Miến Gà and Change

So much in life changes so quickly. Twelve days ago I said goodbye to SF and put in notice that I’d be moving on from my old job; 12 days later in Texas I’m a week away from returning home to Vietnam, a managing member of a newly formed LLC (with business cards and bank accounts and all that Jazz), and filled with incredible amounts of peace and tranquility for the long, newly challenging road ahead.

Change is inevitable. It keeps us fresh; it keeps us alive. Whether we fully choose it or not is not as important as how we respond to it and if we allow ourselves to be humbled by it. I’m sure it’ll take me a while to both appreciate and take full perspective on the last several years, but for now this change, this decision to move on, feels as right as it can possibly get.

Site Improvements

Last week I quietly moved this site over to a new server and performed a ton of under-the-hood improvements to it:

  1. It’s now powered by WordPress Multisite and domain mapping running atop a customized LEMP stack on Ubuntu 12.04; working with nginx really is a treat after dealing with a lacking sense of site snappiness for so long
  2. It’s additionally assisted by various types of APC caching and minification (I’m personally on the W3 Total Cache side of the fence)
  3. It’s gone almost fully HTTPS[1. I’m a fan of Jetpack but it’s been a pain to work with during the transition. Gravatars on post likes are causing mixed content warnings, Photon doesn’t seem to like that I’m on HTTPS (I think there’s a workaround for this), and an out-of-the-box Jetpack install hit my server with around 10-15 Javascript requests and 8-10 CSS requests. This may or may not be a problem under certain environments, but I found that I needed to concatenate my CSS and JS to reduce load times.], courtesy of an SSL certificate purchased through DigiCert, which has won me over with its fine customer service

The $20/month savings moving forward and newly acquired knowledge for making WordPress feel like I’m on localhost were well worth the time.

I’m Leaving Automattic Inc.

Saying goodbye is never easy. The power to delight millions of users in an instant, the inside access to some of the best people and brightest WordPress minds in the world, and a few key friendships forged there all made the decision to part ways with Automattic incredibly difficult. Not to mention the puns.

My chief goal in every pursuit is to leave a Thing better off than I found it. My favorite Thing at WordPress.com was premium themes; I stick my chest far out and head very high for the successes we all together brought to the platform and the dozens of premium WordPress theme developers around the world who we spent countless hours with empowering and educating. I loved every second of it, and to do it with the WordPress.com Theme Division was a pleasure.

But—there’s always a but!—considering where I’m at in my career and life, I think it’s best to leave on a high note, take some time to rest, and seek out another challenging and fulfilling opportunity while also making time to develop deeper relationships with the WordPress community throughout Asia.

Make no mistake about it, I’m doubling down on WordPress; you’ll next see me organizing WordCamp Hanoi in earnest and continuing to help bring WordPress into the lives of as many people as possible. WordPress has been my passion for the last decade; it’s been the single most influential part of my professional life and I don’t see that stopping any time soon. I stand strong and firm with confidence that WordPress is the future and can’t tell you how happy that makes me feel.

It’s been a thrilling few+ years, and I can’t thank Automattic enough for the time shared. I’m super-excited to see what my brilliant colleagues all come up with next; consider me one of the newest and loudest members of the Automattic fan club.