Interested in joining the team?

VIP is hiring, and we’ve recently expanded the roles we’re looking for!

There are a few questions that often come up when we talk to folks about working with VIP. I’ll try to go over some of them now.

Is Automattic / WordPress.com VIP a good place to work?

Well, we’re clearly biased but if you look at the reviews on Glassdoor we think it’s pretty clear that it’s a great place to work! We’re serious about increasing diversity in the tech industry. We want to build Automattic as an environment where people love their work and show respect and empathy to those with whom we interact. Diversity typically includes, but is not limited to, differences in race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, political and religious affiliation, socioeconomic background, cultural background, geographic location, physical disabilities and abilities, relationship status, veteran status, and age. To work on diversity means that we welcome these differences, and strive to increase the visibility of traditionally underrepresented groups. Read more about our commitment to diversity and inclusion here.

How do I know if I’m qualified for the job?

That’s a great question! Most of the time people think you need to know everything before applying, but in truth, depending on the position, that’s not that strong a requirement. The most important thing is being able to figure out and solve problems independently. For example, you don’t need to know why something is slow just by looking at the code, but you should be able to work on debugging it, finding the root cause, and finding a fix for it.

The most important skill is being able to learn new things when faced with a challenge you haven’t already encountered. That means being able to search internally and externally and being able to figure out which information is good and which information is potentially wrong. While not required for all positions, reviewing an intentionally vulnerable plugin is great practice for the Expert Debugger and VIP Developer positions.

What kind of work do you do?

Depending on if you’ve interacted with the VIP team before you might think all of our days are spent doing code review! While many of the roles include doing code review, it depends on your role, and your role can change as often as you want. A lot of our time is spent asking ourselves questions: Why is this code behaving in this unexpected way? What would be an efficient way to solve this problem? How can I reproduce what the client is seeing?

What that means in practical terms, for support developers, is working with clients in tickets helping debug functionality. You’ll give advice on how to achieve clients’ goals. You’ll build tools to help improve the client support experience. You’ll help clients launch new sites. You’ll work to improve site performance, sometimes proactively, sometimes in reaction to problems.

What’s the application process like?

1) Application

It all starts by sending us an email. The specific instructions to follow are on each position’s page. We’re very lucky to get many applications, so make sure you read the full job description and follow the instructions if you’re interested in being considered for an interview.

2) Interview

The interview is to get to know you and has a few technical questions. Depending on the position, we’ll be asking various questions to test your skills more then your knowledge. The process for figuring things out is always more important then the right answer. The interview is done via text on Slack.

3) Code test

If you are applying for the Expert Debugger (hiring for this position will resume in the fall), VIP Developer or Enterprise Platform Engineer position, you will take a code test. It involves a plugin that needs some modifications. We’ll provide you with an SVN repo (we use SVN, although we do most of our day-to-day work with Git) and some instructions. We expect you to spend around 10 hours on this task, and this is done asynchronously over the course of 1 week.

4) Trial

The trial period is a unique part of Automattic’s hiring process. For this part, you join the team as a part-time contractor. We give you a contract for up to 40 hours over the course of up to 4 weeks. The pay is standard for all trial positions at USD $25 per hour. We usually recommend at least 10 hours a week, and this can be done at any time of the week. We’ll connect you with a VIP team member at the times you’re expecting to work so we can help guide and support you during your trial. You’ll be given work similar to the work you’d be doing as a full-time employee and you’ll be interacting with other team members similarly to being a full-time employee. The team and your trial buddy give recommendations to the hiring team.

5) Offer

Congratulations, we’d like you to join the team! At this step, we’ll make you an offer!

Where can I learn more about life at VIP?

Our Careers page has lots of great information. You can also find some great insight from posts from some team members. For example, David Artiss wrote a great post on a day in the life of a VIP support team member. Kailey Lampert also has a great post on things she’s learned from working at home.

developers with laptops in a conference room
VIP team members work onsite with client Grupo Abril in Brazil

Do you have any questions? Ask us! You can reach us via Twitter or email.

3 thoughts on “Interested in joining the team?

  1. Hello WordPress.com & Automatic – I read your announcement and was inspired to write the following post to offer a different perspective on the term “people of colour”:
    https://yaansoon.com/illustrated-women-who-can/person-of-colour-skin-colour-identity/

    Although your wording is absolutely beautiful and balanced across most of your communications, this one stood out to me, especially with the use of the term “people of color.”

    I believe Automatic and Worpdress.com are uniquely positioned to change the world, not just the tech industry. You have a blogging platform with a user base from every corner of the globe, with bloggers and website owners from every cultural background imaginable.

    In my perspective, a term like “people of colour” should not even exist in the stylebook of a platform that not only strives for achieving diversity in their hiring policies, but are actually a platform used by a diverse user base.

    “People pf colour” is a term widely accepted in the American context, and to an extent in the European one. But where I come from, it has no place, never heard of it as I grew up, never identified with it, and don’t want it to become a global norm. It is one of the most condescending terms used in Western society, because it implies “white” is the default, when we all know it is not. All skin colours are equal, all skin colours are beautiful, and most importantly, they are not something that should be used as an identity identifier!

    In my opinion, the wording in your “Diversity and Inclusion” page is much more balanced and culturally inclusive.

    I have great respect and admiration for Automatic and WordPress.com. I believe you are a truly diverse platform, with such a wonderful vision and a great team. I believe that you can help the world get rid of one of the most poisonous and oppressive terms out there, if you agree with the perspective offered here.

    Thank you for listening, and happy International Women’s Day!

    1. Your point is beautifully stated and very well taken. We have removed the phrase from this FAQ and also from job description language, and replaced it with language that’s in sync with our intent and approach, which is more fully outlined here: https://automattic.com/diversity-and-inclusion/ Thank you for bringing this to our attention, it’s greatly appreciated :).

      1. Thank you so much for listening and for being open to new perspectives! I am deeply touched, and very grateful that Automatic has taken this on board; a true honour and privilege to be able to contribute to your wonderful culture. Thank you! 🙂

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