Steve Grunwell

Open-source contributor, speaker, and electronics tinkerer

Today is my last day at Growella

Though it was only a few short months ago that I left my Lead Web Engineer position at 10up to join Growella as their Director of Technology, today is my last day in that position. It’s not a decision I’ve arrived at lightly, but it’s a move that I feel is necessary for my career satisfaction.

I’m extraordinarily proud of what I’ve accomplished in my few months at Growella; our small team was able to take the site from concept to release in less than two months, rolling out the “Prime” release on January 17. I pitched, built, and have been writing weekly on the Engineering @ Growella blog, a place to discuss how we approach engineering challenges at Growella. Growella’s GitHub organization has a number of open-source contributions to its name, including several WordPress plugins, a WP-CLI package, and several contributions to other open-source projects.

Ultimately, Growella wasn’t the right company for me; it’s a small team of talented people working towards a noble goal of financial education, but it’s not a match for what I’m looking for in my career right now. It’s not an easy decision to arrive at, but it’s also better to recognize this early and leave on good terms than to hang around and be bitter. I wish them all the best and will continue to follow the growth of the young company.

What comes next?

When I reached out to some of my close friends to ask for advice, it was recommended I reach out to Chris Lema, who recently had joined Liquid Web as their Vice President of Products & Innovation. I had met Chris several times before, and he’s someone I look up to both as a leader and as a speaker, so I shot him an email. I emailed on a Saturday, he responded that Monday with “I wish I had checked my work email the past day or two, so I could have responded within a single minute of your email.” and an invitation to talk.

As it turns out, I’ve been on Chris’ radar for some time, and we had a really great conversation about what he’s building at Liquid Web. Or, perhaps I should rephrase: what we’re building at Liquid Web.

That’s right: I’ll be a Senior Software Engineer on the Managed WordPress team at Liquid Web, working under Chris and alongside my close friend and former co-Engineering Manager Brian Watson. We’ll be working along with the rest of the Managed WordPress team to make Liquid Web the hands-down best managed WordPress experience on the market.

I’m excited to get started at Liquid Web, working on a distributed, engineering-centric product team. Watson and I have a great working rapport and rich history of working well together, and I’ll be working for the name in building successful WordPress product teams. There are some great things to come, and I look forward to seeing where we can take the platform.


Brewing your own cold-brew coffee in a French Press


Keeping WordPress Secure


  1. The company I work with just signed an agreement to use Liquid Web for hosting our WordPress powered event website. :) Maybe you’ll end up helping me fine tune the server with your WP knowledge? :)

    • You’re much more likely to feel my effect when you start going “whoa, there’s so much that I’m getting with Liquid Web that I wouldn’t dream of going anywhere else! They’re a crucial part of my business and general quality of life!” ;)

  2. Steve,
    Congrats! We use Liquid Web at Gordon Food Service for many internal sites. Though we’re Drupal focused, we do host some WordPress on our servers there.

    Are you moving to good old Michigan? Beware of license plate tab costs…

  3. Congratulations on getting the band back together! LiquidWeb has certainly built a Dream Team with you, Chris Lema & Watsonbot!

  4. Jason DeWitt

    Watson & Grunwell together? Now you know you in trouble.

    congrats and good luck dude =)

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Be excellent to each other.