tl;dr An update on the team which is a lot of onboarding, making tools work for multiple people at once, and more documentation than you can shake a stick at.
As much of the WordPress community knows by now, I will be stepping down soon, after over a dozen years (wow) of being part of the Plugin A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. These can be free in the WordPress.org Plugin Directory https://wordpress.org/plugins/ or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party Review Team, including ten years as team rep A Team Rep is a person who represents the Make WordPress team to the rest of the project, make sure issues are raised and addressed as needed, and coordinates cross-team efforts..
During this transitional period, the Plugin Review team has been working on onboarding new members – and at the same time, on documenting the onboarding process itself.
New team members
Given the need for the new team members to get up and running relatively quickly, the plugin review team invited contributors who have experience with plugins and code to join the team, thanks to recommendations from many community members. These contributors were vetted for good standing in the WordPress project, confirmed that they had the required skill set to review plugins and would respect the required level of security and confidentiality needed, and agreed to help refine the onboarding process to the Plugin Review team.
There are now five new plugin team members at various stages of the onboarding process. Since the team is still in transition, we wanted to give people a chance to finish their onboarding and decide if the Plugin Review team is a good fit for them. This will avoid putting volunteers in the spotlight before they commit to this important and challenging role.
Once plugin team members are fully onboarded, their names will be shared in the Plugin Review handbook.
Documentation and onboarding
The current team, alongside new members, has been collaboratively reviewing all existing public and private plugin documentation, making sure everything is clear, filling in any gaps that exist, and adding information about undocumented tools and processes.
At the same time, the team compiled an onboarding checklist, which is being used to help new members get up and running. While the first new team members go through the onboarding process and start handling initial tasks – such as looking at the bounced emails queue and reviewing their first plugins – they will also help to improve the onboarding checklist and process documentation. Their experience will be very valuable in paving the path for future team members, making it easier to expand the team and delegate tasks more efficiently.
In addition to training new members, documenting processes, and developing a sustainable onboarding plan, folks from the Meta Meta is a term that refers to the inside workings of a group. For us, this is the team that works on internal WordPress sites like WordCamp Central and Make WordPress. team have been working on tooling enhancements to help make plugin reviews more efficient and “portable.” For example, the home-grown scanner script that’s been used by me until now is being converted to a flexible web-based version, which will be simpler to maintain for multiple reviewers.
Other enhancements include:
The Plugin Review team is focused on making the onboarding process smooth, documenting its workflows, improving its collaboration tools, and helping new members get familiar with all the necessary tasks.
We hope that all these improvements in tools and workflows will make it easier to recruit more people and scale up the team. This should in turn reduce the time plugin authors need to wait to have their plugins reviewed and approved.
So, what’s next?
Once the team is ready, we’ll make another post to announce the new members, propose a plan for vetting and onboarding additional members in the future, and open applications to join the team.
Massive thanks to the following people, who helped write this post: @angelasjin, @mrfoxtalbot, @sereedmedia, and @zoonini.