Episode 74: Kickstart (Or Level-Up) Your Contributor Journey

WordPress Briefing - A WordPress Podcast
WordPress Briefing – A WordPress Podcast
Episode 74: Kickstart (Or Level-Up) Your Contributor Journey
/

Download file | Play in new window | Duration: 9:46

Learn about where WordPress is going, how we’ll get there, and how you can get involved.

Explore the impact you can make on WordPress without coding in this WordPress Briefing episode hosted by Executive Director Josepha Haden Chomphosy. She’ll guide you through diverse non-coding contributions suitable for all skill levels, including content translation, photo submissions, event organization, and software testing. Listen and discover how you can enhance the WordPress community in ways that align with your interests and expertise.

Credits

Host: Josepha Haden Chomphosy
Editor: Dustin Hartzler
Logo: Javier Arce
Production: Brett McSherry, Chloé Bringmann
Song: Fearless First by Kevin MacLeod

Show Notes

Transcripts

[00:00:00] Josepha: Hello, everyone, and welcome to the WordPress Briefing, the podcast where you can catch quick explanations of the ideas behind the WordPress open source project, some insight into the community that supports it, and get a small list of big things coming up in the next two weeks. I’m your host, Josepha Haden Chomphosy. Here we go. 

[00:00:29] (Intro music) 

[00:00:40] Josepha: At the end of this week, WordCamp Asia is happening. It’s one of our largest events dedicated to WordPress, and it will cover a wide range of topics. From advanced concepts like running thriving businesses to more beginner things like building your first theme, there is bound to be something for you at this event.

For folks who have the opportunity to attend in person, you might also be going to your first-ever Contributor Day. Now, as much as I want there to be something for everyone there, I recognize that it’s a little more frenetic than your average WordPress event. It’s not any less welcoming than the event that has like a schedule and, tracks, and rooms.

[00:01:19] Josepha: But in my experience of any group of open source contributors, they get really excited when they are tackling problems together. And that’s most of what happens at a Contributor Day. It can make it a little difficult to see how you can join in. But never fear; the crew at the WordPress Briefing has you covered. We’ve got a couple of ways you can contribute immediately, no code required, and a handful of good next steps when you’re feeling comfortable and ready to level up.

For total beginners, so you’ve got a WordPress site, or you know, you’re about to launch one. And you’re here to learn and meet people and hopefully find someone who answers the questions you feel too shy to mention in public.

So these two ways of contribution are for you. First, you can contribute photos. WordPress has a photo directory for openly licensed photos, which are included in Openverse searches. Users can submit photographs to be used by folks all over the world. There are some basic guidelines, such as no faces or identifying characteristics. It can’t be overly edited or processed, but even photos taken on a smartphone are accepted. Because we understand that the best camera is the one you have on you.

[00:02:30] Josepha: You can also contribute translations. If you speak a language other than English, you can visit translate.WordPress.org and help translate not only the WordPress software but also plugins, themes, and other parts of the WordPress project into your native language. Since more than half of all WordPress installations are in non-English languages, adding or improving translations is really impactful. We are actually at WordCamp Asia trialing a new self-serve translation day process. So that’s a great place to have a double impact.

[00:03:03] Josepha: So those are your two completely code-free ways that you can contribute, completely beginner friendly ways to contribute at Contributor Day coming up later this week. And then for your next steps, so say that you’ve had your site for a while, you are an absolute expert in the admin, you’ve had to answer a few tough questions for yourself, you’ve watched a lot of tutorials, and so now you’re thinking of ways you can share that knowledge.

[00:03:29] Josepha: Here are a few ways that you can exercise your new knowledge and really solidify it in your brain.

Firstly, you can contribute help. Supporting other WordPress users is a great way to give back to WordPress. This can involve answering questions, providing guidance, or even providing the right resources to users. You can check out the WordPress support forums for more information, and they actually have a dedicated support team as well that works toward making sure that WordPress users have answers to the questions they are asking. You can head over to WordPress.org/support/forums and just pick an appropriate area for you, something that you are currently an expert in, and start answering questions. Start contributing.

[00:04:10] Josepha: Second thing you can do is you can contribute patterns. So WordPress has a dedicated Patterns directory, which stores a list of Block patterns. So custom designs that were created using blocks in Gutenberg that then can be used across any WordPress site, anyone’s WordPress site. You can submit those patterns, any pattern that you built, to the directory, and then they can be used by people all around the world. Basically, like anything with WordPress, if you put it in there, it can be used by anyone all around the world. 

The third thing is that you can contribute events. This is one of my favorite ways to contribute. Organizing in person events to an extent has no code requirement to it, but also it does kind of require that you have a good understanding of your local community and have a willingness to get out there and build your network. 

WordPress is where it is today thanks to its excellent community and all the lovely in-person events that happen all over the world. They bring our community together, and anyone can contribute by helping to organize just a small gathering or support an in-person event.

[00:05:13] Josepha: The fourth way that you can level up your contributions is to contribute by breaking things. I know that sounds weird, but testing the software to see where it breaks is actually a really valuable contribution. It’s as easy as downloading the WordPress beta tester plugin and the test reports plugin to a WordPress installation, Preferably a testing one, not one that’s currently publicly in use. But you can test out the newest version of WordPress before the release and provide useful feedback to the development team. 

And the fifth way that you can level up your contribution is to contribute learning. Not that you are learning as a contribution, but what one person can learn through a tutorial or documentation, another person has to learn through discussion and hands-on learning.

This team, the folks over at learn.WordPress.org, they are the official team and official learning platform and resource for WordPress. They host video tutorials. Yes, but also host live online workshops, courses and even provide lesson plans on different topics related to WordPress. So if you are an educator or otherwise really like to help spread knowledge around, pass around the knowledge that has been hard-earned by you, this is an excellent opportunity.

[00:06:28] Josepha: And of course, if you are brave and afraid of nothing, then you can just go to Contributor Day and move from table to table until something sounds interesting to you. You don’t have to have a plan. Your whole plan can absolutely be to wander until you are found.

[00:06:45] (Music interlude) 

[00:06:52] Josepha: That brings us now to our small list of big things. It’s actually a very small list today. I’ve got two things on it.

[00:07:00] Josepha: The first is that a couple of weeks back, we published the results from the 2023 annual survey. So, each year, we collect some high-level data about trends and themes across this vast ecosystem of users and site builders, people who extend WordPress core, and contributors who build WordPress core to help inform decision-making and provide valuable feedback on the project status. I looked at the results from our last survey. We had a bit of an increase in the respondents, not as much as we would have liked, but still a little bit greater number than we had in the past couple of years. And I have a lot of questions myself about what we are doing compared to what we are being asked to do and so go take a look at the blog post that has some highlights from it. It’s got a couple of contextual pieces of information in there as well, and come with your questions to WordCamps around the world or ask them in community meetings as you find them. 

[00:07:58] Josepha: And then the second thing is actually that we have kind of a pilot program going on. There’s a proposal out right now about GatherPress. It’s a group of community leaders that have built a tool, a community plugin, to help gather WordPress events a bit better and a bit more “open source-ely”. It’s open currently to anyone who is running a WordPress meetup group that is interested in learning more about how a WordPress-first and open source first community gathering tool might look.

[00:08:32] Josepha: I’ll have a link to the proposal in the show notes that’ll give you more detailed information and give you an opportunity to figure out how you can join that pilot and help us figure out whether it will work or not ultimately for WordPress. 

And that, my friends, is your small list of big things. Don’t forget to follow us on your favorite podcast app or subscribe directly on WordPress.org/news. You’ll get a friendly reminder whenever there’s a new episode. If you liked what you heard today, share it with a fellow WordPresser or fellow brand new WordCamper. But if you had questions about what you heard, you can share those with me at wpbriefing@WordPress.org. I’m your host, Josepha Haden Chomphosy.

[00:09:13] Josepha: Thanks again for tuning in today for the WordPress Briefing, and I’ll see you again in a couple of weeks. 


Get the Latest Updates

WP Briefing — The WordPress Podcast

Join Josepha Haden and Matt Mullenweg to learn about where WordPress is going and how you can get involved.