What I like about my Work

4 minute read

My last post was kinda a complaint about how tasks have sometimes been assigned to me at work. (Of course at church, where I’m currently serving as “elders quorum president” I’m kinda in the position of assigning tasks, and frankly I kinda stink at it. I’m so conscientious that I might offend someone somehow that I really don’t do much of anything).
But overall I actually really enjoy my work, so I thought it would only be fair to mention that.
One thing I’m starting to learn in life is this: there is always something you can complain about, and there’s always something to celebrate too. You pick which to focus on. My LDS mission president, president Ricardo Castillo, said, in reference to how some missionaries seemed to have nothing but complaints about their companion, their area, and basically everything, “si ven problemas cosecharán problemas; si ven oportunidades, cosecharán oportunidades”, I’m English “if you see problems, you’ll reap problems; if you see opportunities, you’ll reap opportunities.” I believe that is true: if you’re spending all your time focused on things you don’t like, you become bitter and a problem yourself. Nobody wants to be around you. But if you see opportunities for improvement and focus on that, you’ll help things to improve, and this kind of cheery attitude is contagious, so others will like being around you. What’s more, I’m just realizing: problems ARE opportunities for things to improve. So a person who only sees “problems” might be looking at the same things as someone who sees “opportunities”: they’ve just each put a different label on it.
In case you don’t know, I work from home for Event Espresso, a distributed company making WordPress plugins (and I do a bit of work for my aunt-in-laws company, Pacific Rim early Childhood Institure, doing programming work, but mostly this post is focused on Eveht Espresso).
So what do I like about my job?

  • I find the work interesting. We are usually building something new, which is very creative and exciting.  Both when I see it working, but also knowing things are well-organized behind the scenes. Sometimes I’m just fixing bugs but even those can interesting problems, kinda like detective work.
  • I don’t have to do with cranky customers too much. Of course most customers are fine, but there are 1% who use up 50% of your time and 75% of your patience. I mostly get to stay out of that!
  • I get to participate quite a bit in the design process, trying to design good user experiences. Knowing that what I’m building will actually be used, and trying to make it a good experience for them, is an interesting challenge.
  • Seeing how I work from home, I get to be around my kids a lot. Sometimes it’s frustrating of course, having the 3 year old wanting to play, and the 7 month old typing random lines of code, but overall I’m really glad to be around them so much
  • No commute. (Commutes are kinda nice because you can listen to audiobooks etc)
  • My hours are really flexible. It’s nice for my coworkers if I’m on when they’re on, in case they have questions, but I do get to pick my hours
  • My coworkers are all really friendly. Even though I’ve only actually met one in person, they’re all good about remembering birthdays, are all endorsing, and are really good at not taking things personally (it’s easy to have misunderstandings when most of your communication is just text)
  • I also think it’s good collaborating with intelligent coworkers. It’s sometimes difficult coming to a decision, but I for one certainly learn a lot from them.
  • I kinda enjoy participating in a global team (I have coworkers in Canada, USA, and England currently). What’s more, I often interact with WordPress folks from all over too. It’s neat participating in a global community
  • I like working on open source software (most of what we do is technically free code too, meaning folks are free to use it, modify it, and even use it to make money; we really just charge for support and access to download it). As I’ve become aware of the free software “movement”, the more I find it strange having software on my computer or phone which I can’t inspect. That means the owners of the software could monitor all my acricuty and private data and never need to ask my permission, and it’s very hard for me to know they’re even doing it. So open source software seems morally better to me.
  • The software I help develop and maintain is used by thousands of site administrators, who I’m turn have hundreds of users, so it’s quite possible that it’s used by millions of people. It’s really neat being part of something this big.
  • Many of the web development skills I’m improving are directly applicable to my hobby websites which can have absolutely nothing to do with enemy registration.
  • I get to work from my couch, bed, kitchen table, deck, big screen tv, or a regular desk.
  • I get great snacks
  • Oh and lastly they pay well (actually about double my salary from a local company where I did similar work, and that job was significantly better than other previous stuff.)

Anyways, it’s great. Highly recommend it to anyone to whom this sounds good. (And for the record, to my knowledge I’m the only person I know with a university degree related to computers that works with WordPress. Almost veryone else is basically self taughh)

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