The Inaugural Cohort of the WordPress Contributor Mentorship Program has Concluded

I am thrilled to announce the successful conclusion of the Initial Cohort of the Experimental WordPress Contributor Mentorship Program, which commenced on July 12th and concluded on August 9th, 2023. Organized by the Contributor Working Group of the WordPress Community Team, this four-week pilot initiative marked an impressive milestone in fostering the growth and involvement of contributors within the WordPress project.

The inaugural cohort had a group of 13 contributors who were selected as mentees from a pool of around 50 applicants. Out of this group, 11 contributors completed all the required courses, interacted with their mentors to learn about the program, got onboarded to Make/WordPress teams of their choice, and made their initial contributions to the WordPress project. Please join me in congratulating all our mentees who have graduated from the program!

Vanja Vukadinovic

Vanja Vukadinovic

Priyanka Adhikari

Priyanka Adhikari

Sheila Bravo

Sheila Bravo

Lisa Risager

Lisa Risager

Benedikt Ledl

Benedikt Ledl

Josep Maria Fernández Morán

Josep Maria Fernández Morán

Lisa Risager

Rita Best

Subash Chandra Poudel

Subash Chandra Poudel

Cynthia Norman

Cynthia Norman

Néstor Brito Medina

Jonnathan Santos

Jonnathan Santos

The Mentorship Process

Our mentors, mentees, and facilitators joined forces in a dedicated SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at channel in the Make/WordPress Slack. For the first two weeks of the program (July 12th through July 25th), our mentees learned about the project, by taking certain courses and through support from their mentors. For the next two weeks (July 26th through August 9th), they attended onboarding sessions of different Make/Teams and made some initial contributions to the WordPress project. In between, mentees also got to see a bird’s eye view of how a WordPress release works, through our dedicated shadowing and onboarding sessions supported by our facilitators and Make/Team representatives. More details can be found in our launch post.

Achievements from Our Program

Our mentees did a fantastic job as part of the mentorship program! Overall, they were quite active, going the extra mile to complete their required courses, and attending onboarding sessions, with many folks even shadowing the WordPress 6.3 release and attending team chats! Here’s a (non-exhaustive) list of achievements from our cohort members.

  • 12 participants completed the required Learn WordPress courses – 89% completion rate
  • Two members gained CoreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. Contribution badges (@prikari and @josepmoran). @benniledl submitted his first core patch as well! 
  • Suggested 400 translations in Danish and got involved in WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. Denmark (@risager)
  • Actively participated in forums with 51 replies (@benniledl)
  • Suggested over 1200 translations in Catalan, and multiple bug reports on Learn WordPress (@josepmoran)
  • Suggested translations to WP 6.3 in Brazilian Portuguese (@jonnps)
  • Reported a Photo Directory bug and suggested 200+ translations (@necobm)
  • Contributed to the Documentation Team by updating a screenshot for WordPress 6.3 (@prikari)
  • Four contributors submitted photos to the Photo Directory (@risager @benniledl @subashpoudel and @necobm)
  • Several contributors contributed to the Make/Training Team – @cnormandigital provided validation for two Content Feedback submissions and submitted their work too.

One of our big wins from the program was how we tried to broadcast the same towards a broader audience in the #contributor-mentorship channel of the Make/WordPress Slack, where several contributors followed-along the progress of the events and participated asynchronously in the mentorship program. The channel will continue to remain active, and we plan to use it to facilitate more public mentorship opportunities for contributors! 

Another milestone for our group is about how local communities are attempting to adapt this program for their own locales. For instance, @javiercasares is already working on translating key materials of this program to Spanish with a plan of potentially hosting a future cohort for Spanish speaking folks. There has also been significant interest from the German community thanks to outreach efforts from @coachbirgit who has also kick-started efforts to bolster contributor onboarding at the upcoming WordCamp Germany 2023!

Learning Materials from the Mentorship Program are now available!

Thank you!

This program was a true group effort, with members of the WordPress Contributor Working Group working hand-in-hand to make this pilot program a reality. We faced a lot of challenges, but we all worked together to ensure a smooth contributor experience for our mentees. 

Big thanks to everyone involved in making this program a huge success! 

What next?

We will be asking our mentees and mentors to fill out a survey to learn about their experience participating in the program. The working group is currently working with our mentors to help mentees optionally create a contribution plan to sustain the momentum they have gained from the program to keep making ongoing contributions to the project. The working group also aims to check in with mentees later this year to see how they are doing with their contributor journeys. 

Our work is far from over. The contributor working group will continue its monthly chats, and will continue its work on improving the contributor pipeline for WordPress. Going by the success of this cohort, we also aim to start working on the next iteration of our program. Stay tuned for more updates!

The following people contributed to this post; @harishanker @nao @oglekler @javiercasares

#5ftf #five-for-the-future #contributor-working-group #wpcontributors, #mentorship-program #mentorship-cohort-july-2023

Launch your WordPress Contributor Journey through the Mentorship Program Pilot

Update: The Contributor Mentorship Program Pilot is no longer accepting new applications, since we are past our June 30th deadline. We received an overwhelming response for our pilot, and the contributor working group is extremely thankful to all our contributors for this response. We will be reaching out to all applicants over the course of the next few days!

Interested in contributing to WordPress, and want to start your contributor journey with the help of veteran contributors? Join the brand new WordPress Contributor Mentorship Program to gain the necessary skills and guidance that will help you become a successful contributor in the WordPress open sourceOpen Source Open Source denotes software for which the original source code is made freely available and may be redistributed and modified. Open Source **must be** delivered via a licensing model, see GPL. project! 

What is the Contributor Mentorship Program?

Organized by the Contributor Working Group of the WordPress Community Team, the mentorship program pilot is a four-week event between July 12th and August 9th, 2023.

Participants (mentees) will asynchronously work together in a cohort with a group of mentors to build a strong foundation in the WordPress project and make initial contributions to the contributor team of their choice. This will be made possible through cohort-based and personalized 1:1 mentorship, guided courses, and live online workshops. The program aims to: 

  1. Inspire you to contribute your talents to WordPress.
  2. Help you navigate the ins and outs of the WordPress project.
  3. Provide you with the necessary guidance to thrive in your contributions and careers.
  4. Ensure you are aware of opportunities, limitations, and tasks within the various WordPress contributor teams.
  5. Upskill you through hands-on experience with open source contributions.
  6. Enhance your career prospects by fostering networking, mentorship, and open source contributions.
  7. Connect you with a global network of talented contributors, fostering friendships and professional relationships.
  8. Provide you a chance to directly support more than 40% of the web. 😊

Here is a flowchart that briefly explains how the program looks like:

Flowchart showing the steps involved for mentees as they go through mentorship and graduate from the program.

Sign up now!

This program is open to everyone, irrespective of your skill-level, knowledge, experience, or any other socially identifying criteria!

Want to participate in this mentorship program? Fill out this form to express interest in joining our first cohort which starts on July 12th, 2023 (Wednesday)! Application Deadline: June 30th 2023 (Friday), 23:59 UTC. Sign-ups for the pilot program are now closed, since we are well past the deadline. Selected participants will be informed over email by July 5th, 2023. 

But wait, there is more! Read on to get all the details about the program and find out how you can participate along with other details about the program!

Continue reading

#5ftf, #contributor-working-group, #five-for-the-future, #mentorship-program, #wpcontributors

WordPress Contributor Mentorship Program: Pilot Program Proposal

In February 2023, I proposed a project-wide WordPress mentorship program. Positive feedback and support from our community led to the revitalization of the WordPress contributor working group in March 2023, which has since been working on building a mentorship program for our project. Based on feedback from our chats thus far, our group decided to test this idea of project-wide mentorship by running a pilot program. 

I’m excited to announce that the contributor working group has now prepared a first draft for a project-wide mentorship program! Read on to find out more.

What is the Contributor Mentorship Program?

The Contributor Mentorship Program aims to provide cohort-based and 1:1 mentorship to new and aspiring contributors. The program is intended as a pathway to help new contributors find their way into WordPress contributions.

It aims to set new contributors up for success by providing them the necessary guidance, skills, and knowledge around the project and helping them make their first contributions.

In its ideal form, the program will:

  • Help and inspire its participants to make ongoing contributions to the WordPress project
  • Explain the different areas of contribution in the WordPress project to participants
  • Help participants to successfully select their area of participation in the WordPress project
  • Provide necessary guidance and community connections that will help participants be successful with their contributions
  • Help participants find success in their career through successful open sourceOpen Source Open Source denotes software for which the original source code is made freely available and may be redistributed and modified. Open Source **must be** delivered via a licensing model, see GPL. contributions

A Brief Overview of the Program Plan

The flowchart below offers a high-level pictorial representation of the program flow, which I have tried to explain in brief through this post. A detailed description of the program can also be found in its white paper prepared jointly by the working group.

A flowchart depicting the contribution flow of the proposed mentorship program
  • A call for mentees (participants) goes out and from the pool of applicants, 10 mentees are selected (primarily new contributors). Mentors are handpicked from a pool of experienced contributors and working group members. Selected mentees and mentors answer a pre-event survey to gauge their knowledge, interest in contribution areas, and confidence-levels. Mentors will receive specific guidance on guiding mentees through the program. 
  • We invite all Make/Teams to take active part in this initiative to bring contributors to their respective teams. Interested teams can propose their team members as mentors to the program.
  • A short cohort of new contributors (not more than 10 mentees) and experienced contributors (not less than five mentors) are to be brought together in a dedicated space (potentially a SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at channel in Make/WordPress) to work together for a certain period (about four weeks or one month)
  • During this time, mentees will learn pre-prepared training material (existing contributor courses in Learn WordPress).
  • Each mentee will be assigned a mentor depending on multiple factors such as their locale, time zones, contribution interest, etc. Mentors and mentees will have at least two 1:1 mentoring sessions (over text chat and/or video) throughout the course of the mentorship. 
  • Additionally, the group will have at least three group mentoring sessions on broad contribution topics (over text or video). Each week, mentees will also report their progress in the Slack channel and will have the space to interact with each other too. 
  • Once mentees are done with the broad contributor training courses in Learn WordPress (ideally in the first two weeks of the mentorship program), they work with mentors to identify contributor teams of their choice (if not clear already before joining the program) and go on to make a certain number of contributions (depending on the team they select). They will have completed these contributions by the end of the mentorship program. Optionally, should they wish to, mentees will create a three-month contribution and learning plan with their chosen mentor. 
  • Once all the courses and training sessions are complete, and once mentees have made their initial contributions, they graduate from the program, and the mentorship program wraps up. Mentees will be recognized for their contributions in public on an official WordPress space. 
  • Once the program concludes, Mentees will continue working with the Make/Team(s) of their choice, and will be connected to multiple team members from their chosen team for ongoing guidance as they continue their contributor journey. 
  • Post-wrap-up, mentees can continue to reach out to their cohort and mentors for ongoing guidance and support.

To find out about the proposed mentorship program in detail, please check out its white paper by clicking the button below:

How do we measure the success of this program?

The program will be considered extremely successful if:

  • At least 80% of the participants of the initial cohort graduate from the program (they complete the course, required lessons, make their initial contributions, and create their three-month plan)
  • At least 50% of the participants make ongoing contributions to WordPress as per their contribution plan, three months after completing the mentorship program

Other areas to measure impact:

  • Improved confidence after the mentorship program (measured through surveys)
  • Improved knowledge after the mentorship program (measured through surveys)
  • Feeling of belonging and commitment to WordPress (measured through surveys)

Action Items and Request for Feedback

Request to Make/Teams: The contributor working group invites Make/WordPress Teams to join our pilot program as mentors. If you contribute to a Make/Team and wish to be involved in building this program, please express your interest in the comments.

  • First of all, what do you think about this program in its current form? Please share your feedback in the comments of this post. 
  • You will notice that this post only explains the program in brief. The working group has prepared a white paper that explains the program in detail. Please review it and share your feedback – either as comments in the document or as comments on this blog post.
  • Does this program excite you? Would you like to be a part of building a mentorship program for WordPress? We could use your help – Join the WordPress Contributor Working Group –  participate in one of our mentorship chats, comment on this post expressing your interest, or pingPing The act of sending a very small amount of data to an end point. Ping is used in computer science to illicit a response from a target server to test it’s connection. Ping is also a term used by Slack users to @ someone or send them a direct message (DM). Users might say something along the lines of “Ping me when the meeting starts.” me in Make/WordPress Slack (I‘m @harishanker over there).

Big thanks to all members of the contributor working group in helping draft this proposal!

This post was jointly-written by members of the contributor working group: @adityakane @nao @oglekler @yoga1103 @kirasong @st810amaze @onealtr @carl-alberto @tobifjellner @javiercasares @sz786 @meher @courane01 @jeffpaul @sereedmedia @cbringmann @angelasjin @juliarosia @askdesign @nomadskateboarding @harishanker @javiercasares @gounder @unintended8 @webtechpooja @thewebprincess @unintended8 @desrosj @askdesign @webtechpooja @webcommsat @kcristiano @leonnugraha and @evarlese

#5ftf, #five-for-the-future, #proposal #contributor-working-group #wpcontributors #mentorship-program