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 WordPress.com 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.
Congrats and welcome! 🙂
Very cool to have you on board at Automattic.
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.
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. 🙂
We miss you already! But we’re crazy excited for you all the same. Keep us posted my friend 😉
Welcome aboard, Matt, or should I be calling you Nathan now? 🙂
Congratulations, Matt and welcome aboard!
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. 🙂
Yes! More Canadians!
Now Automattic gets more great manpower :).
That’s so great to hear! Congratulations!