What do you think of when I say “WordPress Contributor”?
I’m willing to bet you picture a developer, whether it’s you or someone else. Or, perhaps you aren’t familiar with the concept of contributing to WordPress at all. If either of these ring true, you are not alone, and this is something I have thought about a lot over the last few years.
As I have met and talked to many people in the WordPress community, I have discovered that a surprising amount of people don’t realize that there is an opportunity for everybody to contribute to the WordPress project, no matter their skillset or experience level. And there are many potential reasons for this: lack of awareness, difficult or inaccessible onboarding processes, or Contributor events being fairly rare outside of big WordCamps, to name a few.
I knew some WordPress Teams had been working on some of these items in general, but the more I thought about it, the more it seemed we needed to have one go-to place for all things Contributor-related, where someone could not just start contributing or get some info about a team but also:
- Create a Contributor Day website
- Find a Contributor Day mentor
- Ask questions about contributing in general
- And more!
Luckily, I knew just who I could talk to. Over the last couple years, I have been involved in organizing the WordCamp US Contributor Days and had my own mentor, Angela Jin, who is also a Deputy on the Community Team. I shared my thoughts with Angela, and we discussed the idea of creating a Contributor Working Group as a sub-section of the Community Team. She brought the idea to the other deputies and it was generally agreed that it was an idea worth pursuing. The next thing I know, I’m posting a Call for Volunteers and holding our first meeting!
That was a few months ago and we are starting to find our rhythm as a group. There are currently about a dozen of us, with varying backgrounds, experiences, and skill levels. That’s one of the great things I love about this group: we truly benefit from a variety of people. People with more experience in the WordPress world are able to make sure we touch on all the things that need to be considered, and people newer to WordPress have a fresher view and remind the more experienced folks of those things we have forgotten or take for granted.
Fun Fact: Contributing to the Contributor Working Group is one way to contribute! Say that five times fast!
Our main goals can be grouped into three main categories:
- Compiling and expanding onboarding resources (for contributors and event organizers)
- Providing guidance with contributor events
- Enhancing new contributor experiences
This is all the while collaborating and coordinating with the other Make teams!
We are always happy to have new volunteers join our group, whether you just heard about contributing to WordPress for the first time today, or you’ve been contributing since the very beginning. No coding skills are needed!
We meet in the community-team Slack channel on the first and third Wednesdays of the month at 3:00 p.m. ET. Agendas and meeting recaps are always posted on the Community blog. If you are interested in joining the WordPress Contributor Working Group, attend one of our meetings and say hi! Or, if you want to talk to someone first, you can ping me on Twitter or the WordPress Slack at @amethystanswers.
Hopefully, as we progress through the year, more people will know about contributing and recognize that they DO have something of value to contribute to WordPress. New contributors will find it easier to get started, and there will be even better resources for contributors and organizers alike.