’m excit­ed (and maybe a touch sad) to announce that I’m shut­ter­ing Soma Design to join the great, grow­ing team at Automat­tic to help build the best pub­lish­ing plat­form on the plan­et. As a Theme Engi­neer, I’ll be work­ing with the brand-new Cus­tom Design team to pro­vide some awe­some tools for cus­tomiz­ing your theme into that state of “just right.”

It’s no under­state­ment to say that I became a web devel­op­er because of Word­Press. I start­ed blog­ging with Blog­ger in 2005, only to become frus­trat­ed and move myself over to self-host­ed Word­Press. I used the old K21 theme as the basis of my own theme, and tweaked it obses­sive­ly. WP pro­vid­ed just the right amount of ease and pow­er for where I was at, and revealed all the more pow­er the fur­ther I dug. Tweak­ing your WP tem­plate is a web devel­op­ment gate­way drug.

The rest is a blur. I grad­u­at­ed from SSU with a BA (Hon­ours) in the Human­i­ties in 2008, hav­ing tin­kered along the way with my ever-intrigu­ing WP blog. I even did my first paid work on my school’s web­site, attempt­ing to wran­gle some dis­as­trous table-based Dreamweaver tem­plates into some sem­blance of tol­er­a­ble. By the time I grad­u­at­ed with my glo­ri­ous­ly use­less degree2, I real­ized that I could make bet­ter web sites than the major­i­ty of what I saw out there. So I took the plunge into free­lanc­ing with zero expe­ri­ence, con­nec­tions, or prospec­tive clients. And, many bumps in the road and umpteen trips to the codex lat­er, it actu­al­ly worked out.

I’d espe­cial­ly like to thank my friend and col­lab­o­ra­tors Mod­ern Tribe and David Pen­sato, with whom I’ve had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to do a lot of fun and mean­ing­ful work over the last few years. I’d also like to thank the Win­nipeg-based Automat­ti­cians Ian Stew­art and Krista Stevens for slow­ly con­vinc­ing me that I should apply. And of course, a huge thank you to the count­less peo­ple who have con­tributed of their time, skills, and pas­sion to the Word­Press project.

I’m look­ing for­ward to this next chap­ter. I get to iter­ate and improve rather than build and hand off, and work with super smart peo­ple every day. And my work will be seen my mil­lions of peo­ple. Fun. I start on Monday.

  1. Old­skool. 
  2. Empha­sis on the glo­ri­ous part, since use­ful­ness is over­rat­ed and usu­al­ly far too nar­row­ly con­sid­ered. The best way I’ve been able to describe the Lib­er­al Arts is that “it’s use­ful for every­thing, but noth­ing in par­tic­u­lar.” 


  1. Posted April 25, 2012 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Con­grats and welcome! 🙂

  2. Posted April 25, 2012 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    Very cool to have you on board at Automattic.

  3. Posted April 25, 2012 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Wel­come aboard, Matt! I’m super-glad Krista and I were able to con­vince you to apply. I can’t wait to see the crazy things you get to come up with while Theme Engineering.

  4. Posted April 25, 2012 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Con­gratu-freakin-lations, Matt! This is so excit­ing. Can’t wait to see what you’ll do in your new posi­tion. We must toast this on Thursday. 🙂

  5. Posted April 25, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    We miss you already! But we’re crazy excit­ed for you all the same. Keep us post­ed my friend 😉

  6. Posted April 25, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    Wel­come aboard, Matt, or should I be call­ing you Nathan now? 🙂

  7. Posted April 25, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Con­grat­u­la­tions, Matt and wel­come aboard!

  8. Matt
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the wel­come Automat­ti­cians and the con­grats from everyone. 🙂

    Krista; I’d con­sid­er it if 1) it weren’t almost as com­mon as “Matt” any­way and 2) there was even a chance I’d remem­ber to respond to it. Prob­a­bly just go down to the con­ve­nient­ly mono­syl­lab­ic surname. 🙂

  9. Posted April 26, 2012 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    Yes! More Canadians!

  10. Posted May 5, 2012 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    Now Automat­tic gets more great manpower :).

    Con­grats Matt.

  11. Matt
    Posted May 7, 2012 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Thanks Cahya!

  12. Posted August 16, 2012 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    That’s so great to hear! Congratulations!

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  1. By Matt Wiebe Joins Automattic | Faraway, So Close on April 25, 2012 at 11:18 am