In this ongoing blog series, we speak with WP Engine employees around the globe to learn more about their roles, what they love about the cities they work in, and what they like most about working at WP Engine. 

In this interview, we speak to Director of Engineering, Haidee McMahon, who’s been with WP Engine for two years leading R&D at the company’s Limerick office. Over this time, Haidee has transformed a team of eight engineers working remotely across the U.S. into three dedicated scrum teams with autonomy and responsibility for key deliverables on the company roadmap. Among her peers, she’s known as a fun, warm, and strong leader who ensures clear communication across her teams and who has the support of each and every team member.

Going back to the start, how did you discover WP Engine?

A recruitment agency contacted me during the summer of 2018 with an interesting proposal of growing out R&D at WP Engine in the Limerick office.  I was looking for new opportunities and this proposal caught my attention, firstly because I was already familiar with WordPress and secondly, because I really liked what I read about WP Engine as a company both globally and locally. The company seemed really cool and dynamic! It has certainly lived up to, and has, in fact, exceeded my expectations. #noregrets #heretostay

Can you explain your current role at WP Engine?

I’m a Director of Engineering in Limerick. In this position, I’m responsible for leading a global engineering organisation, with teams in both Limerick and Austin, in one of our Product Group pillars within the company. Our teams are focused on building out effortless and intuitive experiences in our user portal and billing systems.  It’s exciting, innovative, and customer-inspired.

What is your favorite thing about working at WP Engine?

It may sound cliche but it’s true, I love our people. I enjoy working with my colleagues every day. We have incredible people with brilliant minds and I become energized when we work together and when we idealize on what we can build for our customers and the impact we can make together. Everyday is exciting. #togetheritworks

Can you describe the culture of the Limerick office?

Unique.  I have worked in many organisations and many industries throughout my career and I can honestly say that I have not worked anywhere quite like WP Engine.  The Limerick office culture is greatly influenced by our overall company culture which is incredibly positive, inclusive, collaborative, and fun.  We do also have a local subculture. In Limerick, we are particularly passionate about our environment and this is starting to gain more and more momentum with the recent establishment of a new Green committee.  

How do you contribute to the success of WP Engine?

I have amazing teams that are dedicated to building out products aimed at delighting and helping our customers win online. Our job is to make our customers’ jobs easier every day! 

What is the most challenging part of your job?

I think the most challenging part right now is making sure my teams have the right level of support during these unprecedented times. Not being able to meet in person is definitely something we all miss and we need to be more creative in how we reduce that social void for everyone.  Our employee experience team has been of amazing support to us all during these times, so we are very grateful to them all.      

What is a good lesson you’ve learned in your career?

Play to your strengths and not your weaknesses. Not only should this bring you success but it should also bring you fulfillment and happiness. It is important to feel good about the work you do and the impact you can make.

What’s the favorite part of your workday?

I like to organise my thoughts in the morning over a quiet cup of coffee and plan out what I’d like to achieve for the day or even the week, this includes work and personal activities. These quiet few moments of reflection are probably the most important in my day too.

What is one of the coolest projects you’ve worked on while at WP Engine?

I’m loving what we are doing in our User Portal currently. Since last September, we have made huge changes in the User Portal’s look and feel, in its navigation, site management, and onboarding workflows. But this is just the beginning, we have really exciting new innovations to come in 2020, so stay tuned! 

Which one of WP Engine’s values speaks to you the most?

Do the Right Thing.  I always believe if your intentions are good, you will never need to rely on your memory.  I tell my kids, be happy and whatever you do in life, leave this world in a better place than how you found it.

What are some of your favorite things about working and living in Limerick?

I love the coffee shops and cafes in Limerick. They are pretty cool hangouts and I often go there with my team for 1:1’s and catch-ups. I was born and raised in Limerick, I went to college here, and although I lived in Dublin for a while, most of my working life has been in Limerick. My friends and family are here, we are only an hour from the beach where the wild Atlantic meets the west of Ireland. Simply put, Limerick is where my heart is ❤️.

What are some hobbies you enjoy outside of work?

I’m happiest when I’m with my family so I spend most of my time with my husband and four kids when I’m outside of work. We have a small apartment near the sea and the kids love to go there. They like to swim in the sea and we love to walk the beach with our two dogs, Cooper and Lola. Later in life, when my kids are older and I have more time, I would like to dedicate more time to Art and French, which have always been my passions since I was very young.

Favorite TV show of all time?

Gosh, I’ve binged on a lot of Netflix lately since the Covid-19 lockdown so it’s hard to pick just one favourite. But if I had to, I would say ‘Breaking Bad’ was brilliant. My husband and I binge-watched it for days on end during our winter holidays a few years back. 

Current addiction?

Coffee.  My husband just bought a new espresso machine and we are trying out new flavours of coffee everyday. This morning’s flavour was caramel and cookie …. deee-licious!

What would you recommend others to do if they’re interested in WP Engine Limerick or engineering in Europe?

Don’t wait for the job role to be open or advertised. Call in anytime to our office or connect via LinkedIn. We are always looking for great talent to join our teams in Limerick or in Europe and we will remember you should a role open up in the near future that suits. 

Thank you, Haidee! 

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!