New chapters for Ryan and Westi

WordPress lead developers Ryan Boren (@ryan) and Peter Westwood (@westi) started contributing to WordPress more than a decade ago. Ryan and Peter, along with Mark and Matt, served as the foundation for much of the early years.

For some time now, Ryan and Peter have avoided weighing in on technical matters. Very simply, when you aren’t able to be active in development, you know you’re not up to speed, and you realize your words shouldn’t carry the weight that they do. Being able to make this judgment is one of the things that makes both of them such great leaders.

We’ve all been there, at least for particular features or releases. It’s worth noting, for example, that my own time on core has been cyclical for years, as sometimes I end up working full time on the security team, maintenance releases, the WordPress.org site, or related projects.

The great thing is, there are a lot of fantastic developers who have stepped up over the last few years to seamlessly fill in the huge holes they’ve left. Some of that culminated in promoting Helen and Dion to lead developer yesterday, and my own promotion three years ago.

When I started contributing, I received a lot of advice and learned a lot from both of them. Peter reviewed a lot of my code and was the guy who would revert my code when I broke something. 🙂 Ryan became my mentor and pushed me to become the engineer I am today.

And so, it is with mixed emotion I share that Ryan and Peter have stepped down as lead developers.

Peter will be moving into a dormant/inactive/emeritus status. We hope to have him back when his life and work allows. In the meantime, you may see him committing a bug fix here and there, as he is wont to do.

Ryan has been focusing all of his energy on improving UX for more than a year, especially for mobile and touch devices, and especially for workflows like media management. So I’m pleased to say he’ll continue to do that: Ryan will be spearheading UX for WordPress in 2015. It’s been a while since we’ve had someone truly focusing on just UX, so this is really exciting.

Along with yesterday’s announcement, the active lead developers are @markjaquith, me, @azaozz, @helen, and @dd32.

Please join me in congratulating Ryan and Peter on an epic run. 🙂