WebDevStudios is Dedicated to the Future of WordPress!

At the end of September, Matt Mullenweg published a blog post outlining his vision of Five for the Future. DradCast interviewed Matt at WordCamp San Francisco 2014, here’s what he had to say:

WebDevStudios is Dedicated to the Future of WordPress

Since the start of WebDevStudios, we have always been big advocates of giving back to the WordPress project and community. Over the years we’ve tried various official ways to contribute as a company, but have never figured out the best way to do it.

Sometimes you just have to put a plan in place and measure its success, then iterate along the way. We have decided to officially join the Five for the Future movement, and over the last few weeks we started dedicating 5% of WebDevStudios time to contributing back to the WordPress project.

We’re Committed, Lets Formalize

To start, each team member will have 2-hours per week of billable contribution time for WordPress and related projects. To avoid the problem of contribution time being punted for client work, we decided it would be best to start the week off giving back. This is also a great way to start the week off by doing something awesome, it is already proving to be energizing.

Here’s a short overview of the setup:

  • Team members start with 2-hours/week dedicated to contribute
  • Official company contribution time is Monday 9am-11am EDT (Our WDS West team starts a little later of course)
  • We track the time and efforts so that we can measure things like time spent, contributions, and overall effectiveness
  • We include the entire company, not just developers and designers. PM’s, administrative resources, and executives get to have fun too

A Flexible Approach with Impact in Mind

We are taking this on and fully committed, we are already seeing the immediate impact on the project. We have contributed to WordPress, BuddyPress, and various other projects in the community. Here are a few examples of how our team kicked off the new program:

This is not an exhaustive list, but the point really is your team can make an immediate difference by contributing. If your entire team gets involved consistently, the level of contribution can grow quite fast.

What we found immediately when we announced internally that we were formalizing a contribution plan was excitement and passion, even from those that hadn’t contributed. In true WordPress community form, those team members that had already contributed stepped right on up immediately offering help to get new contributors more familiar with contributor processes. Greg Rickaby, one of our awesome Design Leads even created a Beginners Guide to Contributing to WordPress that we recently shared.

This isn’t the end-all, we have some team members contributing beyond their 2 hours, it would be shortsighted to limit contributions across the board. We have found that taking it case-by-case for those that want to contribute more has worked well to extend beyond the formal 5% we are committed to.

Since we formally launched contribution program, we have yet to calculate numbers around time and efforts spent organizing WordCamps and Meetups, and even speaking at camps across the world. When we have a clearer picture of those numbers, we will share them, and we suspect it would take our overall commitment to a whole new level.

It Really Does Take a Village

Just like in the community at large, we feel it takes our whole team to make the biggest impact. This is a great starting point for us as a team joining in formally, and it will only grow new team members become more familiar with contributing, and really start to sink their teeth in.

The WDS team is very committed to this effort and will continue to look ways to expand. After all, we are fortunate enough to make our living from WordPress.

Your Turn Matt

So Matt, as we talked about it at WCSF, we knew we wanted to get involved, but weren’t sure how at the time. We have a better idea now, and consider this our entry to the show, we care about the future of WordPress, and are committed to helping that future be bright for all.

Now it’s your turn to uphold your commitment. There was a bit of a challenge made in San Francisco. In fact, you were the one that called it out. We, WebDevStudios commit five for the future, you, Matt Mullenweg get on the mat to do Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with Dre Armeda.

All we have to say is, your move big guy! When and where? 😀


4 thoughts on “WebDevStudios is Dedicated to the Future of WordPress!

  1. Good stuff Dre. Thanks for sharing.

    I’m curious, and presume it’s not just me: Aside from “impact” how is DWS deciding what to take on in the immediate and what can wait? I mean, if one hour invested can save 1,000 hours (across the community) and another one hour’s ROI is 100 hours both quality as “impact”, yes?

    Is there any pan community coordination beyond MM’s challenge? Or even intra-WDS optimization? Or is the current M.O. to just leave it to – more of less – chance?

    I’ll take my answer off the air 🙂

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