Automatic Grand Meetup 2016

I recently attended my sixth Grand Meetup, the yearly tradition at Automattic where the entire company gathers together for a week.

This year’s GM is a blur, as usual. I taught a class on user interface design (my first time!), played in the Automatic band, had lots of one-on-one meetings, spent a full day with my entire team, and saw lots of new (and old) friends at some great lunches and dinners.

Scale in Tilt Brush

Since discovering the ability to scale, pan, and rotate in 3D space, Tilt Brush has become an obsession. My latest scene explores the ability to create massive scale differentials with an amazing amount of detail.


Starting small, I created a little campsite (complete with pillow, blanket, and lantern inside the tent), and then zoomed out to create a large mountain backdrop with sunset and snow.

This was also the first time I painted sitting down rather than moving around the room. My back thanks me.

Old and Unpublished: The 5 Strangest Things About Having a “Real” Job

I wrote this list over 4 years ago (June 2, 2011), right after I started working at Automattic. I don’t know why I never published it, but here it is:

  1. The paycheck. It’s been a long time since I’ve gotten a regularly scheduled paycheck. Even though I’ve only gotten one paycheck, its still a nice feeling to know another is on the way in a few weeks.
  2. Co-workers. Its been a while since I’ve worked with someone on a regular basis. Its nice to have people around who you can get to know and form friendships.
  3. Asking for help. Having others around to ask for help is so valuable. Google can only go so far.
  4. No clients. I don’t have to be constantly thinking about client reviews, timelines, billing, and other crap.
  5. Vision. As a freelancer, I was often left out of the decision making for the future of the project. Though I’d try to influence my clients, they often ignored my comments. As an employee, my main job is to help create this vision. And then I get to work towards making it a reality.

I can appreciate a hot cup of coffee by the open window on a cool morning—but it’s starting to feel like Fall. And that means Winter isn’t far behind.