Looking back, I remember how anxious I was throughout the whole process of applying, interviewing, and going through trial at Automattic… I also remember that while there are many stories of the process for Happiness Engineers, there were very few for Code Wranglers.
Because of this, I’d like to share my experience from applying to accepting the job offer.
Applying to Automattic
Applying to Automattic is a pretty straight forward process. Go to Automattic’s Work With Us page, find your job, then send an email that follows the instructions at the bottom of the page.
After that, sit back and relax. It took a little over 6 weeks to get a response back to my application.
Interviewing and Code Test
If you make it past the application stage, then the next step is interviewing, which will likely be with a Code Wrangler.
While the content of the interview was similar to other tech interviews that I’ve had, the format was different … The interview was a text chat interview.
Why, you ask?
Well, since Automattic is a completely distributed company, meaning that people work all over the world, much of the communication takes place in the form of text chat. Thus, it makes sense to conduct interviews in the same format that most communication takes place.
As a matter of fact, you can probably expect to communicate solely through text chat throughout the entire hiring process!
If you make it past the interview, then you’ll be given a small coding problem to work on and a due date … This is the code test.
Trial for Code Wranglers
If you successfully make it past the code test, then the next step is the trial.
For my trial, I built a message and error logging API called WP Logger.
The thing that stands out the most about my trial is that there weren’t any hard requirements. My trial lead, Demitrious Kelly, told me to build a logging API, provided a bit of guidance, and set me loose. From there, I iterated quickly and gave him updates throughout the week to get feedback and guidance.
Realizing that this was an audition of sorts, I made it a point to try to answer as many questions as possible by myself. This meant looking at documentation, reading core WordPress code, and more… All before asking a question.
At points, Demitrious provided suggestions that completely changed the direction the project went in. Example: Where I provided a global instantiation of the WP_Logger class that developers could use to log messages… Demitrious suggested to use the WordPress hooks API, which made the code much simpler.
In the end, my trial lasted about 4-5 weeks. After which I was told to get in touch with Matt Mullenweg, the founder of Automattic, via Skype.
The Matt Talk for Code Wranglers
The Matt Talk is the last step in the hiring process for Automattic. But, be forewarned, Matt is not an easy person to get in touch with. It took about 10 days before Matt responded to my initial Skype message.
The talk lasted about 3.5 hours, the end of which was spent on setting a range on salary. Matt welcomed me aboard and I received my offer letter the next day.
A lot has happened over the span of about 10 weeks, so there’s a good chance that I might have missed a few interesting details. So, if there’s something you’re curious about, leave a comment below, and I’ll attempt to answer your question.