Life changed, and I was a bit wary about it at first. Near the end of 2017, after 2+ years working in mobile app support for WordPress, I changed gears and went back to the arena I originally worked in–general support for

I love the mobile app. In fact, I’m using it right now to write this post. I thought I never wanted to leave that arena of support. Still, I understood when the company made the decision to have myself and other coworkers take turns working in specialized areas of support. Now other people could learn about the app.

When I started gearing up my knowledge quiver, preparing to provide general support again, I flashed back 3.5 years to my trial. Everything has changed so much since the last time I had been in general support. We are using new-to-me internal tools, and we offer so many different things than we did last time I worked in here (ex: you can now use plugins with our Business plan). I felt like a complete novice. And it was really exciting 🙂 There was/is so much to learn!

My coworkers, as always, cheerfully and readily pointed me in the right direction whenever I got stuck on something. This is such an amazing company to work in.

Now I’m a month and a half into my new role, and I can’t believe how much I’m loving it. I thought I would dread it, but I’m back to looking forward to waking up every day so I get to work again.

When I was in mobile support, I answered questions through a medium that was very similar to texting, but it wasn’t an immediate back and forth. Now I get to work in a mix of mediums. Sometimes it’s email, but I often do live chat, which is like instant messaging. I really enjoy that because even though we are typing, I actually get to talk with the people who use our product.

One of the beautiful things about WordPress is that it’s so versatile. Pretty much — if you can dream it, it can happen. Talking with people who use it inspires me as I see their creativity and the great things they are doing in the world. From art to nonprofits to regular business, the list of inspiration is unending.

One of my super favorite parts of my role in my job now is that I get to meet with people who use this product in a screenshare session so we actually get to talk with each other. Voice to voice. That’s for people with a Business plan. When one works remotely, as I do, the personal interactions like this are a real treat. For example, on Monday I talked with someone in Canada, someone from Norway, and someone from the southern United States in separate sessions. We talked about websites set up for nonprofits helping school children, we talked about websites for sharing rental properties, and we talked about setting up a store on website so someone could work from home. I love the global and business variety that comes with the job.

The only thing that is missing is something that I knew would be hard. I really do miss the mobile app world. But then I remembered that I could still be part of it by testing beta versions 🙂 I’m using a beta now.

I wish you could all personally meet the developers for the mobile app. They are super amazing people who are really dedicated to making the app the best that it can be. And they really listen when people report back to us with things that they want to see and with things that are problems. I’ve seen that first-hand. So I find it a real treat to test the app, work with what’s coming up down the road, and know that my voice is heard when I report any problems with it. If you’re into that sort of thing, you should give it a try. The beta testing option is open for everyone 🙂

A change this has been, for sure. But it reminded me that change can be a really good thing. As I get older, I am starting to see the signs that change is a bit trickier than it was in my past. I am thankful for reminders like this — change can be very beneficial.

In Praise of the Google Translate App

IMG_1044If I were inclined to write poetry today (I’m not– the muse is not in the building), I would write an ode to the Google Translate app. As you may or may not know, in my job  I work mostly in mobile app support for the WordPress app. Since 27% of the Internet runs on WordPress, and many users worldwide use the app, I get a lot of issues in languages I don’t understand. Generally a cut-and-paste into a translate tool works wonders, but it gets problematic when someone send in a screenshot of an issue. That’s when this app comes in really handy.

I have the Google Translate App for both Android and iPhone.  When I get a screenshot, I open the app, download the applicable language then select camera in the app, and I get a translation. This has been invaluable in my work habits. And I’ve also found it really handy in travel.

When Chris and I were in Perugia, we hit the amazing National Archaeological Museum with fabulous history, but very little in regards to English translations. No problem. The app totally covered that, and we learned all sorts of stuff about amulets and recoveries from archaeological digs. So cool.

Now that we are spending a month in a new home in a land where we are far from fluent in the native language, we’re finding the app super handy in basic tasks such as grocery shopping. When you want to make a bean stew and aren’t sure which canned bean is which? The app comes to the rescue.

And it totally saved me from accidentally getting lemon tea when I thought I was getting mint.

It doesn’t just do images. I can type a phrase in English and have it translate to another language. I write my sentence, find a store-keeper, and point to the screen. We are all much happier and effective in our communications, I find.

Oatmeal – Aveia?
We don’t have it – Nós não temos isso.
Communication effectively achieved (I’m not thrilled with the result, but now at least I know to not keep scanning shelves fuitlessly).

Yay, app!