Once a year, every employee of Automattic (the folks behind WordPress.com) get together in one place for a week. This time, we returned to Park City in Utah, which is home to the Sundance Film Festival. By this point, the company has grown to 400 people, based in locations all over the world; a number that is more than double that of the total when I first joined.
During the Grand Meetup, we spend the week collaborating on projects, eating together, drinking (a lot), teaching and learning new skills, making music, dancing, and generally getting to know more about the people that we spend a good chunk of our lives speaking to online.
It is a surreal, exhausting experience to be around that many colleagues for an entire 7 days, especially when everybody seems like a celebrity (to steal a friend’s phrase), and you know them better by their profile picture than you do their actual face. For many of us, this is the one chance we will get to interact in person out of 365 days, and it can be tough trying to spend a decent amount of time with everyone that you want to. As the week comes to a close, you often find yourself in a bit of a panic because it feels like you’ve hardly seen anyone properly.
That said, it’s also one of the most rewarding work weeks of the year; seeing the incredible abilities that people have in practice and gaining a better idea of just how smart and talented they are at what they do. The occasion was even more special this year as it marked the 10th anniversary of Automattic, and was a chance to take a step back and reflect on just how amazing it is to get to be part of it all.
Last year I didn’t take many pictures, as unfortunately the GM coincided with the Scottish independence referendum, so this year I vowed to make up for it. I’m glad I did, as now that it’s over, it’s almost as if the week was some sort of dream that didn’t really happen. Have a glimpse into what went on below.
To finish up, here’s a quote from Matt:
‘They said we couldn’t build a Billion Dollar company with a distributed team. Well, look around the room. Cheers.’
For a full list of the pictures taken, check out this Cloudup stream.
All shot on a Leica M Typ 240, with either a Canon 50mm f1.2, 50mm f0.95, or Leica Summicron-C 40mm f2.