Happiness engineering


Happiness engineer resolves computer drama

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Lowell, MI-Happiness comes in many forms. What brings a smile to your face?

A WordPress happiness engineer brought a smile back to my face.

I panicked after I lost two-thirds of followers of EW Emma’s Writings on Monday. The photo below depicts exactly what I felt like. The caricature is by Olin Pink

Emma Palova deals with a technical hiccup.
Emma Palova deals with a technical hiccup.

 

“Losing followers, including shares and subscriptions, is like losing gold or accounts,” I wrote in the original story that I have decided to completely rewrite.

The help I received was efficient, fast, analytical and comforting. Each email ended with “Cheers.”

I got links that  narrowed down the problem and finally resolved it with a best wishes farewell.

Happiness engineering is like Russian nesting dolls
Happiness engineering is like Russian nesting dolls

Happiness engineering reminds me of Russian nesting dolls. Happiness engineers work to narrow down the problem and what caused it.

The happiness engineers around the world work as a team until the problem is solved.

The WordPress support distributed team works in a similar environment like the users, according to a presentation by happiness engineer Andrew Spittle. Here is an excerpt from Spittle’s talk at a 2013 conference in San Francisco.

The sec­ond prin­ci­ple I hold to be true is that happy peo­ple are most inclined to share and spread that happiness.

We’re Hap­pi­ness Engi­neers, right? We don’t want to cre­ate a cul­ture of sad­ness. That’s not going to help our users. If we can ori­ent deci­sions toward increas­ing our hap­pi­ness then it will also inevitably increase our users’ happiness.

We can step back from the pres­sure, trends, and iso­la­tion of any par­tic­u­lar geo­graphic area. There isn’t a cen­tral, geo­graphic ide­ol­ogy that’s pre­dom­i­nant. The lan­guages, val­ues, ideas, and lifestyles of our team are dis­trib­uted around the world, just like our users.

That built-in geo­graphic dis­tri­b­u­tion, what I ear­lier called being location-agnostic, means we can say No to a lot of things. A lot of things peo­ple assume to be required of a cus­tomer sup­port gig we don’t need to worry about. In our day-to-day work we have:

We have no set shifts. We pre­scribe no par­tic­u­lar sched­ule. And we ensure that no one pulls a grave­yard shift.

Thanks to the entire support team and especially to the angel happiness engineer somewhere out there in that vast Internet space.

Copyright © 2014 story and photo by Emma Palova

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