Nicola Mustone

Happiness Lead @ Automattic

2016, Year in Review

And so another year is almost over, and I have to say, this was a great year for me. I did many things, I saw places, met persons, made new connections, and new friends.

I could risk and say that this was probably one of the best years of my life!

Are you curious to know why? Here is my year in review!

At Work

My work affected a lot my life during the this year, partially due to all the new opportunities we have now, after the acquisition of Woo by Automattic, partially because I started exploring new areas of our company.

Support Ninja vs. Developer

I was a Woo Support Ninja before, full-time. It was great, I met some awesome people, and I was in one of the best teams ever, team Mawson!

But after four years of doing support, you know, I wanted to change something. I wanted to do some development again, not only small patches, or feature additions to our products, I wanted a full-time developer position.

I’m almost there. In 2016 we saw the birth of team Ohana. Thanks to Mikey Krapf who believed and keeps believing in me, we created this new team, which is a mix of developers and support ninjas.

When we created it I was the lead of the team, then I left that spot to Remi because I don’t really like to be a team lead, I just want to develop, to write my code, to make people happy with what I do.

Now I’m working hard as a developer for internal tools used by our ninjas and customers. It’s a beautiful position, there’s always something to do, and I get to work with many teams in Automattic. I’m also still part of team Ohana of course, as a support ninja for escalated tickets and developer, and I still think of it as my baby, and I’m proud of what it is now.

Events, Events, and More Events!

I travelled a lot in the this year, really a lot, more than in my whole life.
This is how my travels map looks now:

Most of those travels happened in the last year. I visited many new places, and some that I already visited before, but it was always a new experience, with different people.

Also I visited the two places that I always dreamed to see. Russia and Romania.

I spent five days in Moscow, for the WordCamp Moscow in August. It was a blast! I loved it so much, Moscow is something incredible, and I really hope to go again this year.

In Romania instead I spent two weeks, always in occasion of a WordCamp, in Bucharest. I visited Bucharest, the capital, Timisoara and Cluj-Napoca. It was really awesome. I like Romania so much, and Romanians too.

Work Related Happenings

All the things that happened were not related to my work of course, but these below are somehow related to it.

My Blog Grow Up

I don’t know how to say thank you to all of you, who visit my blog every day. It has been an amazing year.

This blog grow up by about 780% from the 2015, in terms of visits. I published a total of 51 posts, including this one, and received more than 500 comments

Thanks for reading my articles, for leaving comments, and for suggesting article ideas. This blog wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you!

Another news about the blog is that I did a video tutorial/vlog for the first time. Let me know what you think and if you want to see more like this!

Developing Websites

I met an awesome person this year, and I would never be grateful enough for what she did for me, but I’ll talk about this person later.

She is related to the only website that I developed during the last year. Yeah, one website in one year is not a great statistic to share, but I didn’t do websites from when I joined Woo, and I’m really happy with the results and everything related to it.

It was nice to work directly with a “customer” again and I learned a lot.

You can find more about the development of here and here.

My Life

Many things happened in my life, those not related to my work I mean.
I don’t really know where to start from, so I’ll star from the bad things first.


Did you know that I’m a dancer? Well, not anymore. This was the last year that I was a professional dancer. I’ve never been a great dancer, but I was pretty good, and I loved and still love dancing.

I like a lot to spend time with my dance partner and to attend lessons and competitions, but this year we decided to stop, so I could go by my way, and she could go by her way, doing whatever we think it’s good for us.

I’m not totally sad about this decision. I miss dancing, yes, but it was the good choice for both of us, so I have to embrace the change and wish the best to me and Marisa.


I had to quit air-soft too. I technically quit it in 2015 already, but I was still going to tournaments and weekend games by time to time.

At one point, I had to choose between air-soft and dance, and I chose dance. There’s not really much to say about it, just that I miss those Sundays spent in the woods and those walks in the night to reach objectives and enemies. It was relaxing and it was a break from my daily routine.

New and Old Friendships

This is probably the most exciting part of my year, at least for me. I met many awesome people, and reconnected with some old friends too

Thanks to the events that I attend for work, I met again some friends in Russia that I met on a Christmas trip in Prague (weird, eh?). It was great to meet them again and to spend a drunk-night with them.

I also met some of my ex-coworkers, from when I was working in Sicily. Some of them got married, some had babies, others are just as crazy as they were before, but it’s always great to meet them again and talk with them. They are amazing people.

And last, but not least, from some time now, I joined a community of people thanks to the girl for who I developed the website I was talking above, Teo.

She is a streamer on Twitch, and she created a very good community around it. I ended up by mistake in this community, and I loved it.

I watch her stream almost every day, even only to say Hi, I chat with them off-stream and I also met some of them. It’s a great group of people, and I’m really happy with them. I wish I found them before, but I’m grateful because I found them just when I most needed them.

Thank you Teo for what you created, and thank you everyone for being there every day!

I Moved to Romania

I kept the best news for the end. I said that I wanted to move many times, I actually even planned it before, but the 2016 was the decisive year.

I made some friends in Romania, and this country always attracted me for some reason. Also taxes are very low compared to Italy. So it was the best choice for me at the moment.

I prepared everything, and I moved to Bucharest. I created a new company here, the Wedjat Ecou, and I closed the one in Italy, and I found a beautiful apartment.

I’m still a bit scared, but thanks to the people who I met here and pushed me to make this decision when I was about to lose all the hope, I’m sure it is the right decision for me now, and that another awesome and exciting year is waiting for me.

2017, Here I Come!

Goodbye 2016, I loved you, and welcome 2017, let’s spend some great time together!

Now tell me, how was your year instead?


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2 responses to “2016, Year in Review”

  1. How do you like it in Romania? 🙂

    1. I’m loving it George!

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About The Author

Hi, I’m Nico! Support Lead at Automattic, championing & WooCommerce. Off-duty, I’m at Elemental Beacon, leading epic D&D adventures. Let’s connect, whether it’s about WordPress or a quest!


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