This course is a new approach to training deputies on the Community Team. Previously, we had focused training on tasks, like reviewing applications and budgets, or mentoring organizers. We still want to train people on tasks, but recently we decided to spend more time on open source methods and how they’re used in WordPress community organizing — basically explaining the “why” behind the “how we do things.” We hope this will help our deputies to feel more confident in the work they do on this team.

Important: You won’t see the quiz questions unless you log in to take the course!

Thanks so much for your time and interest in helping the community team make the WordPress open source project a better place to be! We couldn’t do this without you.


Where to ask questions


All deputies are added as authors on the community team blog, In general, posting etiquette/protocol can be described simply as, “Post to the blog if it’s something all the deputies should know (or if you’re asking a question that would benefit all deputies to know the answer), and if it’s a sensitive situation, be thoughtful […]

WordPress project basics


WordPress is free software that’s written and maintained by hundreds of volunteers, all over the world. While some people are paid to work ON WordPress, no one is paid BY WordPress. There are companies, like Automattic but also 10up, Bluehost, GoDaddy, and others who pay full-time developers to work on WordPress core (that’s what we […]

Applying open source methods to community organizing


Most challenges we face when organizing WordPress community can be approached with one or more of the previously discussed ideas from open source theory. Transparency, iteration, egoless participation, and embracing imperfection are the tools we use to build WordPress community. Let’s look at some examples of how some of the expectations we set for community […]

What inclusive, welcoming local communities do for the WordPress project

Since we know that open source is built on collaboration and participation, let’s talk about what helps the project get more of that. Participation is risky, especially on the internet. People (especially people who are underrepresented in tech) are more likely to be criticized, ignored, or ridiculed on the internet than in any other setting […]

Addressing unwelcoming behavior


As you might remember from the meetup orientation (or at least the 5 good faith rules), one responsibility of a community organizer is to address discriminatory or unwelcoming behavior at community events. We absolutely must address behavior that makes an event unwelcoming when it’s identified. We can’t control what people do, but we can control […]

The (open source) reasons behind the rules


All of the firm expectations in the WordPress Community program and most of the “best practices” come from open source principles or methodology. Let’s look at a few: Ticket prices One of the things we ask WordCamp organizers to do is keep ticket prices as low as possible; the idea there is that WordPress events […]

The Open Source Toolbox: common problems, uncommon solutions


Let’s look at some typical examples of challenges that community organizers frequently run into, and how some solutions are more in line with open source methodology than other solutions. The Gridlock Problem Gotham is a large town with really terrible traffic, and the group’s one monthly meetup event is organized in the north of town […]

Vetting Organizer Applications


Why do we vet organizer applicants? Our approach is always to trust but verify, and vetting the people who apply to organize a meetup or WordCamp on behalf of the WordPress open source project is the “verify” part. 🙂 Event organizers are community organizers, and our community organizers work fairly autonomously on things like finding […]

Office Hours


Why office hours? While many organizer questions can be answered via email, synchronous communication in Slack can be quicker, more efficient, and friendlier.  We started organizing office hours in order to solve the problem of deputies working constantly in instant-reaction mode, and thus making mistakes due to constant multi-tasking. While some questions that crop up […]

WordCamp Orientations


When does an orientation happen? After a lead organizer has applied to organize a WordCamp and their application has been vetted we schedule a time to chat with them. This chat is called an orientation. If any questions or concerns arose during vetting that would better be discussed face-to-face and voice-to-voice we could more formally […]

Shipping Swag to Meetups and WordCamps


What swag do we send? For WordCamps we provide WordPress branded lanyards and a full pack (200) of W logo buttons and stickers. For official WordPress Meetup groups we provide a “half pack” (100) of W logo buttons and stickers. Signing in to the Swag Store If your account has been added to the Deputies group in […]

Reviewing Meetup Venue Requests


From time to time we receive a request from a Meetup group to pay for their venue. There are a few good reasons for this, and we’re happy to pay, but we have some guidelines that we follow and organizers are asked to do their due diligence when it comes to alternative solutions. Check the […]

Reviewing Budgets: Intro and Philosophy


When does a budget review happen? After an organizing team has been approved for pre-planning, but before they announce their date or we sign a contract with their venue, we ask the lead organizer to schedule a budget review. During the review a deputy will discuss the budget with the lead organizer (or organizing team). The […]

Reviewing a budget, step-by-step: Getting Started and Expenses


Reviewing a budget, step-by-step. First, look at the proposed budget, found in the WordCamp dashboard under Budget > Budget. Look at the top box on this page to understand the size of the event, noting the number of attendees, days, tracks, speakers, and volunteers. Check these numbers for consistency. For example, a 2-day, 3-track event […]

Reviewing a budget, step-by-step: Income and Conclusion


Reviewing Income Tickets Make sure the ticket revenue figure is either offset by an expense line item for comped tickets for speakers/sponsors/volunteers, or reflects that lack of income. If a community is trying to double the size of their event in a year, or might be over-estimating the number of people who will buy tickets, […]

Community Deputy Training Conclusion

Over the previous 16 lessons, you have learnt a whole lot about being a WordCamp Community Deputy – what is expected of you, how you carry out your tasks, and what the implications of your work can be. If you have reached this lesson successfully, then it means that you have completed all of the […]