What I did today — 20:29

Maybe people wonder what sorts of things I do on a daily basis over at Automattic. But maybe not. At any rate, today I unleashed LaTeX on WordPress.com



Filed under: automattic,neat!,news @ 17:55

As of September 1st, I have taken a leave of absence from Caltech. Actually, they technically call it a sabbatical; I’m totally on sabbatical.

As of September 4th, I am an Automattic “Engineer” (though I sometimes call myself “Consul General of Los Angeles” when I think no one can hear me).

I know what you’re all thinking (“Wait, he’s working at home now? Where will MDA go when he’s slacking off…?”). Allow me to respond to your aggregate thoughts by means of a friendly question and answer section.

What’s Automattic and why can’t it spell?
It’s a company devoted to making things simple on the web. Everyone communicates in some form or another; we want to give people the tools to make that communication easy. We can’t spell because we all grew up with spellcheck making our communication easy.
Hang on, didn’t you start life out as an Engineer?
Yes: Chemical Engineer -> Chemist -> Physicist -> Complexity Theorist -> Engineer (if I may play fast and loose with the labels). I find the whole cyclic nature of that chain a bit disturbing.
What about Caltech? Grad school not your thing?
Grad school is awesome. Yes, things have been a little slow lately, but I still think it’s all very interesting. Maybe this is even better, though. Besides, now I can say I was part of the web when it was still 2.0. (Plus, I wasn’t slated to graduate until 2017, anyway.)
So if you’re not working on amplifying QMA(k) anymore, what will you be doing?
A list parties. Casual disregard for social mores. First class flights from LAX to ONT. You know, typical engineering stuff.
A list parties?
OK, so I’ll be working on bbPress and other Automattic projects. But I will be cultivating a casual disregard for the term “Web 2.0”, if that helps.
Sounds like you’re excited. You do realize this all sounds very 1990’s.
You bet I’m excited. Good People. Good Products. It’s going to be a great year. And, hey, no 90’s bashing. Those were the formative days of my youth!

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