Mentorship Wednesday I’ll be writing up posts today…

Mentorship Wednesday! I’ll be writing up posts today for all the contributor teams about mentorship programs:

  • A one-month beginning contributor ramp-up mentorship
  • A three-month project mentorship
  • Specific third-party programs like GSoC and OPW

I’ll be starting the GSoC application process this week (deadline to apply is Feb 14). I would like to have a backup administrator for the GSoC program that isn’t someone heavily involved in development of coreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress., but someone with some free time and good project management skills. Responsibilities would be helping wrangle potential mentors to write up project descriptions and bios in the next week or so, and then if we’re accepted, helping to oversee the selection of students/mentor pairings (including running a couple of irc chats), and once it starts, helping with weekly check-ins. If anyone is interested in helping out with this, hands up in the comments. Note: because this program is important to us, this would not be something I’d feel comfortable handing over to someone brand new to the community. Familiarity with the WordPress project and involvement in some way (core, forums, docs, WordCamps, etc) would be desired, so that there’s some level of trust already established.

Last year we had 2 OPW interns, one in core and one in support. Unlike GSoC, for OPW we have to raise the 5k per intern ourselves (in 2013, Automattic provided the funding). I’ll be reaching out to a couple of hosting companies and such this week to see if they’d want to sponsor an intern, but in the meantime we would need to be better organized. We have the GSoC program down pretty well, but we need similar structures in place for the other groups (OPW is available for any contributor area, not just code). If we de decide to participate, will need a backup admin for this as well.

One-Month Program, Three-Month Program
Time to try a pilot for our own official mentorship program. After discussing it with a bunch of different people who’ve asked about having such a program and a bunch who’d be in the position of mentoring, here’s what I came up with that I’d like to try as a pilot this spring (before the GSoC coding period).

  • One-Month Program. For each group, devise a 4 week introduction to contributing with that group that focuses on hands-on practice. A mentor will connect with mentee(s) once per week officially, and may be in contact as needed throughout. Each week will have a goal or set of goals as well as homework for practice (example: in the week of learning how to work with svn, homework might be to create 5 patches and upload them to a ticket we use for training purposes). The most common thing I hear from people is that they learn how at a dev day or meetupMeetup All local/regional gatherings that are officially a part of the WordPress world but are not WordCamps are organized through A meetup is typically a chance for local WordPress users to get together and share new ideas and seek help from one another. Searching for ‘WordPress’ on will help you find options in your area., but forget the steps and don’t want to sound dumb if they ask again, so focusing on repetition is the key idea with this.
  • Three-Month Program. Basically just like GSoC/OPW, but we run it ourselves, people don’t get paid, and we do it each season.

For the one-month beginner version, in keeping with the pilot aspect I’d like to run them in two varieties.
1. One-on-one mentor-mentee pairings.
2. Small cohorts. One mentor (plus backup mentor) for a group of 3-10 new contributors.
The idea behind trying both is to see if we get different results with one-on-one vs small classes where the mentees can also bond with each other and help each other as they go along. If it does work better, that would be awesome in terms of scalability. We can also record the weekly mentor chats/lessons for people to follow along on their own even if they’re not in the program.

#gsoc, #opw

GSoC OPW ends soon pencils down 9 16…

GSoC/OPW ends soon (pencils down 9/16, complete stop 9/23, evaluations due 9/27). I’m reaching out to all mentors and students today to make sure everyone is on track for an on-time finish. Will be asking each student to spend the week between pencils down and hard stop creating a screencasted demo of their project like we’ve done in past years to share with the community, and to clean up their documentation if they let it slide during the coding period.

To keep track of who has sent back their check-in responses, here’s the list.

  • Ryan McCue, JSONJSON JSON, or JavaScript Object Notation, is a minimal, readable format for structuring data. It is used primarily to transmit data between a server and web application, as an alternative to XML.-based REST APIREST API The REST API is an acronym for the RESTful Application Program Interface (API) that uses HTTP requests to GET, PUT, POST and DELETE data. It is how the front end of an application (think “phone app” or “website”) can communicate with the data store (think “database” or “file system”)
  • Bryan Petty
  • Eric Mann
  • Kat Hagan, Post by Email
  • Justin Shreve
  • George Stephanis
  • Siobhan Bamber, support (forums, training, documentation)
  • Mika Epstein
  • Hanni Ross
  • Frederick Ding, improving portability
  • Andrew Nacin
  • Mike Schroder
  • Sayak Sakar, Firefox OS
  • Eric Johnson
  • Alex Höreth, editor revisionsRevisions The WordPress revisions system stores a record of each saved draft or published update. The revision system allows you to see what changes were made in each revision by dragging a slider (or using the Next/Previous buttons). The display indicates what has changed in each revision.
  • Dominik Schilling
  • Aaron Campbell
  • Mert Yazicioglu, profiles
  • Scott Reilly
  • Boone Gorges
  • Daniele Maio, Blackberry 10 (@jenmylo)
  • Danilo Ercoli

#gsoc, #mentorship-programs, #opw

Summer Intern Midterms

We’ve reached the midterm point of GSoC/OPW, and I’m happy to report that all of our students have passed their midterm review.

#gsoc, #opw

Summer Internships Kickoff

Most people probably saw the post over on 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. that announced our summer interns via GSoC and OPW.

This summer’s WordPress GSoC/Gnome OPW interns span a number of contributor groups. Rather than create a standalone blog for all the students as we have in the past, this year we’ll be trying something different, as our community structure has changed since our last round. Each intern will post their detailed weekly updates on the team blog for the contributor group with which their project most naturally aligns, while posting about administrative things will happen here on the community team site.

Continue reading

#gsoc, #mentorship, #opw, #summer2013

GSoC and Gnome Status Update: May 7, 2013

GSoC’s application period is closed. I requested 9-12 slot allocations, and we’ll find out hov many we get tomorrow. The mentors are currently choosing which students/projects they want to take on, after a few days of reviewing all the applications. We received a total of 56 applications, 7 of which I weeded out for not filling in the application as needed (quasi-spam), from 49 individual students. There are about 20 mentors reviewing the proposals. UPDATE: We have been awarded 9 slots for GSoC.

Gnome Outreach Program for Women (OPW) is a little less formal since all communication happens through email instead of through an application like GSoC uses (melange). 10 women sent in applications, of which there a few strong candidates in the areas of code, support, and documentation. There are also some women who contacted us through the form on this site asking for more specifics about projects, mentors, and how to make a contribution. Have been replying to them telling them they can still apply as long as it is before our decision deadline (May 8), so will be accepting applications from those folks for another day, and they’ll have until May 17th to make their sample contribution to the project before we make the selection decisions. If possible, I’d like to be able to take on at least 3 interns from the OPW program.

Automattic has offered to sponsor the first intern, so I’m hoping for community support to cover the extra cost. 3 interns will cost $17,250 ($5,750 per intern), so any WordPress-based businesses willing to help offset some of this cost would be much-lauded. If you’re interested in helping with financial sponsorship, you can send a message using the Ask a Question form, or you can pingPing The act of sending a very small amount of data to an end point. Ping is used in computer science to illicit a response from a target server to test it’s connection. Ping is also a term used by Slack users to @ someone or send them a direct message (DM). Users might say something along the lines of “Ping me when the meeting starts.” me on irc/skype/email if you already have that contact info. Every little bit helps!

#gnome, #gsoc, #opw, #sponsorship

The deadline for applying to the Gnome program…

The deadline for applying to the Gnome program has now passed. I’ll collate the applications we received and will bring in the appropriate mentors and/or team reps to review this week. We have until May 8 to decide who we want to sponsor.

Note: GSoC’s application period lasts until May 3.

#gnome, #gsoc, #opw