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!
The Mentorship Process
Our mentors, mentees, and facilitators joined forces in a dedicated SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/. 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!
Learn WordPress Courses
Online Workshops on the Project
- Mentorship Program: Introduction to the WordPress Open Source Project
- Contributing to the WordPress Training Team
- Jenni McKinnon, Milana Cap: WordPress Documentation Team Onboarding July 2023
- Olga Gleckler: Contributor Mentorship: How to start contributing to the WordPress Core
- Tor-Björn Fjellner: Introduction to WordPress Polyglots Team
- Isotta Peira: Contributing to the WordPress Community Team
- A Guide to Open Source and WordPress
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!
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!