Recap of the Contributor Working Group’s Mentorship Chat on May 23rd 2024


Meeting links (SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at APAC/EMEA, AMER

Host (EMEA): @harishanker
Host (AMER): @peiraisotta
Notes: @harishanker

In Attendance:
APAC/EMEA @harishanker (host) + @coachbirgit @coachbirgit @devmuhib @hellosatya @javiercasares @josepmoran @KafleG @kirasong @lighthouse79 @lumiblog @matteoenna @meher @nao @nilovelez @oglekler @oneal @patricia70 @poena @rcreators @sumitsingh @unintended8 @yoga1103 + async @tobifjellner @josepmoran @estelaris @nhrrob @courane01

AMER: @peiraisotta (host) + @adityakane @chaion07 @colorful-tones @courane01 @gusaus @matteoenna @nhrrob @rogermedia @tobifjellner @tekNorah


Brainstorming/Planning Cohort #3 of the Mentorship Program

We spent some time planning the third cohort of the WordPress contributor mentorship program. Participants agreed to maintain the six-week duration but also suggested extending it to seven weeks, dedicating the first week for introductions and onboarding. There was a consensus to keep the cohort size at 40 mentees paired with 20 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., but with a backup list of mentors to handle emergencies or increased applications. Clear and visible documentation for mentors was emphasized, as current public resources on mentorship are lacking. Ideas like integrating mentees into multiple teams to showcase cross-team collaboration, creating a dedicated onboarding channel in Slack, and organizing an online 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. for mentorship were discussed. Leveraging existing programs like do_action hackathons and bridging with the Training Guide program for onboarding new contributors were also brought up in this discussion.

We decided to focus on enhancing clarity, structure, and support for both mentors and mentees. Participants stressed the importance of setting clear individual project goals and maintaining general program goals to measure success. Improving 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 communication and avoiding the initial loss of momentum were highlighted as key areas for refinement. Additionally, ideas for integrating initiatives like Hacktoberfest and WP Translation Day to enhance contributions were explored. Overall, the discussions aimed at creating a more effective and engaging mentorship experience, ensuring sustainable mentor participation, and providing a comprehensive support system for new contributors.

Based on the discussion, we arrived at a broad set of dates for the next cohort which are as follows:

  • June – July 2024: We finalize the structure for the next cohort
  • August – September 2024: Call for mentees/mentors goes out, we select mentors + mentees, and announce them.
  • October-November 2024: Mentorship Program.

It was highlighted that the mentorship program should avoid coinciding with major events like WCUSWCUS WordCamp US. The US flagship WordCamp event. to ensure that mentors are not overly occupied. Adjustments may be needed to align with the WordPress 6.7 release cycle, aiming to start the program after major events to maximize participation and focus. For further details, refer to the 2024 Major Release Timing Proposal.

We also asked our group members informally on whether anyone would like to join the next cohort as facilitators. @rcreators @nilovelez @javiercasares @patricia70 @kirasong @estelaris and @josepmoran have volunteered to join the next cohort.

We are going to start working on building the next cohort as per this plan, and will try to create an MVPMinimum Viable Product "A minimum viable product (MVP) is a product with just enough features to satisfy early customers, and to provide feedback for future product development." - WikiPedia plan for the next cohort with the goal of creating a strong foundation and structure for the program as early as possible.

On-demand Mentorship

In our last chat, @tobifjellner shared an excellent idea around “on-demand mentorship”, where we create a pool of mentors who are available to support new contributors, so that new contributors coming in can get mentorship whenever they want. We discussed this idea quite a bit in this month’s chat.

@tobifjellner elaborated on this idea in the discussion. Essentially, the idea involves creating a dedicated Slack channel for onboarding, supplemented by an email sequence to help new contributors become familiar with the WordPress project. This channel could serve as a general onboarding space, with specific teams building on this process for their own needs. Additionally, the idea of mentorship content living on Learn WordPress, coupled with available time slots for Q&A sessions, was proposed to offer flexible support. The goal is to bridge the periodic cohorts with continuous, ongoing mentorship, ensuring new contributors receive guidance whenever needed.

Participants also discussed having a structured approach where mentors can support mentees asynchronously and provide guidance while encouraging them to connect with their primary mentors. This would ensure mentees receive timely assistance without undermining their mentor-mentee relationships. Creating a pool of available mentors and setting up weekly sessions for bug scrubs were suggested to maintain engagement and address specific questions. Furthermore, integrating the on-demand mentorship with existing programs like do_action hackathons and leveraging university partnerships for project-based contributions were considered valuable for expanding outreach and sustaining the mentorship program. We also pointed to discussions on different forms of mentorship in the WordPress Contributor Working Group Tracker.

On-demand mentorship was identified as an idea with great potential – and our group will continue to discuss the idea with hopes of creating a structure and launching it after the next mentorship cohort concludes.

Five for the Future Documentation Updates and Discussions

Additionally, in our chat, we highlighted a set of important ongoing discussions related to Five for the Future and the WordPress Contributor Experience.

Open Floor

#wpcontributors, #contributor-working-group, #meeting-notes, #mentorship-chat, #mentorship-chat-recap, #mentorship-program, #sustainability