- Summary: Proposal for a new event: Every other week, invite WordPress developers to meet with 3 developers and discuss your Gutenberg The Gutenberg project is the new Editor Interface for WordPress. The editor improves the process and experience of creating new content, making writing rich content much simpler. It uses ‘blocks’ to add richness rather than shortcodes, custom HTML etc. https://wordpress.org/gutenberg/ development questions, code, ideas, and approaches. Follow-up w/ video and resources.
- Start Date: Soon.
- Trial period: 4 events.
- Producer: Birgit Pauli-Haack + Gutenberg Developer Volunteers.
I used to do in-person walk-in clinics for a volunteer internet service provider, where we answered all kinds of questions. If there was a moment with no questions, I would pull a topic out of my hat, talk for five minutes and get another 10 questions that triggered in people’s heads. The place was always packed.
Not everyone is comfortable dealing with an unknown set of questions, but when done right, the panel format is quite fun and interesting. Of course, there were always questions that were too specific or too advanced. We would take note of it and answer them either the following week or via email directly to the attendee.
I would like to try this in a remote setting with a panel of three developers from the community, who are experienced with working with blocks, and call it Gutenberg Developer Hours.
About the show
I have heard from a number of people that despite the sheer volume of developer documentation that’s around, it’s hard to know where to start. And when developers hit roadblocks, it also takes a long time to troubleshoot errors and bugs.
If you’re a developer who’s new to Gutenberg, I invite you to stop by, to get your questions answered or to get advice on architecture or approach. (You can also just lurk, of course!) Maybe you have a code issue: “I’ve been working on this project, but I hit a roadblock and I have no idea where to go from here.”
For the speakers, being on a panel lightens the load, opens the door to a wider range of topics and makes it much less likely any one person will get a question they might not be able to answer.
As a moderator, I (at first; if the sessions go well, there can certainly be others) can jump in and ask questions to bridge the silence if the group runs out of audience questions. Plus, if a question gets too specific or too advanced, the moderator makes a note of it, discusses with the dev team and gets back to the attendee with a response after the event. That could be:
- an invitation to office hours,
- a set of documentation, or
- a blog (versus network, site) post inspired by the question.
It’s certainly part of the trial to find out where the boundaries of this support offerings are.
At the beginning, I envision a frequency of every other week, once there is a pool of volunteer developer panelists available to schedule.
To get attendees interested, it might help to have a short educational segment that people are interested in for the first two or three shows.
The panelists could also pick a topic. Here are a few that come to mind:
- How to tap into Gutenberg filters and hooks In WordPress theme and development, hooks are functions that can be applied to an action or a Filter in WordPress. Actions are functions performed when a certain event occurs in WordPress. Filters allow you to modify certain functions. Arguments used to hook both filters and actions look the same.?
- How to add a button to the toolbar?
- What is a store in ReactJS?
- How to add Block Block is the abstract term used to describe units of markup that, composed together, form the content or layout of a webpage using the WordPress editor. The idea combines concepts of what in the past may have achieved with shortcodes, custom HTML, and embed discovery into a single consistent API and user experience. Styles?
I propose promoting the series on Twitter and Facebook, and on make.wordpress.org 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. https://wordpress.org/. Would you like to see this on TikTok? Feel free to make one! Like FSE itself, these panels can be springboards to creative thinking and doing!
The producers will record and transcribe every show, and the moderator will make that clear in the opening moments. If an attendee wants to ask their question outside the recording, the moderator can hit the pause button.
Reuse, Recycle, Repurpose
In post-production, the shows can generate a new stream of material for Learn, Marketing and Community, and everyone else in the community, to use however you like.
The show’s own producers and editors can cut the full session into smaller educational units and publish them on WordPress.tv. Did a specific question stump the panel? A producer can pull that out and write a separate tutorial about it.
Nuts and Bolts
The show is not a webinar but a normal Zoom meeting, so people can see each other and share their screens and code.
At least for the trial, registration is required. The producers will, of course, respect the attendee’s privacy and use email addresses only for communication regarding the specific Gutenberg Developer Hour session.
I have already approached a few developers to be our resident experts with the idea, and they want to try it. Depending on the feedback, they and I are ready to start soon. (It helps that this is a Zoom call and not a stage-set production!)
Are you a Gutenberg developer with some experience? Would you like to be on the panels? Irrespective of your Gutenberg experience, would you like to help produce the shows? Please let me know in the comments.
You do not have to be an experienced Gutenberg developer to help with production. In fact, it might be a great way to get your feet wet! And it is yet one more way to contribute to WordPress.
- Schedule the Gutenberg Developer Hours, one at a time.
- Set-up Zoom space, with registration.
- Announce the next session via social channels, Make/Project, Gutenberg Times, and other available channels.
- Connect with the volunteers on a regular basis so they can schedule themselves.
- Recruit volunteers as panelists, moderators and content producers.
- Published post with resources and solutions.
If you want to be part of the team working on this initiative, let us know in the comments and I will connect with you via WordPress Slack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/.. And as always, the team and I value your comments and questions immensely.
Please don’t hesitate to connect with me on WP Slack @bph if you have additional questions.
Thank You to @annezazu, @daisyo, and @sparklingrobots for collaboration and refinement of the initiative.
Props @jeffpaul and @audrasjb for peer review.