Meetups! Oh, How I Missed Them

I just returned from an Automattic Divisional meetup in Denver, CO. It was incredible! You can Zoom all you want but nothing connects people as well as spending time with them in person.

It has been almost 3 years since Automattic’s last Grand Meetup, which was in February 2020 in Orlando, Florida. A lot has changed since then.

  • Automattic had less than 1000 employees. We now have over 2000.
  • Interest rates were near all-time lows.
  • Economies were booming.
  • Covid-19 wasn’t even in our vocabulary.
  • AND Elon didn’t own Twitter!

Though Automattic more than doubled in size, we still understand the importance of meetups, maybe even more so now. Living through this pandemic, which still hangs over us, makes me appreciate, even more, the time I am afforded to spend with colleagues. Not that I didn’t appreciate it prior to the shutdown…I did. But now I look at these events and times through a much different lens. One that is less blurry and with a larger depth of field.

For instance, last week, I:

  • Met over 100 people for the very first time.
  • Worked with a small team to create an amazing internal tool for a Hack Day project.
  • Sat through a wonderful interactive seminar by Joe Hudson on making connections.
  • Watched 30 4-minute flash talks. (It still amazes me how smart and creative Automatticans are!)
  • Had a snowball fight with my new friend Yashwin who is a colleague from India and I was with him for the first time he ever saw snow.
  • Learned about some cool things to do in Chicago when I go there next summer.
  • Participated in a ping-pong tournament.
  • Sat in and watched karaoke (though I spared the audience with my singing).
  • Got blown away by the Meow Wolf Exhibit.

For the record, I would trade in PJs for an Automattic nametag and lanyard any day of the week. I can’t wait for the next meetup!

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