about sarah, events, wordpress

Achievement Unlocked

WordPress Day was a success!

I talked about social media and WordPress:

And then I celebrated with a milkshake for dinner:

 

It feels good to be flying home tomorrow having accomplished a goal I set for 2016. And it’s only March! 😀

about sarah, technology & web

Teens, Windows 95, and Hey, I’m Old

OMG. Watching these teenagers check out Windows 95, or even just figure out how to turn on the computer, is hilarious and also disturbing because Windows 95 wasn’t even my first operating system and they think it’s so old. (Basically: hi, kids. I’m your grandma.)

My first home computer was Packard Bell 386 running MS-DOS and used floppy discs. I can still remember going to Circuit City to pick it up in 1990. I was so, so excited. And considering how much that computer changed my life, and how much subsequent computers have meant to me, I’d have to say that was one of the best days of my life so far.

Within weeks I was playing my very first computer game: Leisure Suit Larry, quite possibly the most inappropriate game for an 8-year-old in existence at the time, and typing up my first family newsletter that I mailed to all of my relatives because they totally needed updates on my new haircut, the winner of my school’s spelling bee, and a kid’s hot takes on local news. Yeah, I’ve been a nerd forever.

about sarah

Happy Baby Sarah

Happy Baby Sarah Blackstock
Instagram

I’m working on sorting through lots of old photos and making them digital so they’ll last longer. So, hey #TBT!

Related: That is one cute tiny kid. (It’s me. 1983 or 84-ish. And that old camera effect is legit old camera, not a filter. Ha!)

about sarah

My MBP

Since I shared my iPhone homescreen recently, I thought I’d also share a photo of the computer I spend so much time on (professionally & personally). I’ve definitely met people based on them spotting a sticker they like, so I recommend this approach if you wouldn’t mind strangers chatting with you randomly.

Stickers on my MacBook Pro

Most of the stickers on my MacBook Pro are from Redbubble and CafePress, except the WordPress ones, the Twitter bird, and the GitHub girl.

See: feminist heartLeslie Knope</patriarchy>Tina BelcherVeronica MarsBuffyDFTBAGitHub girlbooks.

about sarah, technology & web

Homescreen, November 1

My iPhone 6s homescreen, as of this morning:

My homescreen on November 1

Clearly, I really like a lot of Google apps, but I also like Apple’s hardware & iOS, so I use them together. 😀

Details on a few the stand out apps (that you may not already be using):

SIMPLENOTE

My favorite for simple notes, natch. It syncs perfectly between my iPhone, Google Nexus tablet, and MacBook, so I’ve got all of my notes no matter which one I’m on. (Note: I’m using the beta app since it’s an Automattic product, so the one you download will have more white than blue on the icon.)

NEWSGIF

News delivered via gif is possibly a bit strange, but my gif loving heart appreciates it anyway.

YNAB

If you haven’t given YNAB a try for budgeting, I highly recommend it! It’s not automated, so it takes some configuring and you have to maintain it, but that’s one of the brilliant things about it — It forces you to be a whole lot more aware of where all of your money is going. The idea is to give every dollar a job (whether that’s paying a bill, going into savings, or covering a surprise car repair) and it aims to help you pay for this month’s expenses with last month’s paychecks.

SIMPLE

A fantastic app for the debit card I use for all of my fun spending. (It buys a lot of books & takes me to movies, basically.) It’s simple, easy to use, and the goal setting feature is my fav. Highly recommend!

PAPRIKA

I recently started adding recipes in here and it works really well. At first I as put off by having to buy the app for every device separately (instead of one price = use where ever), but after using it, I have to admit it’s worth it. I’ve tried several other apps (both free & paid) and this one’s definitely the best.

CLUE

Ladies: Track your cycle! This is inching into TMI territory for what kind of personal info I normally like to share about myself online, so I’ll just say: It’s great & you learn things about your body once you’ve got some data to back up your hunches. (Hi, I get headaches when I ovulate.)

WORDPRESS

Since I’m a Happiness Engineer for WordPress.com, I use this one every day. And with all of that use, I love it! It makes blogging from my phone easy (and will work for you, whether you’re using WordPress.com or hosting your own WP site), and I love it for checking alerts and browsing through my reader to check out what other people are posting. It’s a great app & is getting better all the time.

ALSO RECOMMEND

A password management app (like LastPass or 1Password), and using 2-step verification whenever possible (which is what the Google Authenticator app helps me with).


If you’ve got recommendations for other apps I should try out, LMK! I’ll share some of the apps on my other screens sometime soon too. 🙂

about sarah, automattic, happiness engineer

Six Amazing Months: An Automattic Love Story

My first official day at Automattic was six months ago today! My Happiness Engineer trial was late February to mid-April and it was a difficult/amazing time (as reflected in this emotional rollercoaster of a story I told in gifs). By the end of it I was exhausted but sure I was in the right place, so I’m glad my fellow Automatticians knew I belonged here too.

Ben Wyatt AccomplishedSix months in, I’ve emailed users over 1,000 times and done more than 1,500 live chats, but that doesn’t really paint the whole picture of what’s happened or how much it’s meant to me.

I’ve said a zillion times how much I love my job and then tried to stop going on and on about all of the reasons, because I know lots of people don’t feel the same about their job and it seems rude to keep reminding them. I’ve spent hours in Slack chatting about work & cracking jokes with my amazing team, Phoenix. (Affectionately known as the “fawkers” — Yes, that’s a Harry Potter reference, adorable fellow nerds.)

I’ve buddied an incoming trial and celebrated when he got hired (Yay, Chad!), and I’ve co-worked out of Ikea with my two fantastic local colleagues. I’ve trained trials and support rotations on how we provide support for WordPress.com users and where to find the important info. I’ve volunteered at WordCamp DFW (where I met my amazing trial buddy in person!), and chatted about WordPress.com at Podcast Movement and An Event Apart in Austin.

(and other people's blogs)
(and other people’s blogs)

I’ve learned to work from home (or anywhere) successfully and love it. And I’ve looked at and/or helped out on 20+ user sites every day for months now, so I’ve learned a lot and my skills have expanded in huge ways.

Earlier this month I spent an entire week in Park City, Utah finally meeting all of my fellow Automatticians in person. (Not all, actually, but a good portion! Four hundred is a lot of people to try to converse with in one week.) They’re great, fantastic, lovely people. (I mean, look!)

I’ve made real, actual friends who I wish lived in the same town as me, but since our jobs require us to be fantastic at communicating over the Internet, we have a pretty good time while many miles apart anyway.

Sure, my dad still calls the CEO, Matt Mullenweg, “Matt WordPress” and my mom has no idea what I do, but they’ve both recognized how happy this job makes me, so that’s enough for me. (Please don’t try to make me explain it again.)

Mostly, I’ve felt happy & fulfilled & fortunate & awesome. I’m so glad I talked myself into applying after a few months of stalking the jobs page and daydreaming.

Photobooth at Automattic Grand Meetup 2015