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Automattic Women: Michelle Langston

Welcome to Automattic Women—conversations with some of the remarkable women working all over the world to design and develop Automattic software and make the web a better place. Today’s interviewee is designer Michelle Langston.

Automattician Michelle Langston congratulates teammates after completing a dragon boat race.
Automattician Michelle Langston after completing a dragon boat race.

Welcome to Automattic Women—conversations with some of the remarkable women working all over the world to design and develop Automattic software and make the web a better place. Today’s interviewee, Michelle Langston, is a Tar Heel-born-and-bred web designer and developer who built her first site at the age of 14. At Automattic, Michelle’s a Creative Technologist who works from her home in the Bay Area.

Who are you, and what do you do?

At Automattic, I work on a team that helps interesting people, organizations and projects have an excellent experience with their WordPress websites. I currently lead one of the sub-teams that is responsible for launching new websites. My team does everything from building relationships with our partners to seeing a website project from initial discovery, design, and development all the way through launch.

What’s a typical day like for you?

There is no typical day! As a team lead, my job is to make sure my team members have what they need to be successful in their roles. On a given day, I may be meeting with team members for our regularly scheduled 1:1s, checking on projects, and handling other team administrative tasks as needed. I also collaborate with my fellow team leads for the other sub-teams on overall team processes and strategies.

What drew you to Automattic and what keeps you here?

What drew me to Automattic was the chance to do what I love, which is building websites with WordPress and exploring all of the things that WordPress can do! I joined Automattic in 2011 as a Theme Wrangler, back when remote work was a relatively new concept. The fact that the work was remote was also a major draw. 

What keeps me at Automattic are first and foremost, my colleagues. I could not ask for better team members! Next, I appreciate the care that Automattic takes for its employees, and the flexibility that we get when it comes to building work into our unique life situations, which I feel has been a great gift! 

Finally, this company is a dream company for introverts like me—I’m so grateful to Automattic for believing in me and my potential as a team lead, even though I’m an introvert!

Michelle relaxes during a tour of Frank Lloyd Wright’s School of Architecture in Arizona—a trip that was part of an Automattic Design Team meetup in 2019.
Michelle relaxes during a tour of Frank Lloyd Wright’s School of Architecture in Arizona—a trip that was part of an Automattic Design Team meetup in 2019.

What’s your favorite non-work activity?

I love paddling with my local dragon boat team. I got into the sport in 2012 shortly after moving to the Bay Area, and I have never looked back. It’s turned into not only a fun, regular source of exercise, but also a group of friends of all ages that is almost like a second family. We paddle together, laugh together, travelled to races together, celebrate together, and have endured hard times together.


That’s it for this edition of Automattic Women. Follow Developer Resources and Automattic Design to meet more great women of Automattic. And if you’d like to do more than just read about these great people, consider working with us!

By Michelle

Automattic Theme Wrangler. Dragon boat paddler. Runner. Kitty Mommy. Loves warm, sunny days.

By Jeffrey Zeldman

“King of Web Standards”—Bloomberg Businessweek. Father. Author. Designer at Automattic. Co-Founder, An Event Apart. Publisher, A List Apart & A Book Apart. He/him.