Contributor Orientation Tool

An online tool has been created by WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. Europe Organizers to help new contributors take part in building the WordPress platform.

By answering a series of questions, the Contributor Orientation Tool helps you learn about the different teams you can join to contribute.

The tool only takes a few minutes to use and is available on the WordCamp Europe (WCEU) website for those attending Contributor DayContributor Day Contributor Days are standalone days, frequently held before or after WordCamps but they can also happen at any time. They are events where people get together to work on various areas of https://make.wordpress.org/ There are many teams that people can participate in, each with a different focus. https://2017.us.wordcamp.org/contributor-day/ https://make.wordpress.org/support/handbook/getting-started/getting-started-at-a-contributor-day/. on 20 June 2019.

Contributor Orientation Tool

Promotion of the tool is supported by a number of resources, which can be further expanded by other WordCamps in the future. The WCEU team is involved in features, interviews and case studies of contributors with the Make WordPress Marketing and the Polyglots’ WordPress Translation Day to encourage would-be contributors to the project.

Q&A Contributor Day questions – part 1

Q&A Contributor Day questions – part 2

Contributor Day Glossary (WCEU)

Exploring wider uses for the tool

The WCEU team hopes the Contributor Orientation Tool can be adapted to support other WordCamps and the Make WordPress teams in encouraging new contributors and introducing them to the project.

Making it easier to choose teams

Feedback from previous WCEU and other WordCamp Contributor Days shows that new contributors can find it difficult to decide which team to join and feel unsure of what is expected of them. 

For people who are new to the project, choosing a team from a long list or by reading through the team handbooks can become a barrier to getting involved. The tool hopes to make the process simpler and more personal.

How the tool can help

WordCamp Europe Organizers wanted a way to help new contributors easily understand how their professional skills, experience and personal preferences transfer to areas of work at a Contributor event.

They created the Contributor Orientation Tool incorporating feedback from previous events and as part of a testing period earlier this year. It is aimed at helping attendees to discover the Make WordPress teams that might interest them and where their skills could be of most use. Suggestions are provided for teams the user might like to join based on their responses to the online questionnaire. 

How the tool works

It has been developed as a WordPress pluginPlugin A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. These can be free in the WordPress.org Plugin Directory https://wordpress.org/plugins/ or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party (HTMLHTML HTML is an acronym for Hyper Text Markup Language. It is a markup language that is used in the development of web pages and websites. form) taking new contributors through a series of preferences to determine which match the work and skills needed for each Make WordPress team which will be at the event. The form only takes a minute to complete.

The tool is logic-based and guides users through a number of options to help identify potential teams. Attendees can select multiple choices from the questions presented, and the tool uses their selections to generate the next section of questions. This in turn further narrows the final recommendations they will receive.

The form has four sections, described as ‘steps’ for the user.

Step 1: a general section to identify the user’s interest in WordPress.

Step 1 of the tool asking users what they do with WordPress

Step 2: helps the user list their particular interests and what they might like to do in the project.

Step 2 of the Orientation Tool - what are you passionate about?

Step 3: using the information from step 1 and 2, this section encourages the user to focus on the areas in which they have most experience.

Step 3 of the tool asks about areas of experience

The questions which will display will vary depending on the user’s selection in previous steps. 

Step 4: displays teams which may be of interest for the user to join. The tool also provides a basic description of the suggested teams’ work and links to more detailed information on WordPress.orgWordPress.org The community site where WordPress code is created and shared by the users. This is where you can download the source code for WordPress core, plugins and themes as well as the central location for community conversations and organization. https://wordpress.org/.

Step 4 of the tool shows suggested teams

In the future, the WCEU team hope the tool can be used and adapted for other WordCamps or to ease the onboarding process for new contributors at make.wordpress.org. For example, it could be useful for:

  • helping attendees at big WordCamps which have many contributor areas available
  • increasing awareness of the different teams
  • guiding users to the teams available at smaller events
  • encouraging those who want to try a new team but are not sure what would suit them
  • assisting first time contributors during the onboarding process.

Data collection and GDPR

The way the tool has been developed, the WordCamp does not collect nor store any personal data submitted via its form. Submissions are completely anonymous and for information only. There is no restriction on the number of times or options attendees can select when using the tool.

Working demo

The tool which will be used for WCEU Contributor Day 2019 is available at https://orientation.wp-europe.org/

Plugin settings

The form can be adapted to suit the number of teams that will be represented at Contributor Day. Site administrators can switch off the teams they do not wish to display for users. This will also stop related questions appearing in the tool.

Settings screen in the Contributor Orientation Tool. Showing fields to disable team entries.

The WCEU team plans to add more options to make it possible for others to enable or disable some of the tool’s functionalities. More below on the plans for the tool and the development work on GitHubGitHub GitHub is a website that offers online implementation of git repositories that can can easily be shared, copied and modified by other developers. Public repositories are free to host, private repositories require a paid subscription. GitHub introduced the concept of the ‘pull request’ where code changes done in branches by contributors can be reviewed and discussed before being merged be the repository owner. https://github.com/.

Next steps

Supporting Make teams onboarding

Some people who are new to the Make WordPress project or a particular team may find it difficult to know how they could contribute. The tool can be used during the onboarding process to assist first time contributors to get involved and know how their skills could be of value.

Adding a feedback option

The development team have plans to add a text box to the form for submitting feedback anonymously about the tool. They will use this information to help improve the tool for future use.

Adding a checkbox for analysing results

They plan to include a checkbox option for users to enable the tool to send the anonymised results to an email address the site administrator specifies in its settings. This data will be used to further improve Contributor Days at WCEU and could be shared with the community where useful.

Adding option for users to receive results

The WCEU team would like to add a feature for users to be able to send results to their own email address so they can review it later. The camp would not retain any data.

Submit plugin to official repositories

After WCEU 2019 in June, the team will discuss the tool further with WordCamp CentralWordCamp Central Website for all WordCamp activities globally. https://central.wordcamp.org includes a list of upcoming and past camp with links to each. and the WordPress.org Community team. They hope to make it available to other WordCamps and standalone Contributor Day events.

Localization

The Plugin supports basic WordPress localization and has .pot file ready for future translations. This could be translated into multiple languages with the help of the community.

Get involved

If you have a feature to propose, bug to report or are interested in supporting this development, you can find out more information in the repository at github.com/wceu/contributor-orientation-tool

Thanks to everyone who has been involved in the creation of this tool, especially @siemens82, @josefreitas2, @milana_cap and @webcommsat. Thank you also to the Make WordPress Marketing team for assisting with the feedback process for this tool and the Contributor Events Q&As.

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