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

Agenda: https://make.wordpress.org/community/2024/05/16/contributor-working-group-chat-agenda-may-23rd-0700-utc-apac-emea-and-1600-utc-amer/

Meeting links (SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/.): 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

Notes

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

Recap of the Contributor Working Group’s Mentorship Chat on April 18, 2024

Agenda: https://make.wordpress.org/community/2024/04/17/contributor-working-group-mentorship-chat-agenda-april18th-0700-utc-apac-emea-and-1600-utc-amer/

Meeting links (SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/.): APAC/EMEA, AMER

Host: @harishanker
Notes: @harishanker

In Attendance:
APAC/EMEA @harishanker (host) + @hellosatya @KafleG @kirasong @nao @patricia70 @coachbirgit @josepmoran @devmuhibul @leogopal @lumiblog @sumitsingh @maheshpatel @matteoenna @lighthouse79 @nilovelez @josepmoran @rcreators @coachbirgit @pooja1210 @mrinal013 @aion11 + async @tobifjellner @oglekler@westerndeal

AMER: @harishanker (host) + @alexcu21 @st810amaze @peiraisotta @sancastiza @ninianepress @nickdiego @gusa @hellosatya @nilovelez @voboghure + async @courane01

Notes

Mentorship Cohort #2 Recap

We celebrated the conclusion of the second edition of the mentorship program.

Highlights of the Program

  • 44 out of 52 mentees from our program graduated 🎓
  • 10 of our 28 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. contributed to WordPress 6.5 with one of them being a noteworthy contributor 🧰
  • We had eight new core contributorsCore Contributors Core contributors are those who have worked on a release of WordPress, by creating the functions or finding and patching bugs. These contributions are done through Trac. https://core.trac.wordpress.org. from the mentorship program 🧑‍💻
  • 14 mentees have committed to join the WordPress 6.6 release squad! ⚡

Pre and Post-Event Mentee Survey Results

  • Contribution familiarity went up from 53.65% to 80.24% 📈
  • Contribution confidence went up from 57.72% to 82.62% 📈
  • 88.62% of mentees were satisfied by the program! 🤩
  • 80.68% mentees achieved their personal goals as part of the program! 😱
  • 62.1% mentees created contribution plans! 🗺️

Participants shared the following feedback about the program later:

  • @patricia70: “Special mention to @lumiblog, mentee in the 2nd cohort and listed in the “Noteworthy Contributors” list of the 6.5 release credits! “

Thoughts about the program

  • @patricia70: “the program was very good and needs to continue into a 3rd cohort, with refinements based on the feedback”
  • @josepmoran: “I have firsthand experienced the benefits that this program achieves with people who have a strong commitment to contributing to WordPress and striving to keep its community alive and active. As a result of my experiences, I’ve also appreciated how much this recently concluded edition has grown and improved in terms of focus and goal attainment.”
  • @matteoenna: “Every now and then I get help from translate, so I respond slowly xD
    I loved it, it helped me better contextualize each team and created strong teamwork.
    Plus organizing a 30-60-90 helps.
    Maybe I would have included more “practice sessions” to the whole thing”
  • @devmuhibul: “I believe this is the best program to start contribution journey in WordPress. With the help of experienced mentors, here people at least can learn how to start walking. From where to start and all the guidance provided helps new contributors to keep contributing. “
  • @nao:
    • From a facilitator standpoint, I think we should try project- or goal-based mentee recruitment next time, based on 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. availability. So there is no ambiguity or mismatch between mentee’s interest and mentor’s capacity.
    • Using 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. https://github.com/ was something we tried based on the feedback from last cohort but I don’t think it was successful enough. Some other form of better communication tool (Calendar of course, but adding something else – Make P2P2 P2 or O2 is the term people use to refer to the Make WordPress blog. It can be found at https://make.wordpress.org/. page? post?) might be helpful. Or even using GitHub docs (like this)?
  • @kirasong mentioned that the Contributor Mentorship Program successfully demonstrated that participants can contribute effectively to a release, even if they join later in the process. She emphasizes the importance of mentees feeling connected and integral to the creation of WordPress, which she believes is a powerful and crucial experience.
  • @rcreators: “I think it was great. It gives lot of great knowledge to start contribution to the WP in interesting way. Initially i thought contribution is only connected to programming but i really understand that its programming is just one small part of the larger contribution.”
  • @gusaus: “I wasn’t able to participate in the cohort (and kinda lost track of it after collab moved into a different channel ) but I thought mentoring projects was a great idea (hence several suggestions in this discussion) and would love to help enable more of that in moving forward. Also stipends and other incentives for mentees, mentors, and other participants. Was glad there was a bit of a test run in this cohort”

What could be improved?

  • @patricia70: “have the calendar of all sessions (onboarding, workshops, meetings, etc) more easily reachable/published, and all dates set in advance (not saying: tomorrow there is this) but at the start of the program, for all 6 weeks so we can plan our agendas accordingly + emphasize that all sessions are open to everyone (not only in the selected team/project we participate in). reach out in local communities, for example in France, @jdy68 said almost no one heard about the program before it was too late”
  • @josepmoran mentioned that the Contributor Mentorship Program has significantly matured in its recent edition, showing noticeable improvements in focus and achieving its goals. He mentions that the selection process of mentees needs minor adjustments to ensure alignment with the program’s objectives, emphasizing the importance of identifying genuine commitment. @josepmoran also underscores the value of using platforms like 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. to enhance program visibility and engage more effectively with the WordPress community.
  • @kirasong suggests starting the next cohort earlier, during the alpha stage, to enhance contributions to features, while maintaining some overlap with release parties which are popular and boost mentees’ comfort and understanding of the development process.
  • @ninianepress: “Both my mentees went AWOL (I couldn’t get in touch with one of them at all) this cohort so… “
  • @peiraisotta: “I wasn’t directly involved in the cohort until almost the end, but I loved meeting everyone and hearing about each one’s experience. It was very illuminating to me see how different contribution areas needed different approach from mentors. I learn a lot from everyone’s challenges and wins. It seemed very cool to me see how mentees worked on their contribution plans, and how they connected to their new contribution teams. Another highlight, watching @matteoenna preparing a pitch for his company and convince them to join the 5ftF program”

Feedback on the cohort

  • @patricia70 “I felt a bit bad about my mentorship, and we didn’t accomplish much. some limited time during the 6 weeks for me for 2 weeks, and for my mentees only available some short time in their evenings or week-ends. + my choice of team was not that good as there was no practical, easy to do for first time contributors, tasks”
  • @kirasong shared the following feedback:
    • It would be great to do the mentor orientation before the program starts
    • If possible, as a mentor, I’d like to better understand what workshops are planned so that I know better what things to plan or go over with mentees individually.
  • @sancastiza: “The Mentorship program has been a wonderful journey for me, with some surprising things. However, it somehow helped me better navigate what I wanted to contribute the most. Soon I will have the opportunity to do my first Meetup.”
  • @peiraisotta: “I think that learning more about how he did it could help many people doing the same, if they want to. In general, I love that the cohorts support folks also in achieving other goals related to their career or development.”

What’s next for the mentorship program?

Since we have wrapped-up two cohorts, we discussed what the next steps of the program would look like. We also discussed an idea shared by @tobifjellner – which is a low-key always-on mentorship program where there are mentors available to provide 1:1 help to new contributors. :

Thoughts on Cohort-based Mentorship

  • @rcreators: “I liked the cohort based mentorship a lot. In this people can pick up what they like and learn from the group.”
  • @kirasong: “I am not sure what the future of mentorship looks like in WordPress, ideally. But I would love cohort based mentorship to continue to be a part of it!”

What should we do differently about the next cohort?

  • @nilovelez: “I would love the option to have mentees in multiple teams at the same time, like one main team and onboarding in others. Also short (1 min) videos explaining what each team does to help mentees choose would be really helpful.”
  • @kirasong supported @nilovelez‘s comment saying how contributing to multiple teams happened organically, and how she was surprised seeing how folks contributed to more than one team.
  • @rcreators: “In last few weeks I found, Forum team need more volunteer. So if there is some focus to push more mentee towards forums will be good.”
  • @devmuhibul: “We can make some premade short videos for each teams and share at the start of cohort program that will reduce the hard work of mentors and help mentees to start at least.” @patricia70 responded that all the recorded videos from this cohort could be shared in one space.
  • @josepmoran: “In the same way that someone can create a weekly mini Contributor DayContributor Day Contributor Days are standalone days, frequently held before or after WordCamps but they can also happen at any time. They are events where people get together to work on various areas of https://make.wordpress.org/ There are many teams that people can participate in, each with a different focus. https://2017.us.wordcamp.org/contributor-day/ https://make.wordpress.org/support/handbook/getting-started/getting-started-at-a-contributor-day/.. You may be creating a mini Contributor MentorShip Program, if you find the right people.”
  • @patricia70 @rcreators and @josepmoran also strongly recommended that we do more outreach about the program in other locales.

Thoughts on an always-on mentorship program

  • @kirasong: “I agree that this, along with the cohort model, could be helpful and is worth trying out.” Kira has also offered to be a mentor if such a program happens.
  • @josepmoran: “I think Tobi is on the right track. It could be mentoring sessions where the mentee and mentor join forces to be productive without deadlines in between. In fact, I still have a strong bond with my mentor, and he remains committed to the program from a slightly greater distance, as he appreciates the evolution of his mentee and the work he has done as a mentor.”
  • @patricia70 suggested an interesting idea of hosting an ongoing program (as @tobifjellner mentioned) with possibility to join the “bigger” cohort-based twice a year.
  • @coachbirgit: “I think, having some form of low-key always-on mentorship program in place would be helpful in addition to “bigger” cohorts. This might be suitable for certain teams to have some (interested) team members appointed as the “go-to” mentor for this team or working-group.”
  • @jdy68: “It’s easier to talk to one person than to a whole team where you don’t know anyone,
    so designer mentors are a good idea.but this requires a place where the mentors of each team (general or local) can be identified, and where they can be contacted.”
  • @coachbirgit also suggested that these thoughts could well be added to the Contributor Handbook.She shared that the repository for the next iteration of the contributor handbook was moved to the WordPress GitHub org. The #deib-working-group has taken over the responsibility to work on that in cross-collaboration with all teams. https://github.com/WordPress/contributor-handbook

Next Steps for our Working Group 

The original purpose of the working group was to bolster the contributor experience of WordPress, and we identified mentorship as a kick-it off. Now that we have run two cohorts and have good clarity on mentorship, we explored working on other projects such as Five for the Future and also asked our group members to share if they have any thoughts on additional projects to work on.

  • @coachbirgit: “As mentioned in the proposal, I published last year, the idea of establishing a formal DEIB team as an umbrella group to enhance the contributor experience and act as a shared resource. From my understanding, the 5ftF, diversity speaker training and mentorship program would fit under that umbrella.”
  • @rcreators: ” There are many small companies or medium size company like to start contribute but the issue is contribution is connected to user profiles. Apart from that if they don’t have any contributor in the team, they have no clue. So it will great to put both items in to one umbrella. So new companies register to 5ftF and add more new contributors to the table.”
  • @kirasong asked for clarity on how 5ftF connects to contributions, and @harishanker clarified that it could be a way to work on Five for the Future in the open, and also have a chance to improve the contributor experience in WordPress through sponsored contributions.
  • @gusaus suggested a couple of ideas such as creating an entry point for various community programs, as well as an idea on extending do_action. We also briefly discussed and brainstormed some ideas on mentorship too.
  • @gusaus also clarified that Contributing to Five for the Future is indeed on the Sustainability roadmap #16. He also pointed us to some good discussion on collaboration in the #sustainability channel for us to pick up later.
  • In short, group members shared broad consensus on working on other impactful community projects.

With that discussion, we concluded the meeting. The open floor in both chats were empty, and we soon wrapped-up the conversation.

Please comment on the post below if you have any questions.

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