Why Contributing to WordPress Benefits Everyone!

WordPress is a content management system built around the culture of giving. Developers, translators, marketers, designers, and many others contribute their skills and expertise to the world-wide WordPress open source project.

This widely popular platform helps millions of people across the world create websites and digital services. You can join in and contribute your time and skills like so many others, and bring benefits to you and your work too! Discover why you should become a contributor and join the international WordPress family sharing their experiences in this post.

What Is Contributing to WordPress?

There are two aspects of WordPress: WordPress.org and WordPress.com. The global open source project is WordPress.org, which everyone around the world can join in to help build, maintain and grow the platform and its digital opportunities.

The project thrives on the skills of developers, marketers, designers, translators, and many more roles. You will be able to find tasks and groups to join, developments to help plan, and be able to work with others to innovate. And while you contribute, you can benefit and learn too! Together with others, you can make the product that you use better, and network with talented and inspiring people.

Interested in joining in? Discover how you can get involved with WordPress. Read on for some personal stories about contributing to WordPress!

Who Can Contribute to WordPress?

Anyone who has knowledge about any aspect of WordPress can contribute! From full-stack developers to JavaScript users, from experienced web designers to beginner graphic designers, and from marketers to community activists. They all come together to be part of an international learning, sharing, and Open Source community.

Every year, in cities across the world, thousands of people gather for one- to three-day events dedicated to the WordPress global project. These events are known as WordCamps. They are organized by the local WordPress communities and often attended by an international audience. People come together to contribute, talk and share at these events, held throughout the year. WordCamps often include a Contributor session or a whole day dedicated to both the new or long-term contributor.

Volunteers on stage at WordCamp Europe

The 170-member volunteer team assisted organizers
to coordinate the 3,000 attendees WordCamp Europe
(Photo courtesy of Ivan Gatic)

What Experience Will Contributing to WordPress Give You?

Contributor events last from a few hours to a full day, and can stand alone or be part of a WordCamp schedule. The best way to discover contributing is by attending one of these events or joining one of the Make WordPress teams and try it for yourself. If you are thinking about contributing, let these stories enthuse you! We’ve asked some WordPress contributors about their contributing experiences.

Giving Back to WordPress

Maziar Firuzmand, of ArtBees, said: “I was really happy with my first experience helping WordPress at WordCamp Europe in 2018, where I picked the marketing table to contribute. WordPress gave me a chance to start a business which has grown year by year, and I wanted to give back to the project with some of my time. Since then, wherever possible I have joined the contribution days at events and work with others to contribute to the marketing team.”

He added: “I have seen many people, who have different levels of engagement with using WordPress, enthusiastically come and take part in the Make WordPress teams. Many of them have full-time jobs but they are still keen to spend part of their free time contributing to WordPress.”

Maziar echoed the feedback from others attending events saying: “Contributor days are full of people who collaborate on getting things done for a software platform they like. This is accompanied with a lot of fun, chit-chat, snacks and opportunity to try different areas. WordCamp Milan was a great example of this atmosphere. You could see people organized in different teams working in harmony.”

Contributor day at WordCamp Milano 2018
Contributor day at WordCamp Milano 2018
(Photo courtesy of WordCamp Milano)

From Students to Experienced Professionals

Siobhan Cunningham, of Yoast, attended WordCamp Nijmegen 2018, in the Netherlands: “I had been to a few contributor days before so I was looking forward to seeing my marketing friends from different countries again, and getting more things done together! It was amazing to see a few of my Yoast colleagues, who were first-time WordCampers, really enjoying the experience too. At the Contributor event, like others, they were able to explore what team to join. Soon enough, everyone found their place. Translating, coding, planning community events, there was something to do for everyone.

Two of our interns joined the design team and had a blast! They were really enthusiastic about the people they met, the things they had learned in just one day, and especially at being able to contribute already, as students. They felt more people should know about contributing at any phase of their career.”

What Do You Get in Return for Contributing?

WordPress is driven by a commitment to open source, inclusiveness, giving and diversity. There are a lot of reasons people choose to become an active contributor. Find out how you’ll benefit from contributing to WordPress as well.

Firstly, the teams that makeup what is known as Make WordPress, have ways to thanks and recognize contributions.

Contribution Badges on Your WordPress.org Profile

For the contribution you make to a WordPress team, you will be awarded a contributor badge which will appear on your WordPress.org profile page. This is peer-recognition from a globally known software project which powers more than 30% of websites across the world.

The marketing badge for Make WordPress

Scott Jones, of Illustrate Digital, said: “I thought for a long time that I would have little to contribute to WordPress, until I stepped up at WordCamp US and realized I could make a difference. To top it off, I got to meet some amazing people and make some great new friends.”

He added: “Ever since then I’ve been displaying my ‘I Make.WordPress.org’ sticker with pride.”

Networking With Others in Your Field of Interest

Three contributors working on computers at Contributor Day, WordCamp Europe
Contributors working at WordCamp Europe 2018
(Photo courtesy of Mark Smallman)

The WordPress community gives you an opportunity to meet many developers, designers, marketers, and writers from across the globe. Through contributing at a WordCamp event you can get to know and share with many amazing people, networking and learning alongside them. You can also develop your skills and contribute to improving the usability and accessibility of WordPress.

Access to Potential Collaborators

Piccia Neri, who since joining the community has become a Meetup and WordCamp speaker in Spain and many other countries, said: “Contributing to the WordPress community has quite literally changed my life. When I moved to a new country, and a new city where I didn’t know anyone, volunteering with my local WordPress MeetUp gave me an instant circle of close friends, colleagues, and allies.”

She added: “Contributing also gives you access to potential collaborators, staff or contractors to work with on projects. WordCamps frequently have informal job boards showcasing the opportunities currently available in the WordPress ecosystem.

“During the course of three years, I have effortlessly created deep connections, friendships, and joint ventures across the globe. Thank you, WordPress.”

Endless Opportunities for Learning While You Work

Attendees of Delhi WordPress group listening to presenters
Delhi WordPress Meetup with Dhaka WordPress organizers
(Photo courtesy of Delhi WordPress Meetup)

Not many jobs give you the option of learning for free while you are working. In contributing you work with developers, designers and others specializing in different areas. You have the opportunity to learn more about good practices in your area of work, and of course, to take them back to your own company or team. If you’re contributing to a WordCamp Contribution session or helping one of the Make WordPress teams remotely, you have this opportunity for free.

Meeting the Most Amazing People

Maria Aragón, from ACOCO Web, said: “I volunteered to help at my first WordCamp in Soltau, Germany, when I was still very new to the community and to contributing. It gave me the chance to meet people who had been contributing for years. It was great! The amount of value, knowledge and great tips that you can learn during a WordCamp and a Contributor Event, has no parallel. I’ve been a volunteer for many different events in my life, and the WordPress community is by far one of the most talented and generous communities I’ve had the pleasure to be part of.

“Most of the people who contribute to WordPress are driven by a desire to give and to help others. This brings together really amazing people. The kind of people we all want to hang around with! And as a contributor, you get to know many of them. Being part of a group like this is always a lot of fun, it fills you with energy, and personally, it makes me very happy.”

Taking Part in Collaborative Working

Some of the Contributor Day tables, filled with volunteers improving WordPress, at WordCamp Europe 2018
Contributor Day at WordCamp Europe 2018
(Photo courtesy of Val Vesa for WordCamp Europe 2018)

If you are running or involved in a remote tech business of any kind, being a WordPress contributor can be a great opportunity for you to learn and execute remote collective working practices in action, for free. You can learn more about what it takes to participate, organize or run different teams across a range of areas as well as lead, collaborate and facilitate workflow.

As WordPress is a global project, being involved in its community promotes cross-cultural harmony and understanding.

Improve Team Working Skills

Naoto Egusa, from Japan, has attended Contributor Days across the world, said: “Through the WordPress community, I have been able to advance my skills and knowledge of how to work in broader teams, particularly across time zones and cultures. It has helped in maintaining my skills during my break from work, and given me new opportunities.

“Patience, understanding, and collaboration are something we often need to practice. The WordPress community can give you great strength in learning how to work with others from countries and cultures which are not the same as your own. This itself fosters new ideas and advances.”

Ready to Contribute to WordPress?

There is no set requirement for how much time you should put into contributing to single or multiple teams. It can range from a couple of hours in a single contributor session to a weekly commitment. It can also vary at different stages of your life and career.

The two main ways to get involved are through a WordCamp contribution session or by choosing a Make WordPress team to work with remotely.

You can discover more about the teams through the Make WordPress pages on WordPress.org. All you need to do is find a team, or teams, in which you are interested. It is easy to get started. Each team has its own tools and workflow process. You can also approach team representatives and deputies who help coordinate tasks and workflow and ensure people are welcomed. They will be pleased to provide support.

What Can You Do Next?

Becoming a contributor can help you make the most of your career regardless of which area and level you are currently working. WordPress gives you the perks of a perfect job, such as reputation, learning, networking and co-working opportunities, without having to move from your existing job and at a time which suits you.

It is not only people who run businesses and careers around WordPress that can benefit from contributing to it. Everyone who specializes in an area related to technology and wants to support Open Source platforms and community-based software, can gain significantly from contributing to the WordPress community.

Your journey can start today, visit make.wordpress.org and find out how you would like to take part.

Read More!

If you would like to learn more about the WordPress community and how people around the world use WordPress, here are some useful resources.

Acknowledgments

Thanks to @abhanonstopnewsuk and @antialiasfactory for developing and writing this feature, and to all those who contributed or were interviewed. Images courtesy of photographers at WordCamps Europe and Milan, and WordPress Delhi. Thanks to @siobhanseija, @maedahbatool, and @michelleames for their contributions.

Thanks to @webcommsat, @danmaby, and @Rubio for producing the video interview with Gary Jones at WordCamp London. This is part of a series of contributor interviews to be featured by the Make WordPress marketing team.

#contributing, #contributor-day