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I feel excited and proud to announce that the Inaugural Cohort of the Experimental WordPress Contributor Mentorship program is formally launching today (July 12th)!
Organized by the Contributor Working Group of the WordPress Community Team, the mentorship program pilot is a four-week event between July 12th and August 9th, 2023. Participants (mentees) will asynchronously work together in a cohort with a group of mentorsEvent SupporterEvent 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. to build a strong foundation in the WordPress project and make initial contributions to the contributor team of their choice. This will be made possible through cohort-based and personalized 1:1 mentorship, guided courses, and live online workshops. A brief overview of the program can be found in the flowchart below:
Originally formed in 2021, and relaunched in 2023, the Contributor Working Group of the Community Team aims to improve the contributor experience of the WordPress project. Currently, the group is focusing exclusively on building this mentorship program as an experiment, before embarking on other projects.
The inaugural cohort contains a diverse group of 13 contributors from all over the world, who are assigned to a mentorEvent SupporterEvent 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. each, with a focus on contributor team interest, geographic/language alignment. These folks were chosen from around 50 applications we received from aspiring contributors all over the world. We also have seven Make Teams participating in our initial cohort to onboard team members into their teams.
The Plan of Action
Our group has a four week program, with our week officially kicking off today (July 12th).
Week 1 and Week 2 (July 12th through July 25th) During this week, mentees will be oriented to the project. They will learn about the project through mentorship, some pre-designed courses, and certain workshops which we will be hosting. Mentees will also work with their mentors to get a broad guidance about the program, and also decide the teams that they wish to contribute to.
Week 3 and Week 4 (July 26th through August 9th) By now, mentees will have received an overview of the project, and in the coming weeks, the focus will be on onboarding them to the Make/WordPress team of their choice. Mentees can attend onboarding workshops organized by team representatives, and get support from team representatives to make contributions to the teams of their choice.
By the end of the four-week period, mentees will have picked up a good overview of the WordPress project, and will have made some initial contributions to the Make/Teams of their choice. Ideally they will be set up for success and will get a chance to continue contributing to the WordPress project as per their bandwidth and availability. The USP of this cohort is that it aligns with the WordPress 6.3 release, which will offer mentees to get an inside view of how a WordPress release gets out in the wild.
This program is a cross team effort, and I would like to take a moment to thank and credit everyone involved in making this project a reality!
Our Mentors offer 1:1 support to each contributor in our cohort. These mentors check-in with mentees each week to offer them support and guidance on the program and to answer any questions that they may have about the same, while offering them guidance and direction on our program. Here’s a list of mentors in our current cohort, with each mentor being assigned to one participant/mentee.
As part of our mentorship program, our participants will get onboarded to the Make/Teams of their choice. We have the following folks representing multiple teams, who will help our contributors get onboarded to the project. Our inaugural cohort will only have a limited set of teams – you will find below a list of teams and team representatives who will help onboard contributors to the respective teams over the course of the mentorship program.
CoreCoreCore is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress.
In the true spirit of WordPress and open sourceOpen SourceOpen 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., all our work will happen out in the wild! As an experiment, we are sharing an option for all community members to follow along our cohort! While our group is not in a position to assign mentors to everyone, the activities and tasks of our cohort will be shared in the newly-formed #contributor-mentorship channel of the Make/WordPress SlackSlackSlack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/., where interested folks can join most of our contributing sessions and onboarding sessions which will also be shared widely with our community.
Once again, big thanks to everyone involved for their hard work in building this program from ground up. This program is an experiment—our hope is to learn as much as possible from the same to improve mentorship in the WordPress project and to support and empower more contributors. If you have any feedback on the same, we would love to hear from you – you can either share the same as comments in this post, or reach out to one of the working group members or myself privately in the Make/WordPress Slack!
Watch out for more updates from the contributor working group, and our wrap-up post celebrating our cohort once the mentorship concludes!