Core Team Meetup Recap – Part I

As most people know, the core team (leads, primary committers, Matt) is having its annual meetup this week, packed into a house in Tybee Island, GA with an hour by hour schedule to try to get through as many things as we can. We’ll try to do recaps of everything we talk about to keep everyone in the loop (feel free to ask questions in the comments).

Monday/Tuesday

Matt, Mark Jaquith, Westi and I arrived (well, they arrived; I live here) on Monday and had a day to plan out the agenda topics and work out how we wanted to schedule the week.┬ ┬ Rather than plot out a unique schedule every day, we put together a repeatable pattern for morning and afternoon that looked like this:

Schedule chart

For the record, “Break” means “Check email, catch up on Trac tickets, etc,” not, “Hang out on the couch watching Hulu.”

On Tuesday we also took a field trip to buy a cable modem capable of handling the bandwidth increase we’d ordered. That night, everyone else arrived: Nacin, Koop, Dion (dd32), Andrew (azaozz), and Jon (duck_). We had dinner at the Crab Shack and planned an early start on Wednesday.

Wednesday

Wednesday was our first day as a full group. We followed the schedule fairly well, though as always with us, some things took longer than expected. :)

Breakfast: We went to eat at the Breakfast Club, where a bunch of the guys had Blackhawk burritos in honor of our absent member, Ryan Boren.

Our first main topic was a 3.3 debrief to discuss for about 45 minutes how the 3.3 development cycle went. (Going to split out the notes from these sessions into separate posts, or this post will be a mile long.)

After that we had breakout sessions, where the intention was for smaller groups to brainstorm/discuss an issue, then come up with a proposal/recommendation to present to the group. The two topics were QA and Updates (specifically the road to auto-updating and how we could get there). Mark assigned people to each session and half the group went upstairs. Coincidentally, that was the UPdates group. (sorry) Afterward, we regrouped and caught each other up on our proposals.

Lunch: Blackhawk burritos keep you full for days, so people just made sandwiches.

Round 2 started bringing in @ryan via Skype video from his home in Texas. The main discussion centered on our development cycle/release process/scoping/timelines. We discussed a number of things we could try to keep the cycles more consistent, reduce bottlenecks, and improve accountability.

Dinner: It was my birthday, so we all went to the Tybee Island Social Club for “Winesday” and continued our talks about everything from the wordpress.org site to growing local developer and user communities. There may be a picture of Koop and/or Nacin wearing a child’s birthday hat. Mark Jaquith has the footage.

Thursday

Breakfast: Miscellaneous breakfast stuff at the house. Pretty sure there was a bunch of bacon involved.

Morning session: Plugins, plugins, plugins. You name it, we talked about it. Findability in the directory, improving the repo and developer experience, plugin review, encouraging collaboration, 3rd party repos, communication with authors, and more.

Both breakout sessions were plugin-centric. In addition to general recommendations, each subteam was required to identify two discrete action items to help us move forward in their assigned area. One subteam (Me, Westi, Jon Cave, Andrew Ozz) was focused on planning upcoming wordpress.org sites in the Make and Learn areas, while the other (Matt, Nacin, Koop, Dion, Mark) focused on improving the directory.

This day we did an actual fun outing to get us out of our chairs and away from the laptops for a bit, and went out on a boat for an hour so the guys could get a tour of the river/marsh and hit the ocean as we looped past the Cockspur Lighthouse.

Core team, on a boat

Dion (dd32) and Matt

Mark and his lens

Koop

Matt and Cockspur Lighthouse, Tybee Island

After the boat, we went to lunch at North Beach Grill. There were conversations about infrastructure, performance, automated testing, and crawfish poppers. Before going back to the house, we did a 5-minute walk down to the water.

Westi on the beach

In the afternoon, rather than doing another block of heavy discussions, everyone worked on their computers. Some of you may have had some issues accessing svn etc last night, and so did we. So that took a while. After that it was general hackery and miscellaneous discussions about functions, bugs, and the usual things wp devs talk about when they are together. This lasted into the evening, so instead of going out to dinner we ordered pizza from Huc-a-Poo’s and kept working.

Friday

Today we’re having a modified schedule because Westi leaves to go home this evening, so we’re trying to get certain things finished before he leaves. We’ll be working this afternoon from a coworking space in downtown Savannah, and will be recording video responses to some of the questions on the forum thread I posted last week. If bandwidth supports it, we’ll livestream this while we record, and could possibly take more questions from people in #wordpress-dev. If we do it, we’ll use the Ustream “WordPress” user channel, and it will be mid-afternoon eastern time (maybe around 3pm?). Once we get there after lunch and can tell if the livestreaming will work, I’ll post on this blog with the verdict.

Off to Friday’s sessions! We’ll start posting the session writeups as time allows, but will get them all up there no later than the end of next week (there are a lot of notes).