Sharing the Data: How Technical Women Navigate Their Career

In May, Automattic’s engineering hiring team launched a user research study to better understand how our approach to tech hiring resonates with women and non-binary folks who may experience similar gender discrimination in the workplace and are experienced developers. We asked participants questions about how they saw their careers and next opportunities, as well as specifically asking […]

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The firm with 900 staff and no office

I did an interview with the BBC on remote working, and how we operate without an office [full article]. Cate Huston believes fully remote working can actually be good for communication. “Remote work makes the problems of work more explicit and then we can set out deliberately to address them. “If you work in the […]

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The best thing you can do for your career is learn to be more coachable

My latest in Quartz… I really hate the “Peter principle“—the idea that people get promoted up to their level of incompetence. The very concept suggests there is a limit to people’s growth. It assumes a fixed mindset on the part of the person stuck in a role they’re not immediately equipped to handle, and a […]

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The five types of communication problems that destroy company morale

My latest in Quartz… There’s a saying in software that all bugs are eventually user interface bugs, because someone has to see them to report them. In organizations, it often seems like all problems are eventually communication problems, because communication is the way we interface with each other—and the way most problems surface. There are […]

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The Cost of Fixing Things

In September, I disappeared in Seoul and caused everyone who cares about me to think I was having some kind of breakdown. I deactivated my Twitter account, and refused to engage with anyone other than my closest friends. I got to the point where I felt I had to drop everything, and then I came […]

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After the Toxicity the Toxicity Remains

Every so often, the conversation about leaving tech resurfaces, and things I wrote in ~2014 get referenced. I wrote a lot about leaving tech around then. I thought a lot about leaving in tech in 2014. And 2013. And in 2015, I thought a lot about what it had meant to be willing to leave, […]

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Interview: How to create momentum on day zero

I did an interview with GitPrime about hiring and onboarding. I really like how it came out, and I hope you like it too! “We talk about how engineers hate process,” says Cate Huston, Mobile Lead at Automattic, “but here’s my theory: engineers often love process, but when they love it, they call it culture.” It’s […]

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The Receptionist Test

The receptionist test: how does someone treat the receptionist? Alternative: a person with power or authority is someone’s first interaction with a company, e.g. by staffing the front desk. How are they treated (i.e. do people assume they are the receptionist). In the modern era there are three ways to pass the receptionist test. Look the […]

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