Recap of the Contributor Working Group’s Mentorship Chat on December 21, 2023

In attendance: @adityakane, @alexcu21, @angelasjin, @gusa, @harishanker, @javiercasares, @onemaggie, @josepmoran, @juliarosia, @kafleg, @matteoenna, @kirasong, @devmuhib, @nao, @ninianepress, @oglekler, @onealtr, @patricia70, @sereedmedia,@st810amaze, @tobifjellner, @topher1kenobe, @webtechpooja, @sumitsingh, @tobifjellner, @yoga1103

Notes: @harishanker


Meeting Start

Planning Mentorship Cohort #2 of the Mentorship Program

Our main focus for this chat was planning the second cohort of the mentorship program which kicks off in January 2023. 

Adjusted Schedule of the Mentorship Program Cohort #2

Based on feedback from the last chat, we decided to move our second cohort to January 2024, so as to give us more time to run the program on planned dates. Our updated schedule is as follows:

  1. Publish Call for mentees/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. (late November; close at the end of the year) Week of January 8, 2024
  2. Cohort selection & program building: (Jan 16 – Feb 9) (Jan 8 – Feb 15)
  3. Announce selected mentees/mentors (Feb 14)
  4. Mentorship Program: 4-6 weeks (Feb 19 – March 29; 6 weeks leading up to. T the release week)
  5. Graduation & Retrospective: 2 weeks (April 1 – April 12)

Contributor Feedback

  • All members were generally in agreement about the updated schedule.
  • @st810amaze shared a concern about holidays around the world in January and February 2023, which could affect the program, and shared about upcoming holidays in this period. While it is not possible to change the schedule right now, we decided that it would be best to work around these holidays to ensure that our contributors get the best experience.
  • @kirasong: “I’ve shared this elsewhere, but I think the schedule starting after betaBeta A pre-release of software that is given out to a large group of users to trial under real conditions. Beta versions have gone through alpha testing in-house and are generally fairly close in look, feel and function to the final product; however, design changes often occur as part of the process. makes it a bit harder for folks to contribute to coreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. for things landing in 6.5.Knowing that’s the case, though, we can pick tasks that are more likely to be able to be committed (like testing/tests/bug fixes). And/Or make the expectations clear that forms of contribution leading up to commits are good enough too. I like that the announcement post encourages getting set up early and if there’s any way I can help folks as they do that, I would love to.”
  • @harishanker: “Personally, I feel that the new schedule aligns better with our goals. It’s also nice to have the call for mentors/mentees in the new year, we could have some more sign ups that way. And in terms of timelines, I think we have sufficient time to work on all our tasks.”

Cohort Announcement Post Feedback

Our draft cohort announcement post and calls for mentors and mentees are out. All details can be found in the linked GitHub issue. Group members shared their feedback on the announcement post and the mentorEvent 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./mentee calls. 

Contributor Feedback

  • @harishanker suggested some mentor specific feedback along the lines of mentor motivation, experience, etc.
  • @angelasjin wondered whether we should add more questions or whether we should strike a balance to get the right mentors in our program. 
  • Based on the feedback, the mentor form was updated.
  • @alexcu21: “How will be the selection process, I guess you shared it on previous cohort but I can’t find it.”
  • As a result of the feedback, the mentor form was updated, and the selection process was clarified in the GitHub issue.

Projects for the Mentorship Program

In this meeting, we discussed the idea of project-based mentorship for the next cohort – an idea that was originally suggested by @oglekler and @tobifjellner in our past chats. Mentorship programs from other 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. initiatives (such as Linux Foundation Mentorship and Google Summer of Code, to name a few), have always been project-based. These programs have always had encouraging results, as project-based mentorships offer direction and provide a great pathway for mentee engagement. In our chats, we brainstormed a couple of ideas for mentorship program projects. 

  • A project to have a group of mentees come together to build Community Themes (proposed by @onemaggie, who has kindly offered to be a mentor in that project as well) 
  • A Learn WordPress Tutorial on a high-impact topic created by a group of mentees, dividing work around script writing, video & audio recording, editing, and subtitles, as proposed by @courtneypk – who has also kindly agreed to support the idea. 

Ideally, we identified that mentorship program projects have the following features: 

  • Completable in four to five weeks
  • Something you and/or someone else can mentor
  • Benefits WordPress projects at large rather than specific individuals or organizations only
  • Required skills are relevant for beginner- to intermediate-level mentees

Group members shared the following feedback:

  • @nao: “Both projects sound like great fit, they are well-defined and low-risk, and provide lots of opportunity to learn new skills. Plus, group work is a good way to gain collaboration experience.”
  • @josepmoran: “ @nao Completely agree. Cooperation and fostering cohesion of work groups would be great.”
  • @oglekler: “I will think about Core project, but I believe that it should be a team work. It will be fun and mentees will learn to collaborate”
  • @harishanker: “I strongly advocate for group projects, I’m not sure how much we can do this for our Q1 cohort, but I would love to do more projects for other cohorts too. Having a clear output could be immensely helpful.”
  • @kirasong agreed that group projects are a good idea. “I thinkit’s likely to be easier to arrange for next time but trying it out is a wonderful idea regardless,” they added.
  • @javiercasares: “I think the project idea is great, but yes, we probably need to clarify the project and, mainly, the goal. I’m thinking on some project, but I’m usually involved in seed projects, so I don’t have any project right now…But, I think documentation may have some projects (I know Mobile and others have some needs, but probably somebody from the Docs team can help better). For example, probably we will have some projects from the Hosting team that may be around the time for the 2nd cohorst, so when I have some clarity about it, I can try and propose something” 
  • @st810amaze: “I love the idea of group work. Working 1-on-1 with the mentor is great. But having a chance to catch up with other mentees might motivate them more, and always a chance to make new friends.”
  • @kafleg and @onemaggie supported the idea strongly and committed their support to mentor new contributors in this project as part of the Community Theme Projects idea.
  • @tobifjellner: “How about some mentees organizing an online meetupMeetup Meetup groups are locally-organized groups that get together for face-to-face events on a regular basis (commonly once a month). Learn more about Meetups in our Meetup Organizer Handbook.? Someone might join as speaker… #marketing should be able to share useful ideas. We haven’t had a WP-TranslationDay for a while
  • @nao was excited about the idea of a translation day. “
  • I think it would be great if someone can mentor to lead a group of mentees (some PTEs, perhaps?) to update WPTranslation Day tools and docs, so it’s possible to run it this September (and every year!).This could be a Community/Polyglots TeamPolyglots Team Polyglots Team is a group of multilingual translators who work on translating plugins, themes, documentation, and front-facing marketing copy. joint project?”
  • On @nao’s nudge, @tobifjellner is going to ask in the next Polyglots meeting if anyone would be interested in being a mentor.
  • @gusa shared an excellent idea of a WordPress Hackathon from the Sustainability Team. “The description isn’t quite clear, but a primary goal is to create resources that could be used for training and mentoring. There’s already some overlap with multiple teams”, he added. Per Gus, this is already submitted as a NextGen event, and are working with the community team members to refine. 
  • @harishanker shared that the Contributor Working Group would love to work with the Sustainability Team on related projects. 
  • @gusa also pointed us to FundOSS – a program that tries to fund open source contributors. More can be found here:

Folks are also encouraged to share the feedback in GitHubGitHub GitHub is a website that offers online implementation of git repositories that 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.

Mentorship Program Clarifications 

We clarified a few important housekeeping items for our chats:

We wrapped up the chat by thanking all group members for their contributions in 2023, and hoping for an exciting year ahead for the program in 2024. 

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