Launching the Contributor Working Group: Call for Volunteers

Last month, I shared a proposal in the Make/Project blog, to revamp the Contributor Working Group of the Make/WordPress Community Team in order to build a WordPress Contributor Mentorship Program. Feedback on the proposal was quite positive! Folks supported the idea, volunteered to be a part of the working group, and shared valuable insights on mentorship for WordPress. A big thanks to everyone for their valuable feedback! 

This post aims to start building the proposed mentorship program using the contributor working group!

What is the Contributor Mentorship Program?

At its coreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress., the contributor mentorship program aims to provide a foundation for new and aspiring contributors to succeed in (and with) the project by helping them build necessary tools and skill set – through cohort-based and 1:1 mentorship. 

The program offers to improve the overall onboarding experience for new contributors in WordPress through effective mentorship opportunities. It is aimed at new contributors to WordPress (mentees) who will be supported by veteran contributors (mentorsEvent Supporter Event Supporter (formerly Mentor) is someone who has already organised a WordCamp and has time to meet with their assigned mentee every 2 weeks, they talk over where they should be in their timeline, help them to identify their issues, and also identify solutions for their issues.). Mentees learn the basics of contributing to the project by working with mentors before they start working on Make/Teams of their choice. 

By being a part of the mentorship program and having access to mentorship, newer contributors can make successful ongoing contributions to the project and stay on to become veterans. In addition to supporting the project by empowering contributors, the program also aims to impart vital skills to participants through contributing, which will support their professional choices and careers.

About the Contributor Working Group

The contributor working group is not new to WordPress. It was originally founded in September 2020 and led by @amethystanswers. The group did a lot of great work around suggesting improved onboarding flows, and organizing online contributor day events, even as the global COVID-19 pandemic brought the world to its knees. 

As I revitalize this working group in 2023, I hope to point its focus exclusively on building a contributor mentorship program based on community feedback from my proposal. Focusing on mentorship will also help the group become more effective and create a significant impact on the community.

The group will initially focus on the following tasks: 

  • Brainstorming and building a structure for the contributor mentorship program
  • Recruiting mentors and mentees to the program
  • Offering support and guidance for mentors and mentees in the program
  • Creating and improving learning content for mentees
  • Running at least one pilot version of the mentorship program in 2023

Call for Volunteers

The mentorship program is going to be an ambitious endeavor, and its success depends on support and contributions from passionate volunteers. Even though this group is tied to the Make/Community Team, its work spans the entire project. Additionally, the group plans to work closely with other Make/Teams, in order to build this program.

Like the WordPress project itself, membership to the working group is open to all. I would like to welcome everyone to join the group! Wondering if this is the right volunteer opportunity for you? You can make a massive impact on the program if you: 

  • Are excited about mentorship and have an idea about how it works
  • Have familiarity with different Make Teams and have experience working with them.
  • Possess a willingness to do outreach in SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at
  • Share a passion for helping others find ways to contribute
  • Can dedicate a few hours per month to the program, especially after the formal launch of the mentorship program. (Note: this is not a requirement – all contributions are welcome!)

Interested in joining the contributor working group? Excellent – we would love to have you with us!

Please express your interest by commenting on this blog post or by joining us for our inaugural team chat on March 20, 2023!
Alternatively, you can also DM me in the Make/WordPress Slack to express your interest (I’m @harishanker over there).

Pinging all the good folks who had previously expressed interest in joining the working group: @dpknauss, @williamsba1, @webtechpooja, @megabyterose, @tobifjellner, @wolfpaw, @soulseekah, @courtneypk, @kirasong, @tobifjellner, and @amethystanswers

Also looping in other folks who had expressed their interest in improving contributor experience for our project: @unintended8 @mysweetcate @sereedmedia @askdesign @lesleysim @adityakane @itsjustdj @evarlese @leonnugraha @javiercasares @jeffpaul, and @desrosj.

Inaugural Meeting times

To kick off work on the contributor working group – we are planning a team chat on the #community-team channel of the Make/WordPress Slack, in a few days. I will also publish a separate agenda blog post before the meeting to kick things off. 

Here’s the link to a handy `.ics` file which contains calendar entries for our upcoming chat. These chats have also been added to the Make/Meetings calendar. I will share reminders in the #community-team Slack to inform participants about these upcoming chats. 

Once again, major props to everyone for expressing interest in an exciting project like the mentorship program. Together, I hope we can all make an impact on our favorite open sourceOpen Source Open Source denotes software for which the original source code is made freely available and may be redistributed and modified. Open Source **must be** delivered via a licensing model, see GPL. project by helping build a program that will also bring positive change to the lives of its contributors.

#contributor-working-group #mentorship-program #wpcontributors

The following folks reviewed or shared feedback on this blog post: @cbringmann @angelasjin @peiraisotta