doug blog

not the installation artist

Photos from the Old Square, Albufeira, Portugal

Three years of Ingress

Just over three years ago I started playing the mobile game, Ingress, the first image was for my friend who invited me – beta users got a badge if they got three iOS players who then went past L3.

Now Niantic are more known as the developers of Pokémon GO.

I've kept going with Ingress, as well as PoGO, and I'm now coasting towards L16. I could have pushed harder at times but I don't go out my way to play any more. Had my badges for a while, and now it's what we call "the AP grind".

Ah, remember the "Verified" badge? And twice I've been not too far off the next level when the yearly badges were released. But it's been a fun ride, and even on trial at Automattic I found out my trial buddy was an ENL agent!

Happy hacking agents!

[edit – I got confused about the years, yes it's three and not two! ¯_(ツ)_/¯ ]

Holiday caffeine ☕️

Much like Sandy, when we went on holiday I knew my weekly schedule of coffee drinking would be interrupted.

We got to the hotel / apartment, and found no kettle. Could work the electric hob to heat a pan of water for the instant coffee I grabbed in Lidl.

So of course, when a meal of the day included a coffee, I took Zara's and got two espresso. It's a small fix but a fix nonetheless.

I'll be sure to hit up a coffee shop this week to get something more!

Net Neutrality

The FCC wants to repeal Net Neutrality. Without Net Neutrality, big cable and telecom companies can divide the internet into fast and slow lanes. What would the Internet look like without net neutrality? Find out by enabling this banner on your site: it shows your support for real net neutrality rules by displaying a message on the bottom of your site and “slowing down” some of your posts.

This is important. Not just for the US, but everyone.

Go to to enable this setting.

Related – Gets a Perfect Score from the EFF for Digital Privacy Rights

Another view

I’m lucky in my job to be able to work from wherever I want.

When I go to work, I work from Henry’s Coffee House in City Square, Dundee. Today I was working from the W Cafe in Waterstones, Dundee.

Wifi wasn’t as stable as Henry’s, and I had a team meeting, and a whole company meeting (over 300 people one point!) so I can’t complain too much that I could still stream those!


Food was lovely, and the coffee wasn’t too bad either. Cakes and such are from Jessie’s Kitchen, so of course I had a Snickers Brownie!


The architecture of the building always fascinates me, and whenever I walk in, I always get this… feeling. I rarely go into book stores these days, I must get back into reading regularly.



Democratizing Identity

I was part of a thing. This was cool


One of the core ideas we stand for here at Automattic is Democratizing Publishing—the idea that anyone with a story should be free to tell it, regardless of income, gender, politics, language, or where they live in the world.

We support this idea by providing hosted website services through for our global customer base and by contributing directly to the open source WordPress project.

At the heart of Democratizing Publishing is our belief in Diversity and Inclusion, a value that has influenced the growth of Automattic, not just in hiring practices, but in how we operate as a company. We’re fully distributed with our ~565 employees spanning the globe representing over 56 countries and over 78 different languages.

Within the past year, we’ve begun to update our communications around to emphasize the versatility of the service as more than just a blogging platform. It’s also a…

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1 year at Automattic, and a new video

I’ve now been full time at Automattic for a full year 🎉

I will some day write up more about what it means to work here, what I’ve done, and what I hope to do in the future.

Something I was asked to be part of / I offered to be part of, was the Automattic  “Meet Our Colleagues” YouTube series 📹, and today I got a ping to say that my video was online!


The process behind these videos is brilliant, and a big shout out to KP for wrangling that!

I couldn’t be happier with the role, the benefits, the opportunities I’ve been given in the past year (and partly before that while on Trial.

We are hiring for the Happiness Engineer role all the time, the process has slightly changed recently, and we hope to welcome many new team mates!

If you are curious at all about the role, please please talk to me. I will be honest, share what it takes, what is involved, and would love to clear up any fears or questions people have.

Work with us

So You Want to be a Happiness Engineer, Huh?

Something I keep meaning to write is a “So you want to be a Happiness Engineer?” type blog post… Sandy just knocked it out the park with this one! Essential reading if you want to apply to Automattic

Sandy McFadden

Since joining Automattic (and to the annoyance of some people, I’m sure) I tend to go on about how much I enjoy my job and the company itself. I’ve often been asked what it takes and what you need to know to get the job. Especially since I called people to join me in my last post, I thought I would put together my thoughts and some resources which I can point people to or they can hopefully find through searching online as well.

I’m going to go a bit further and not only talk about what you need to do to get the job, but what I think you need to be successful in the Happiness Engineer role at Automattic. Please note that there are a lot of points here and you don’t have to be an expert in all of them to apply, but having a good understanding…

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I’m sick of smiling…

…and so is my jaw.

So sings Jordan Pundik at the start of the album which undoubtably changed my life.

Released on 11th June 2002, New Found Glory‘s Sticks and Stones, I can’t remember how I first heard this but that summer while at youth camp with friends we finally found out (reading the lyrics book) that Jordan in fact was “drunk of your kiss” – we have no idea what that first time of their famous Hit Single “My Friends Over You” was, but now we knew.

I was hooked. I couldn’t get enough of this remarkable new-to-me sound. That week of camp, Bowling For Soup also released their Drunk Enough To Dance album and we blasted them loud and proud.

Over the years i’ve been lucky enough to see New Found Glory around 5 or 6 times and each time they have made me so incredibly happy. During Slam Dunk fest 2010 I was at the barrier watching them perform and I managed to grab the mic at some point during My Friends Over You while Jordan leaned over. I performed that same song with a few coworkers at the company meet up back in September.

Sticks and Stones, along with all of New Found Glory’s back-catalogue, and the bands I’ve discovered, listened to, watched, and talked to since then, have had more of an effect on who I am today than I can explain. Over the years I always come back to this album, says I’ve listened to the US release of this album 201 times. And I started that account in 2008 after years of CD and mini-disc listening.

When I get a tattoo, not the first, but one of them will be something related to this band, and maybe this album. Who knows, maybe I’ll get it done by Mr Pundik himself.

Sticks and Stones album cover. Source

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