I’m taking a couple of months off.

I’m so grateful to work for such an incredible company as Automattic. Not only are they already very flexible around working schedules and time off (which has been incredibly helpful this past year), but once you’ve been at the company for 5 years you are encouraged to take a 2 – 3 month paid sabbatical. And that’s completely disconnecting: no Slack, no email, no communication, no work events. Just do whatever you want that’s not work related (psst, we’re always hiring).

I’ve now been at the company for 5 and a half years, and after the year that was 2020 I’m very happy to be starting my sabbatical at the end of today, to recharge and unwind.

Here are some things I’m hoping to do with the time away:

  • Disconnect! I’ll certainly be disconnecting from anything work related, but because of that I’ll also be spending far less time in front of a computer.
  • Spend time with family. I’m looking forward to spending more time with my young kids and my wife, as well as catching up on a lot of lost time from the past year with our extended family.
  • Get fit! I started making an effort to get fit again earlier this year, but then I got ill for a couple of days and fell off the rails. Three months feels like a good amount of time to make a big dent here though, eating better and exercising regularly.
  • Be more creative. I’d like to make some time to do some more creative endeavours, like writing and drawing.
  • Get away. Back when my wife and I first started discussing my sabbatical a couple of years ago, we had ideas of travelling around northern Europe; Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark. But with the pandemic still ongoing, we figured it would be easiest to stay close to home. We’re got some breaks planned around the UK, to Devon, the Lake District, and York.
  • Ride. I recently got an electric bike, which I’m really enjoying riding. I’d like to do some longer local rides!
  • Gamedev. Game development has long been an aspirational hobby of mine, and I’ve made some small games and entered game jams in the past. I’ve started getting back into it over the last few months, and while I do want to take more time away from the computer I’d also like to continue learning and building some small games.
  • Sleep. I haven’t been getting anywhere enough sleep recently (not because of work, I’m just terrible at going to sleep at the right time). The Apple Health app tells me that my average time asleep over the last month is 5 hours, so I’d like to improve that.
  • Home improvements. Just some DIY tasks to do around the house that I always put off because the weekend’s never long enough.

And I think that’s enough! I don’t want to busy myself too much with goals, as the whole point is to take time out and unwind, but I also don’t want to look back and the end and feel that I wasted the time. I’ll report back when I return to work in late September!

New Year, New Job, New Blog


Okay, so we’re already a month into 2016, but I’ve been a bit busy. 🙂

At the end of November, I left my job of 3+ years as a senior iOS developer at Mubaloo to join Automattic as a Mobile Wrangler.

In case you haven’t heard of them, Automattic is most well known for They’re also responsible for Simplenote, a simple note storage service which I’ve used since the early days of the iOS App Store.

As a Mobile Wrangler1, I’ll be primarily working on the WordPress iOS app (which, as with a lot of Automattic’s products, is open source).

Automattic is an incredible company to be part of. Their mission is to democratise publishing, providing a platform for anybody to have a blog or website. The entire company is distributed across the world, with employees in 43 countries. Pretty much everybody works from their own homes (although if you want to work from a coffee shop or a coworking space, that’s cool too) and sets their own schedules. With a 1 year old son at home, I’m so grateful that I’m now at home all day; I get to see him so much more than I used to, we can all have lunch together, and I can work a schedule that suits my family.

I’ve also converted this site (which hasn’t received much love recently) over to WordPress, and I hope to begin writing here again soon.

  1.  At Automattic, you actually choose your own job title. Mobile Wrangler is what most of the mobile developers go by, although there’s definitely a Pokémon Trainer amongst the ranks too.