About Me

Experience

a8cJanuary 2016 – Present at Automattic Inc.
Calypso Product Lead

Starting in 2016 I became the Calypso product lead for WordPress.com, continuing on from the successful launch of the Calypso project at the end of 2015. My responsibilities include:

  • Working closely with the WordPress.com division leads, each focusing on specific areas of the WordPress.com product.
  • Helping define, monitor, and execute on WordPress.com annual goals for growth, engagement, and revenue.
  • Regular communication with the CEO, CFO, and CMO to co-ordinate product, business, and marketing goals.
  • Facilitating clear cross-division and cross-team communication so we can be working together in the most efficient way.
a8cMarch 2014 – January 2016 at Automattic Inc.
Focus Lead: Project Calypso

Calypso was a project that ran for 18 months beginning in 2014. It was a disruptive project, aimed at completely changing the way we think about and build the WordPress.com user interface. As the lead of the project I:

  • Worked with the founding team to map out the goals, direction, timeline, and scope for the first version of the Calypso interface.
  • Successfully helped bring a development philosophy change to the company — continual peer code review through Github.
  • Evangelized the project inside the company to bring more teams on board and working to port their WordPress features to the new Calypso interface.
  • Helped to grow the number of engineers and designers contributing to the project from 7 to 120 over an eighteen month period.
  • Helped to keep work focused, within scope, regularly tested, and iteratively shipping along the entire project timeline.
  • After a successful project launch at the end of 2015, the project saw mobile web usage increase by 35%, page load times reduced by 12X, and RPU increase by 100%.
a8cJanuary 2012 – Present at Automattic Inc.
Division Lead: Triton Division

At the beginning of 2012, the “Triton” team started as five of us working on the next generation interface for WordPress.com. Over the past 4+ years it has grown to a division of 6 teams, and a total of 38 software engineers, designers, and testers. My responsibilities include:

  • Strategic vision setting for the current Triton division focuses, our WordPress.com paid plans, and WordPress.com mobile apps.
  • Annual goal setting for the division focuses, and together with team leads determining clear metrics and monitoring our progress.
  • Regular communication with all six team leads, giving both team and individual performance feedback.
  • Co-ordination with other division leads for WordPress.com cross-division projects.
a8cMarch 2008 – January 2012 at Automattic Inc.
Front End Engineer

Starting as an engineer in 2008 I primarily worked on PHP and MySQL inside of WordPress. My main focus was on building the social networking plugin: BuddyPress. Later during my time as an engineer I moved to front end technologies, primary working with JavaScript and using our WordPress.com REST API.

I have also worked extensively on the interface design of WordPress.com, helping with the development and interface work of core WordPress.com and Automattic products.

bnmJanuary 2007 – March 2008 at Blaze New Media
Freelance UX Engineer

As a freelance engineer I worked with many clients from all across North America building website and application interfaces.

n41January 2006 – January 2007 at Number 41 Media Inc.
Senior UX Engineer

Worked with existing application platforms to build usable interfaces.

 

Achievements

My most impactful and rewarding work to date has been leading the Calypso project, where we conceived, built, and launched a completely new interface for WordPress.com. Calypso is built using modern technology and represents a completely new direction for WordPress.com. Calypso receieved some great media coverage, reduced our page load times by 7x, increased our mobile engagement by 35%, and doubled revenue per user. I wrote more about the challenges and story behind the project on our development blog.

 

Education

brunelSeptember 2001 – June 2005 at Brunel University London.
BSc Multimedia Technology & Design (First class honours)
millfieldSeptember 1996 – June 2001 at Millfield School
GCSEs & A-levels: Computer Science, Business, and Accounting