A Day in the Life of a Happiness Engineer: October 7, 2014

06:55 — One of the cats are scratching at the foot of the bed (box spring, perhaps). I heat up leftovers from last night, make two “shots” of coffee with my AeroPress, and eat breakfast while listening to an episode of Overtired. (Keep up the great work, Christina and Brett! Haiku Decisis is really epic, and I share it with my fellow Community Guardians at WordPress.com.)

09:45 — In Slack, a colleague sees that PopClip is on sale for $1.99 for a short period of time, and I mention Brett’s PopClip Extensions. A couple of us geek about Alfred.

10:09 — I swoon seeing a few more Likes from yesterday’s post, and spot Jeremey DuVall mentioning my Things workflow, which is currently posted internally. I aim to post something slightly more generic this week.

10:18 — Time to clear 32 email notifications from P2s. Gmail keyboard shortcuts are your friend! Some require some reading, so I add that to my “A8Cx – To Read” note in Simplenote1.

10:46 — Eight browser tabs open, some which will turn into tasks in Things.

10:49 — Meh, I don’t want to listen to “Found out about you” by Gin Blossoms. With Alfred, I advance to the next Rdio track by pressing “ne” — which displays the Next Track action from the Rdio Workflow for Alfred 2 by David Ferguson — then Enter.

11:00 — Time to crank through some unresolved posts! Count is at 48.

11:25 — Yikes, one of these threads requires us to create a few Trac tickets for fixes regarding an internal tool we use to process DMCA notices. That’s a project, not task. Into Things it goes.

12:15 — New unresolved posts count: 39. Some threads were “easy” to mark as resolved because they haven’t gotten any other comments, and it didn’t seem like we had to do anything else. Fortunately, people who follow or commented on the thread should see a WordPress.com notification in their admin bar. I’ll have a lot of fans this week. ;)

12:43 — Unresolved posts count: 36. I should get lunch before I lose track of time. I also realized I haven’t taken a break for water. This happens often, but the water bottle we received during the last Grand Meetup helps. I’ll clear the baker’s dozen of P2 notifications once more.

12:47 — I left this fitting animated GIF as a reply for a comment thread.

12:53 — Time for lunch. Feels like Subway.

14:00 — Amy isn’t feeling well, so I took off to take care of an errand for her, then we hung out for a bit.

15:05 — Processing my email and going through Slack back scroll, I smile to see that Steve is in love with Alfred for OS X.

15:30 — Unresolved posts count: 37. Created another internal support page on how to handle a specific type of email notification (edge case).

16:23 — Unresolved posts count: 30. Taking a break to see how Amy is doing.

16:52 — Back in the saddle.

17:35 — Unresolved posts count: 25. Updated another internal support to document new metrics for our automated scanning of spam (or ham) blogs.

18:35 — Unresolved posts count: 12.

18:42 — Calling it a night by publishing this post. See you tomorrow! :)

This week, I’m documenting each day along with many other Automatticians. If you’d like to follow along, we’re using the #a8cday tag. If you’re intrigued, we’re hiring!


  1. The naming scheme was an idea from Michael Schechter, who borrowed it from Merlin Mann
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A Day in Life of a Happiness Engineer: October 6, 2014

You’re joining me for two journeys: posting each day this week for a series called “Day in the Life”, and a week without dealing with our ticket queues1.

I woke up around 06:30 earlier than usual for a synchronous Slack chat with a couple of coworkers — Albuquerque, NM, and Budapest, Hungary — regarding a side project dedicated for the happiness of Happiness Engineers. Because time zones!

I fire up an Ambient playlist shared on Rdio, which doesn’t have any songs with lyrics. It currently has 239 songs at 1,739 minutes.

I process about two dozen email notifications from select P2s, which includes replying to a fellow HE about something related to our team, Justitia (Terms of Service).

08:19 — I sign off to shut my eyes a bit more, before having breakfast burrito from Tops, and watch an episode of Burn Notice on Netflix (S07E11).

Logging back in, I take a couple of minutes to process a dozen more P2 notifications, then start towards my project list.

First up: Write an internal page explaining how I use Things as my task manager. I’ll likely publish it here, too. I wrote much of it elsewhere, so I’m wrapping up with finishing touches, which includes adding relevant screenshots.

I ping an HE who attended the meetup (where I got this ball rolling), confirming where to publish the page.

At around 12:20, I ask another HE a favor—because he showed interest in Things a few weeks ago—to read through it once more before I publish.

While I wait for him to wrap up what he’s currently working on, I take three minutes to process (clear) the feedback queues (from contact forms) for three main sites that gets spammed, but sometimes has false positives. I use an Alfred workflow, triggered with a hotkey, that opens the three sites I need to check.

Ooh, a compliment! I’m an “efficiency machine”. That makes me blush.

I remove an extraneous sentence, publish to our internal Field Guide, let the rest of Happiness know on our Happiness–wide P2, and check off the project. w00t!

Our team P2 says we have 69 unresolved posts, which means we’re waiting to hear back about something, or…forgot to mark a thread as resolved. I take a short stretch and water break, aiming to try to reduce that count by a few before lunch. Starting from the oldest which are almost one year old, I add a comment to a thread when I mark it as resolved. Funnily, my team lead pings me that at this rate, I should be done by the end of the day. Lolz. :)

Down to 59 unresolved posts at 14:45, I quickly clear P2 email notifications, then take off for lunch. I totally lost track of time.

A blur of time passed, and I got down to 51 unresolved posts. I left some threads with a comment that I’d mark the thread as resolved in a couple of days, and saved scheduled tasks for myself in Things to circle back on Wednesday.

18:00 — An unresolved thread led me to a rabbit hole of suspending spam blogs (or splogs). Twenty minutes later, I’m realizing I have to publish this post and wrap up my day. (Yes, the thread is now resolved.)

The new Unresolved Posts count: 48 (21 less than when I started). Boom. The battle continues tomorrow. :)

This week, I’m documenting each day along with many other Automatticians. If you’d like to follow along, we’re using the #a8cday tag. If you’re intrigued, we’re hiring!


  1. I’m a guinea pig for the rest of my team. 

Years later

I think I was an intense gamer as a child. When I had free time, I loved my Gameboy, Nintendo and Super Nintendo. My fingers got really sore from hours of playing Street Fighter 2.

If I was at my godparents’ house, I’ll admit to being fidgety while my godfather watched a documentary or NFL game. (Please, just a few levels of Super Mario Bros 3. I have a Game Genie, so it’ll be quick.)

I was a tad annoyed with assignments in high school that required me to watch—or listen to—a news program, as the material would be discussed the following day in class.

Today, I don’t want a gaming system. I love podcasts, documentaries, and long form articles/posts. Crazy.

Happy album release day, Finch!

Congrats, Finch! Thank you for doing the following:

Finch still follows me 2014-09-30I’ll keep this here in case this ever changes. ;)

Looking forward to seeing you on Saturday at the Observatory!1


  1. I wouldn’t be available for their West Hollywood show in November, and Amy suggested we go to this one. Brilliant!