HOA 21: Jerry Bates from Automattic

HOA 21: Jerry Bates from Automattic

Yesterday we were privileged to have Automattician Jerry Bates join us on the WP Round Table so we could learn more about him and the awesome WordPress projects he’s involved in.

Jerry is a Happiness Engineer at Automattic. His normal roles there consist of quite a variety of tasks which we discussed at length. We learned that Happiness Engineers get to do a lot more than just answer support tickets.

Currently, Jerry is wrapping up a stint on the .org side of WordPress which is something many Automatticians get to do. Jerry explained that typically a number of Automattic employees will volunteer their time for an entire release cycle like Jerry is doing now for 4.0. However, Jerry is the first ever to be doing this with an emphasis on something non-code related. Currently his time is primarily spent developing WordPress.tv and managing the “mod squad” which is the team of volunteers who moderate videos uploaded to the site. Jerry has worked hard to make WordPress.tv better and improve the processes for moderating and reviewing content.

We learned a lot about Jerry’s background which was in photography and how he ran his own business serving clients until he realized that he was spending more time contributing to the WordPress community than to his own clients which lead to him applying at Automattic.

We also discussed in this broadcast the recent acquisition of Brute Protect by Automattic. Brute Protect is an amazing WordPress security plugin which we learned a lot about in HOA 17: Interview with Sam Hotchkiss. The announcement stated that Brute Protect will eventually be discontinued as a stand alone plugin and will be rolled into Jetpack. We are all excited about this news which is very exciting for our friend Sam and also for the entire community which will benefit from the awesome security features that Brute Protect provides. Jerry offered great insight on this topic as well.

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