In this ongoing series, we speak with WP Engine employees around the globe to learn more about their roles, what they love about the cities they live and work in, and what they like most about WP Engine.
In this interview, we speak with Andrei Matei, a Sales Engineer Manager based in Austin, Texas, who’s been with WP Engine since 2013.
Going back to the start, how did you discover WP Engine?
Way back in 2012, a friend of mine who worked at WP Engine at the time, reached out to me about “a cool new WordPress startup” that I should join. The team was maybe 8-10 people at the time.
I foolishly dismissed the conversation back then with a quick “how complex and interesting can hosting WordPress actually be? I’ll pass,” and went on to join a multi-cloud PaaS company based out of Portland.
A year later, in 2013, after that PaaS company was acquired, I thought back to my WP Engine conversation and checked back in. I had some super interesting preliminary conversations, went through a thorough interview process, and was hired as the first Sales Engineer and second member of the sales team shortly thereafter.
I fell in love with the company through the interview process and doubled down on my love for the team in the weeks and months after. Now, eight years later, I still feel that love. (Oh, and for the record, I discovered that hosting WordPress securely, at scale, and building a digital experience platform around it, is indeed complex AND interesting, and exciting!)
Tell us more about your current role at WP Engine
I directly work with roughly 1/3rd of our total global SE team as a Sr. Sales Engineering Manager. We have SEs in the U.S., UK, and Australia, and my mission is to make sure our folks are growing, feel happy, stress-free, and valued on a daily basis. This role is extremely rewarding and one of my favorite things I’ve done in my Sales Engineering career to date!
What is your favorite thing about working at WP Engine?
Definitely the people! You’ll hear that from nearly anyone you ask at WP Engine. Our people truly make this place special. I have an incredible manager who has coached me and helps me grow so much, and I work alongside the best SE team I’ve ever worked with. The other teams we get to work with cross-functionally on a continual basis are full of people with passion and enthusiasm and incredible skill as well. I learn from everyone around me every day and they make me better in countless ways.
Can you describe the culture of the Austin office?
Very similar to that of our other offices globally. Family. Friends. A safe, open, inclusive space where people can be themselves, do their best, and grow with each other around a common goal and mission. I’ve made some great friends at WP Engine and I cherish them dearly.
How do you contribute to the success of WP Engine?
I try my best to set our team up for success with the knowledge, tools, resources, and space to be at their best for our customers. We are consultants who view ourselves as an extension of our customers’ teams, so I hope my work indirectly contributes to this mutual success.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
Tackling new challenges which I’ve never encountered before. There is always a new scenario, situation, or challenge to be had as a manager, and learning the best ways to handle each of these things takes time, repetition, and the support of a great mentor/leader.
What is a good lesson you’ve learned in your career?
Learn to give direct feedback when needed with “radical candor.” It can be uncomfortable to have hard conversations, but it’s much better to provide complete transparency at all times. Sugar-coating things creates more harm than good in the long run.
What’s the favorite part of your workday?
Definitely my weekly one-on-ones with each of my team members. This is by far the most meaningful part of my job.
What is one of the coolest projects you’ve worked on while at WP Engine?
Helping to build and launch our AWS-powered high-availability clustered solutions during my time in Product Management!
Which one of WP Engine’s values speaks to you the most?
Do the right thing. When you do the right thing for your team, your customers, and your company, everyone gets better together. It’s a very simple concept. Be selfless, thoughtful, and deliberate in your approach with others and you will feel how rewarding it is!
What are some of your favorite things about working and living in Austin?
It’s a great balance of a “small big town” with excellent food, art, music, tech, and cool things to do!
What are some hobbies you enjoy outside of work?
DJing, Photography, Biking, Traveling
Favorite TV show of all time?
The Office. I’ve watched it straight through four times, and I’m about to start my fifth!
DJing. Same addiction as for the last 13 years. 🙂
What would you recommend others do if they’re interested in exploring careers at WP Engine?
Talk to any of us! Reach out to us on social media! We all love to talk about why this place is so special and why we love working here.
Thank you Andrei
Want to find out more about what it’s like to work at WP Engine? Visit our careers site to see the roles we currently have open and check out our blog for more information about all the great people who work here!