Five minutes with Tim Moore

Welcome to a new feature on News. Every couple weeks, we’ll sit down with an Automattician to help you get to know the people who work behind the scenes to build new features, keep Automattic’s wheels turning, and make the best it can be. Mr. Tim Moore suggested this new feature and so we thought it only fitting that he should be first. Everybody, say hey to Tim!

What’s your role at Automattic? Tim Moore

Tim Moore

At Automattic, I’m a member of Team Social. We handle projects like Publicize, Post by Email, Sharing, the new comments UI, and Gravatar, among others.

I also do a lot of work on Automattic’s Jetpack plugin. I have a toe in each part of Jetpack; I started out doing mostly development, though now I help with support, maintenance, and any aspect of the plugin that needs work.

What sort of work have you done in the past? What did you learn from it?

For development work, I maintained virtual machines. Usually, beyond the basic web server software (LAMP or similar), I didn’t get involved in other software packages that could be run (email, for example). I used to do this, but haven’t in a long time.

In light of some of the recent privacy policy rigamarole that has been going around in the tech world, I decided to brush up on my skills to see what I could do. I ended up setting up my own email server to handle email for several of my domains that, until then, I had piped into a Google Apps account. Because they’re low volume email accounts, I don’t need Google’s vast data centers. I ended up with a functional email server and I learned that email, a thing we take for granted, is a complicated beast.

If you have an interest in how something works, take the time to learn about it. It’s going to be frustrating (My email server certainly frustrated me!), and you’ll probably feel like you’d be better off leaving it to someone else (I felt like that too).

When you’re done, you’ll have learned something new, you’ll understand a service you’ve (maybe) taken for granted in the past, and you’ll have a new appreciation for how hard folks work to make these things available.

What do you love most about working at Automattic?

I love having instant access to some of the best brilliant minds in the field. I’m an autodidact* and love to learn; there’s nothing better than being able to jump on IRC or Skype to ask a question or have a discussion about something I don’t understand and coming away having learned something new.

I also like that my commute to my office can be different each day. Not just in, “Let’s take a different route to the office today,” but in that I can stay in bed and open the laptop, I can work in my home office, I can go to the café or restaurant. My commute can be different each night, too, if I choose to work at night.

What should the people know about you, Tim?

In my spare time (hah!), I write fiction (speculative fiction or science fiction or fantasy) and read just about anything that captures my interest. I currently have a novel and several short stories in progress and I usually read about one book a week (this week I’ve knocked off Gun Machine by Warren Ellis, the B-Team by John Scalzi, and am working on the Wool Omnibus by Hugh Howey).

I’m also a family person. I like to spend as much time with my wife, Caroline (also an Automattician!), and two daughters (ages four and one) as I can. One of the things I like to do with them, to relax after work, is cook dinner for the family.

*Fun fact: Leonardo da Vinci is one of the world’s best known autodidacts.

Did you know that Automattic is hiring? We want people who are willing to work hard, share their ideas, learn from their colleagues, take initiative to get things done without being told, and those who aren’t afraid to ask questions. Think you fit the bill? Work with us.