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  • Jen 2:26 pm on November 18, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: mentorship, open academy   

    Open Academy Mentorship Progam 

    Hi all. It was suggested by a community member that we participate in the upcoming Facebook Open Academy mentorship program round the way we participate in GSoC. Since I’m on my way out, I wouldn’t be the organization contact for this, and someone would need to step up from the team to take point if y’all want to be a mentoring organization. Here’s some info:

    • This is a Facebook program, run in conjunction with a dozen or so universities around the world and a handful of OS projects.
    • It sounds like they are looking for the mentor to work with the students using Agile sprints.
    • No set time for specific projects, could last anywhere from 8 weeks to 5 months.
    • You set the specific projects in advance students can apply for, no “send us your ideas” like GSoC.
    • Their application asks how many students we can take, must be a minimum of four, but doesn’t have a way to list out all potential mentors up front unless so am not sure if they want each one to fill in the whole application (we’d probably want to have everyone use the same boilerplate for the ‘about the project’ bits), or if they want only one official mentor and everyone else would be unofficial.
    • Mentors must be available to fly to the opening weekend sprint Jan 30-Feb 1 (Facebook pays travel).
    • Students get college credit toward their CS degrees, not money.

    General Information

    If you want to participate, it would be good to have one person be the program administrator to keep track of applications etc. If you decide to do it and want any help from the community team, let me know.

    • Marko Heijnen 2:39 pm on November 18, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Sounds like a cool idea. The deadline is December 1st, 2014 and that would mean that we need to find projects for them fast. The only thing that comes on my mind are the mobile apps for WordCamp.

    • George Stephanis 2:50 pm on November 18, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I’d be happy to volunteer as a mentor, or wrangle everything as an administrator if it’s helpful.

      With the direction that we’ve gone with feature plugins, I’m sure there are a number of options that could be spun up in that direction.

      One thing that I very much like with this over GSoC is that it seems to be much more embracing of the community aspect — that the students aren’t coding in a vacuum, but they need to learn how to interact with the community at large for feature development, bug fixes, and general community input and back and forth on patches.

    • George Stephanis 5:09 pm on November 29, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      @jenmylo — is it alright if I put in the application for this? Deadline is the 1st (Monday)

  • Jen 6:20 pm on January 29, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , mentorship   

    GSoC 2014 

    It’s that time of year again, when all good* core developers start thinking about whether or not they’re up for mentoring a GSoC student this year. Many in this group know the drill, but there quite a few involved core contribs active this cycle who haven’t been involved with GSoC before, so here’s the deal:

    • Google pays for a program that gives college students summer jobs creating open source code under the mentorship of an organization (like WordPress).
    • We apply to be a mentoring organization and put up a list with a bunch of potential summer project ideas and identify who the mentors might be.
    • If we’re chosen to participate, we get a certain number of slots to fill, and students submit applications to work with us.
    • All the potential mentors rate/rank the proposals, and decide if there’s someone they’d like to mentor.
    • In game of chance-meets-requests dizzy enough to rival medical school matches, we put together our wish list for mentor-student matchups. 2 mentors per student, to provide coverage and make things more collaborative.
    • We hope that none of our top picks also applied to other orgs who accepted them, and wind up with our student roster.
    • We provide volunteer mentors to work one-on-one with the kids on projects that they applied to do over a 3-month period.
    • Open source code is released into the wild.

    I’ll be putting together our application to be a mentoring organization this week, so it’s time to start thinking of project ideas we could suggest on the Ideas page that we need for the application (the more ideas the better) and who wants to be a mentor. The application deadline is February 14, so I’d like to get the Ideas list in solid shape (along with mentor bios) by Feb 10 (a week from Monday).

    If you have an idea or are interested in being a mentor, please leave a comment on this post. At the end of the dev chat after 3.9 business is out of the way, we can discuss some of the ideas and I can answer any questions people have about mentoring.

    Related: I’m also going to be posting soon about starting up a regular mentorship program, as outlined here. But that can wait for another day.

    *Where good means both skilled and kind and generous with their time.

    • Jen Mylo 6:22 pm on January 29, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Also, will need a few people to identify tickets that no one’s working on that would be good ones to use for the “submit a patch” requirement of the application.

    • Ian Dunn 6:59 pm on January 29, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Is it only open for Core, or can Meta, Mobile, etc also propose projects?

      • Andrew Nacin 7:10 pm on January 29, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply


        • Ian Dunn 7:54 pm on January 29, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Awesome. @jenmylo, I’d be happy to mentor someone if you have any Community projects you think would be a good fit for GSoC.

          • Jen Mylo 8:41 pm on January 29, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            @iandunn: Definitely, just need to make sure that it’s something releasable, like a plugin vs building onto one of the sites. Maybe forms, finally?

            • Ian Dunn 9:04 pm on January 29, 2014 Permalink

              That could work. The idea of having the pre-defined forms for speakers/sessions/etc is specific to WordCamp.org, but we could easily put the general architecture for a pre-defined form into the plugin itself, and then define WordCamp.org’s specific forms via a filter in a custom plugin.

              The result from that approach would be the same as if the our forms were built into the plugin itself, but it would keep the core plugin independent so it could be released in the WordPress.org repo and used by anyone.

              We don’t necessarily have to release it in the wporg repo in order to open-source it, though. Most of WordCamp.org’s custom stuff is already open-sourced in the Meta repo. Not sure if the GSoC guidelines just want it open-source, or if the spirit of it is to make it easily available/useable for others.

    • Wojtek Szkutnik 7:48 pm on January 29, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Always happy to help with mentoring if needed 🙂

    • Marko Heijnen 8:48 pm on January 29, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I would love to mentor. Hopefully this time I’m more lucky then last year. I can help with core, mobile or GlotPress.

      • Jen Mylo 9:20 pm on January 29, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        If you can write up some specific project ideas that you would like to mentor, that will help with the luck. Someone who applies for your idea would likely be given to the person who proposed it, vs running into a situation like last year where a handful of people all requested the same student.

    • Justin Shreve 9:28 pm on January 29, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I’m interested in mentoring this year (did you even have to ask? :))

      Some things I would be interested in (based on some previous ideas):

      • New User Walkthrough. Specifically meter based “you are 10% setup, etc”. Think LinkedIn style.
      • A visual way to surface visual embeds / oEmebeds etc. Instead of needing to magically know that a Spotify or Twitter URL needs to go on its line, support some kind of UI (maybe in the media explorer) that allows you to insert content
      • Anything External API Related. No specific project here. It depends on what is in core at the time (if it’s XML-RPC still or if REST is available yet)
      • General Mentoring
    • Eric 9:35 pm on January 29, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I’m game to mentor a mobile project this year. I’ll post some project ideas after I’ve had some time to brainstorm a bit.

    • Aaron Jorbin 5:04 pm on January 31, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I would love to mentor once again. Some ideas that I have:

      • Make the PHPUnit tests run faster
      • Increase the number of JavaScript Unit Tests
      • CSS/JS Optimization
      • Automated performance testing
      • Anything dev tools related.
      • Bryan Petty 5:31 pm on February 4, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I think the biggest improvement we could make to the unit tests in regards to speed is to find a way to merge multisite tests into the base tests, and only run tests that are actually affected by single/multisite environment changes.

        Right now, we run every single unit test a second time during the multisite run, but in reality, probably less than 25% of them are even affected by multisite. For example, we don’t need to re-run sanitize/escape tests a second time.

        There’s certainly probably lots of places we could avoid @runTestsInSeparateProcesses, especially if we were to deprecate/remove constants.

        Another option might be to find a way to cleanly reset the DB without calling wp_install() again (do one install, dump, and reload from dump directly on the next test with @runTestsInSeparateProcesses).

        Other than that, then you just have optimizations on individual tests, which just becomes a mundane task that no-one wants to do, especially if patches are just ignored because they are so minor and not important.

        • Andrew Nacin 7:43 pm on February 4, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Re-running the entire suite under multisite has flagged a lot of issues over the years. I think we’re along way from that point. Multisite just has too many odd side effects on core.

  • Jen 4:06 pm on August 15, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , mentorship, wcpdx,   

    WordCamp Portland is also doing a hack day, this coming weekend on Sunday, August 19 from 12-6pm Portland time (Pacific). Theirs will have more stuff going on, but a core hackers team is likely to emerge, especially if there are known “please work on this” requests from core team and a couple of core people ready to be on irc to answer questions.

  • Jen 3:12 pm on August 15, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , mentorship,   

    Hi everyone WordCamp São Paulo is going to… 

    Hi everyone! WordCamp São Paulo is going to be doing a hack day on Sunday, August 26th starting at 11am their time, which is -3GMT. It would be great if the core dev team could do the same thing for them they did for WCSF’s hack day: identify a couple of things that need help, and have a core person on hand to answer questions, brainstorm, and make sure that folks are working in the right direction. I know we’d all love to go to Brazil for the weekend, but as a distributed project, I think we can make do with IRC and/or a couple of Google hangouts.

    So, @nacin and the gang: What areas should people work on, and who might be able to be online that Sunday to mentor? Vinicius Massuchetto and Cátia Kitahara are the contacts for the hack day and WC.

    • Vinicius Massuchetto 4:08 pm on August 15, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I’m listening…
      Thanks for the heads up, Jane! =D

    • Vinicius Massuchetto 4:19 pm on August 15, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Jane, we’re on GMT-3. It’s quite a comfortable time, just to say. =D

      • Jane Wells 4:24 pm on August 15, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Corrected. Sorry, I pasted that entire line directly from Cátia’s email and didn’t check it.

        • Cátia Kitahara 4:28 pm on August 15, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Sorry, for the confusion 😛

        • Cátia Kitahara 4:52 pm on August 15, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Yes, Matías will be here and he’s already invited to participate. There are other people here who are familiar with the core Trac too, who submitted patches, what we need the most is guidance on what could be useful for us to do. Please, note that most of these guys here are advanced programmers and are willing to contribute the best way they can. My goal is to get these guys deeper involved with core development. No brazilian has ever had a patch accepted, as far as I know, and I think this is a great opportunity for them to start this culture of contributing to the core.

    • Lance Willett 4:25 pm on August 15, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Noting that themer and UI developer Matías Ventura will speaking at this WordCamp and could also assist on dev day. He worked heavily on Twenty Eleven and a few other core UI things in the past, and is familiar with the core Trac and SVN setup.

    • Gustavo Bordoni 5:56 pm on August 15, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I will be there too.

    • leogermani 9:50 pm on August 15, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      That will be great! Ill be there too!

    • Andrew Nacin 5:59 pm on August 19, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Sorry São Paolo — I made sure I posted a roundup of the WCSF hack day but forgot to follow up here.

      The biggest takeaway is aim to get more people used to contributing, rather than to focus on contributions. The core contributor handbook is a great resource for those starting out.

      In terms of what to work on, some quick thoughts:

      • Take Twenty Twelve for a spin and try to find any un-finished things or odd-looking quirks. Review the code and make sure it looks good.
      • Most developers have a pet bug, enhancement, or ticket already waiting around or in their head.
      • Get people used to working with Subversion and a local development environment, if they aren’t already.
      • Poke around Trac and find something that might interest you. There’s quite a bit!
  • Jen 6:39 pm on March 7, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , , mentorship   


    Normally we don’t start talking about the next release until the current one is out the door, or at least in beta/RC, so this post jumps the gun a bit, but for a good reason: the GSoC deadline. There are two approaches we could take toward our participation in GSoC this year, and one of them is tied closely to 3.5.


    • Good GSoC mentoring takes time. Time is hard to come by at the best of times, even harder for many during the summer.
    • Many of our previous GSoC mentors have held the position for several years and could use a break from trying to mentor while simultaneously working on features for a regular release.
    • Almost none of our GSoC projects have actually made it into core. A few because they were plugins, but most because once GSoC is over there hasn’t been a concerted effort to follow up on these projects.
    • We often run late on dev cycles.

    Since 3.4

    • We have ramped up several core contributors to more responsible/trusted roles as a result of the 3.4 process experiment (teams, cycles, updates, etc). This could mean more mentors.
    • We are running late in our dev cycle, and with SXSW about to eat a week, I’m thinking we’re about to get even more behind. My guess is we’re looking at a May launch, not April.
    • The stated intention of having all feature dev for the cycle tied to a central goal of making it easier to customize your site didn’t really happen. There were at least 3 teams working on features that had nothing to do with this, and another couple that were related, but not smack in the middle of it. Good features all, but we failed in sticking to that goal as a unifying concept.


    What if for 3.5, instead of it being a “regular” cycle, we made it a mentoring cycle tied to the GSoC schedule (shorter than normal)? If we assume 3.4 will launch sometime at the end of April or early May (and if it does happen earlier, awesome), that would put us in a position to start working on 3.5 right when the GSoC accepted students are announced.

    If we chose a “release concept” (like customizing your theme, but something different) and outlined every feature/enhancement/bug that’s related, we could make those things be the potential GSoC projects. We could work in teams like in 3.4, but in this case each team would have a student or two working on things with them closely. Since these would be the only features being worked on (additional bug-fixing always ongoing, obviously),

    • Students would be guaranteed mentor attention and working with core
    • We would be more likely to do the work necessary to get student work to commit-worthy status
    • We would target a launch for late August to coincide with the end of GSoC (so we could do one more small release before end of year)
    • We could do additional outreach to include new contributors who do not qualify for GSoC (too young, too old, not in college, etc), improve our mentoring skills and processes
    • At the end of this mentorship-focused summer, we would not only have the features developed by mentees, but we would have an ideal pool of people to help us create documentation to help new contributors.

    I’m thinking that what might make sense would be for there to be a team or two that doesn’t mentor or work on a feature for 3.5, but begins working on one of the more complex things we keep putting off, so that it could be the first thing into 3.6 (like gallery management or something similar).

    Deciding on a release concept that could be done in a 2.5-3 month cycle would be important. I’m thinking maybe it could be the feedback loop — improving comments and communication with readers via html emails, forms, etc on the front end and a UI facelift of the comments/related screens on the back end, putting something cool into Twenty Twelve around this (or just support for something in core related to same), etc. There are a number of projects around this that have been done in the past that could be looked to for inspiration and/or what not to do, it’s needed attention for some time, and it’s not as complicated as something like media or multisite.

    Thoughts? Specifically, thoughts on:

    • Doing a mentorship-focused release timed to GSoC
    • Potential areas of focus for 3.5 if we were to do this
    • Mentoring in teams like 3.4
    • Wanting to mentor in this case
    • How many students you think we could take on if we used teams like in 3.4

    Comment here today, and tomorrow I’l round up the core team to see what people think based on the conversation so we can make a decision and I can update our application before the application deadline if needed. If we don’t do something like this, then I’m planning on reducing our GSoC student allotment to 5-6 students (we’ve asked for up to 15 in the past) to ensure enough mentors and adequate attention/follow-up on projects.

    Thanks for your input!

    • Jane Wells 6:50 pm on March 7, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      We could theoretically extend the idea of a mentorship summer to other groups:

      • UX/UI… could help with gallery management ideas and comping/wireframing for the non-gsoc teams
      • Forums… could write up a handy guide to solving common support requests and mentor new volunteers
      • Theme Review Team ditto
      • etc etc
    • Justin Shreve 6:53 pm on March 7, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I think it’s a great idea. I agree that one of the biggest problems of GSoC in the past has been pulling things back into core. One of the reasons like you mentioned is time and the summer ending. I also think a lot of the projects are not appropriate for core. Most are better suited for plugins/themes anyway. If we really want GSoC projects to benefit core then we should have all of the projects be core projects.

      Since this is a little different from previous years I am thinking we shouldn’t use up all 15 spots. Maybe 8-10 students. The fewer students we use, the more attention/mentors they can get. I think last years GSoC of having multiple mentors worked pretty well.

      I’d love to help/mentor with GSoC again. Especially so if we do something with the feedback loop.

      • Jane Wells 7:20 pm on March 7, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        We don’t automatically get 15 spots, I just gave that as an example. Here are our numbers for previous years (passed/total):
        2011: 10/12
        2010: 13/15
        2009: 6/8
        2008: 6/8
        2007: 10/10

    • Mert Yazicioglu 7:08 pm on March 7, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Even though I developed a WordPress plugin as a GSoC proejct last year, I agree that GSoC projects should contribute more to the core.

    • Travis 7:09 pm on March 7, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Fantastic idea, Jane. I think this would be a much better experience for students, and result in better production of things that would/could make it into core.

      I also really, really like the idea of reaching out to non-students to be mentored. That might be the motivation I (and people like me) need to get more involved with contributing.

    • Ahmad Awais 8:12 pm on March 7, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I am willing to participate in GSoC this year through WordPress , keep me posted.
      I am a beginner , will it be hard for me to adopt the core? I am into plugin development basics

    • Andy Skelton 8:18 pm on March 7, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Excellent idea.

    • Erlend 8:26 pm on March 7, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Like I believe I suggested last year, I think WordPress’ sister projects, mainly the “BBs” (bbPress & BuddyPress) could benefit greatly from a cycle dedicated to them alone.

      WordPress itself doesn’t have any big publicity gains through GSoC, as it just feeds on its existing userbase. The BBs however could use the extra attention directed their way, seeing as a huge amount of WP users & even developers still don’t know exactly what these projects can do and how far along they’ve come.

      • Jane Wells 8:31 pm on March 7, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Yes, but it is WordPress that Google gives the allotment to, not bb or Buddy. We include the plugins, but the limiting factor there is appropriate mentors. J-trip is only one guy, and even with Boone and Paul (and we’ve never had all 3 at once) that’s very few mentors compared to the number of people capable of mentoring WordPress. bbPress and BuddyPress could also apply to GSoC as separate projects, but have not wanted to in the past, so that they could take advantage of the support offered by being under the WP umbrella.

        Realistically, though, GSoC is not about teaching users and developers about projects. It’s about grooming new contributors and creating more open source code.

    • Paul Gibbs 8:36 pm on March 7, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      So, I’ve been looking forward this summer to seeing if I can get involved with GSoC. I’m interested in mentoring, and what BuddyPress can get from it — I’m definitely inspired by what Stas and Boone did in previous year(s). WordPress core doesn’t hold the same sort of social focus that attracts me to working on BuddyPress.

      I get the sense that the idea is to change the outputs away from generating a ton of new or specialised plugins, and onto WordPress core, which I agree is a better way for wporg to be participating in the GSoC. I would obviously prefer for this to not be at the detriment of possibility of a project for BuddyPress (or bbPress, or GlotPress, or any of the mobile phone apps, for example).

      • Mert Yazicioglu 8:40 pm on March 7, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I wonder if we could have something like the following:

        5 seats for WordPress core
        3 seats for BuddyPress
        2 seats for Mobile Apps

        • Jane Wells 8:53 pm on March 7, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          We have NEVER EVER EVER turned away a mobile, bbPress, or BuddyPress application due to lack of spots. Every single year, those specific projects are chosen by the mentors who want to work on them. So if this year Boone, Paul, and J-trip said they didn’t want to mentor, there probably wouldn’t be bb/BP projects. They get to choose which ones are worthy/that they want to work on. Every year I’ve donated spots back to the common GSoC pool because the mentors have chosen to focus on fewer projects with the most impressive applicants, because mentoring is a serious obligation and they don’t have unlimited hours in a day. If people want to see more GSoC projects in the areas of mobile, bbPress and BuddyPress, the first step is to go get more regular contributors to those projects who would then be qualified to mentor GSoC students in the future.

        • Mert Yazicioglu 9:18 pm on March 7, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          I’m so sorry, my bad. After seeing Paul’s post, for a split second I thought we were talking about allocating all seats to the WordPress core. After sending the comment I realized that is not the case, but it was too late. Shouldn’t have rushed to comment, sorry for any inconvenience I caused.

      • Jane Wells 8:48 pm on March 7, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Mobile apps, bbPress, and BuddyPress have always had mentors from their own group of committers. This post really applies to those coming from the WP core contributor group.

    • Eric Mann 9:28 pm on March 7, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Fantastic idea overall. Working in teams definitely makes the workload a bit easier (particularly if team members are in different time zones). And scheduling the 3.5 cycle to include GSoC will make things easier on core developers.

    • Wojtek Szkutnik 10:35 pm on March 7, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      A few thoughts:

      100% in for fewer spots with more focus. There are several projects from earlier GSoC editions awaiting to be merged in some part with the core – if we were able to give them more focus earlier, they would probably be already there. I still find my GSoC 2010 patches merged to the core every few weeks.

      @outreach – great idea! From my GHOP/GCI experience, people in high school have far more free time to contribute to open source. We could prepare fliers, presentations etc and try to reach them. Also, GCI mentoring requires more time but probably less skills, so if we were to participate in GCI next year it would be easier to find mentors (I, for one, would happily devote some time to be a GCI mentor again and won’t give up my GSoC student status this year for Summer of Code mentoring 😉 )

      On a side note, I would really like to see unit tests for both JS and backend in this year’s tasks. I would definitely apply! 🙂 Testing may require some additional knowledge but brings great profits and I believe that unit tests would be very helpful – the sooner we improve this part of WP development, the less backward regressions we’ll experience in the future.

    • Conor Hughes 11:13 pm on March 7, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I am but a lowly user of wordpress but I really like the sound of this. Keeping it teams makes it fun for all of us outside the dev comunity.

    • Mark Barnes 1:25 pm on March 8, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      This makes great sense to me. Improving core should always be the priority of the core developers.

    • Jane Wells 11:15 pm on March 9, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I corresponded with Carol (the administrator of the GSoC program overall) and she said the approach sounded good. She said putting students onto teams with mentors and/or other students would be fine, as long as we were grading them on their own code. Since everyone starts out writing their own patches before the back-and-forth revision process kicks in, I think this seems pretty easy to ensure. Will discuss more with the people in Austin this weekend (Jaquith, Nacin, Koop, etc) but am thinking that we’ll give it a try.

    • Gustavo Bordoni 5:33 am on March 12, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      So I would like to know how to submit a project/idea to be part of the GSoC program with WordPress Core improvement?

      • Jane Wells 3:45 pm on March 12, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Student applications aren’t accepted until Google opens the application period, and for that matter, we haven’t been approved as a participating organization yet. That said, getting involved early definitely increases the chance of being selected. Submitting patches for core bug tickets before applying is important. You can also talk to WP devs in #wordpress-dev on freenode.

  • Jen 5:20 pm on November 5, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: , , , mentorship   

    We have been accepted as a participating organization for the Google Code-in. This coming week we need to firm up a task list so students can check it out before the contest begins.

  • Jen 6:31 am on October 29, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: , , mentorship,   

    I submitted our application to be a participating organization in the Google Code-in.

    We need to compile the task list. I put in some high-level placeholders for now, but people should go ahead and add suggestions for tasks. Note that the final task list will be pruned down to those tasks that are approved by the core leads and that have appropriate people available to oversee them, to ensure a positive outcome for the students and that we’re not wasting anyone’s time. If you want to suggest a task, leave it in a comment here. Specify if you are also offering to mentor any student taking on that task, or if it’s just something you think should get done. As tasks are agreed upon and have mentors assigned to them, I’ll add them to the codex page.

    • Ryan McCue 7:21 am on October 29, 2010 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I’ll see if I can think up some to add to Code.

    • Peter Westwood 7:47 am on October 29, 2010 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      [Code Documentation] – Document each of the XMLRPC functions which isn’t phpDocumented with details of the arguments it accepts. Similar to what has been done in r16046 for the new functions in 3.1
      Will happily mentor this task

    • Ryan McCue 7:55 am on October 29, 2010 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Here’s some non-code ones. Haven’t added to the codex yet, since I’d prefer someone to look over it first.

      [Documentation] – Document api.wordpress.org’s methods and usage of them.
      I’ve been meaning to do this for a while (even have Dion’s original code for this), but haven’t had the time.

      [Research] – Investigate whether WordPress can use Git/GitHub more effectively. Possibly things like being able to take patches via Git forks, etc.

      [Research] – Investigate existing solutions for bug tracking using WordPress. I’ve heard rumours of replacing Trac at some point, so it’d be a good idea to look at what already exists out there.

      • Andrew Nacin 4:04 pm on October 29, 2010 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I like the api.wordpress.org idea. I’m sure a lot has changed since then; I can provide the relevant current code to the student(s) on this.

      • PJ Hyett 6:47 pm on October 29, 2010 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I saw this comment appear in my backtype feed. If anyone would like to chat about Git/GitHub integration, we’re here to help.

    • Andrew Nacin 3:58 pm on October 29, 2010 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I intend to curate a list of bug reports and needed UI patches (CSS3 gradients plz), and head up mentoring for that.

      • Alex Hempton-Smith 7:34 am on November 1, 2010 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I’d happily take these tasks if I got in. Been meaning to make a patch to replace all the gradient images for ages anyway.

    • duck_ 8:51 am on November 3, 2010 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Some task suggestions:

      [Documentation] Still a load of Multisite documentation missing (see #14953 if not finished for 3.1) and a large number of doctags marked (pretty uselessly) as unknown (e.g. @since unknown)

      [Quality Assurance] Do a theme review (or more). I’m sure the theme reviewers would appreciate some help.

      [Translation] Translate a very popular plugin which is currently available in few languages (would probably want cooperation of the plugin developer). Might include patching to actually allow for translatability, depends on the plugin.

      Also mentioned to nacin the possibility of a task for the still upcoming API docs (maybe more UI?), but not too sure.

      Also offering my time and help as a mentor.

    • Gautam 7:43 am on November 4, 2010 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I had a chat with jjj, and here are some tasks which we discussed:


      User Profile/edit page
      Anonymous posting
      Widgets (latest/popular/etc topics/replies/forums)
      Email subscriptions
      User favorites
      Topic status – closed/open/sticky/etc
      Forum is category option

  • Jen 1:01 pm on October 10, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: , , , mentorship,   

    We’ll probably apply to be a participating organization for the Google Code-in coming up next month. It’s a student program a la GSoC, but for pre-university students age 13-18. Instead of one long one-on-one project, Code-in is a “contest” rather a dedicated mentorship. The way it works is that the organizations (like us) make a list of tasks that students could work on during the 6-week contest period, falling into a variety of categories:

    Code: Tasks related to writing or refactoring code
    Documentation: Tasks related to creating/editing documents
    Outreach: Tasks related to community management and outreach/marketing
    Quality Assurance: Tasks related to testing and ensuring code is of high quality
    Research: Tasks related to studying a problem and recommending solutions
    Training: Tasks related to helping others learn more
    Translation: Tasks related to localization
    User Interface: Tasks related to user experience research or user interface design and interaction

    Unlike GSoC, where students proposed projects based on our suggestions, for Code-in students do not suggest projects, but work from our pre-defined task list. Students sign up to work on one task at a time (we can accept for reject the assignment). They can complete up to 15 tasks, and will be awarded $100 for every three completed tasks. Since prizes are based on # of tasks, we will need to make sure that the task list we come up with is even — that is, we need to break things down so that each task should take about the same amount of time/effort.

    Students can ask questions (though they are expected to look for answers themselves first), and can collaborate with community members on their tasks as appropriate. This format makes mentorship a much easier thing to commit to than with GSoC, as the amount of time you mentor is flexible and on an as-needed basis.

    If we are chosen to participate, then we’ll likely use the #wordpress-gsoc channel for the code-in students to seek help/guidance, and could set up a group blog as well if it seems like it would be useful.

    In the comments, feel free to make some preliminary suggestions for tasks that middle/high school students between the ages of 13 and 18 would be able to do. The application for organization participation is in a week or so, and the students get involved later in November.

    • Aaron D. Campbell 4:52 pm on October 10, 2010 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      It’s definitely harder to come up with coding projects for this group (especially when we need to keep them all roughly the same size). My first thought was coding standards cleanup. It might be hard to divide that into evenly sized tasks, but it would be nice. Especially if we clean up our coding standards some by then.

      Also, since the contest goes from November (to January?), the code will be going in post PHP 5 change. Maybe they could identify places where PHP 5.2+ would be most beneficial? For example, we use is_email() all over the place, but with PHP 5.2 we could use filter_var($user_email, FILTER_VALIDATE_EMAIL);. That same function has FILTER_SANITIZE_EMAIL that could replace sanitize_email(), FILTER_SANITIZE_URL that could replace esc_url(), etc. All this assumes that server configurations have those functions, so there’d be some research involved first.

      • Denis 7:57 am on October 12, 2010 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        There is a slight issue in using built-in security features, however, according to security junkies. In short it goes something along the lines of: if you rely on them and they’re broken, they’ll remain broken until PHP gets updated; and even then, you can’t count on PHP to be up to date on your end users’ platforms.

        Thus, if we actually get to the point of using filter_var(), we should also do our homework and keep an eye on PHP security issues that might relate to them — in order to work around them using WP code.

    • arena 4:54 pm on October 10, 2010 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Next will be a Google Senior of Code for 50+ !

    • Gautam 6:12 pm on October 10, 2010 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Hey, I’ll definitely participate in this! I’ll be 15 on 20 October. I’d like if there are some bbPress-related projects too.. maybe related to the new plugin.. (I’m working on a standalone fork, as the standalone version would no longer be supported).

    • Paul Gibbs 6:55 pm on October 10, 2010 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I would be interested in working with students on BuddyPress projects. I will give some thoughts as to tasks.

    • Aaron Jorbin 8:11 pm on October 10, 2010 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Many of the files in wp-admin/includes/ could use some documentation help. I would happily mentor a student that wanted to take on the task of documenting the undocumented (and under-documented) functions and classes in that directory. I think we should divide the functions up into groups and each group could then be a task in order to keep it even. We would just have to figure out how many hours a task is equal to and I could try to divide them up accordingly. Since it’s 3 tasks to a pay check, perhaps we could divide them up so that each task was about 1.5 – 2 hours?

      • Jane Wells 8:43 pm on October 10, 2010 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        As a point of reference: If a task is 1.5 hours, then a 13 year old would be getting $100 for 4.5 hours of work, or over $22/hr. Maybe something that would be 1.5 hours for one of our regulars, but would take longer for a student? I’ll talk to other orgs and see about how much time they are estimating for each task.

        • Aaron Jorbin 8:58 pm on October 10, 2010 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Perhaps I didn’t think about the fact that it is 13 year olds. I like your idea of talking with some other orgs and estimating based on commonly agreed about figures.

        • Aaron D. Campbell 9:03 pm on October 10, 2010 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          To be fair, it’s going to be 13 – 18, and there’s not going to be any fair way to adjust the pay along that scale. I really like Aaron’s suggestion:

          Base the tasks on what one of our developers (documenters, translators, etc) could do in a given amount of time. Then if it takes them twice as long they make half as much per hour, and if it takes them 10x as long they make 1/10th as much per hour.

          It seems not only fair, but also as close the “real world” as possible (people that are better at what they do are faster and make more per hour…in a perfect world at least).

        • Ryan McCue 11:54 am on October 20, 2010 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          As a note, I’ve been charging $35/hr since around the age of 14.

    • Wojtek Szkutnik 10:06 am on October 12, 2010 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      It’s not exactly true, that students can complete up to 15 tasks. They are paid for the first 15 tasks, that’s all. My high score from GHOP (which was the first edition of Google Code-In) was 29 tasks, so we can probably expect a few students to complete about 20 or more.

      About mentorship – as far as I know, every task has an assigned reviewer, who is obligated to take care of the student and evaluate his work on this particular work.

    • Ryan McCue 11:52 am on October 20, 2010 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      If I have time, I’m in. I don’t agree that the tasks necessarily need to be easier or given a longer time. I’m very confident that I could complete a task in the same time as another developer. (Having programmed for several years)

      • Ryan McCue 11:56 am on October 20, 2010 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Forgot to mention: one task I’d love to undertake is to actually document api.wordpress.org instead of leaving it with Dion’s little “note”.

        I’d think of more tasks, but even just going through bugs would be fun enough for me. 🙂

      • Gautam 11:56 am on October 20, 2010 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Same here.

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