Community Summit 2023: Your Role in What’s Next

The 2023 WordPress Community Summit has come to a close, marking another milestone in our journey to shape the future of 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. While the event itself was a whirlwind of ideas, discussions, and collaborations, the real work — building upon these insights and translating them into action — has only just begun.

Notes from each Summit session are now available at For your convenience, you can view a complete list of Summit sessions along with their corresponding notes here.

We don’t want this to be a one-way conversation. We urge everyone in the WordPress ecosystem to delve into these notes, share your comments, and encourage others in your network to do the same. Your feedback is not just welcome – it’s essential. By sharing and discussing these notes with your teams and fellow WordPress enthusiasts, you’re ensuring that our collective vision for the future of WordPress is inclusive and well-informed.

Let’s continue to shape the future of WordPress together. Your voice, insights, and passion are what drive this project forward.

#community, #summit-2023, #team-reps, #teams

Community Summit Discussion Notes: Creating WordPress Curriculum and Educational Experiences

From the session schedule:

One important way to welcome new users, builders, and extenders of all ages is to create excellent curriculum or educational experiences around WordPress. To address this gap, the WordPress community has held KidsCamps and launched Learn WordPress. This discussion will focus on the future of WordPress education, from topics to teach, to levels of experience, to curriculum for specific age groups.

Facilitator: Benjamin Evans (@bsanevans)

Notetaker 1: Courtney Robertson (@courane01)

Notetaker 2: Kim Coleman (@kimannwall)

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#summit, #summit-2023

Community Summit Discussion Notes: Increasing contributor recognition and celebration

From the session schedule:

WordPress contributors are incredible. How can we better acknowledge and celebrate the important contributions made, and recognize the impact they have for 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? This discussion will explore where we currently are not recognizing contributions, and how we can more appropriately and readily show appreciation for contributions and contributors. 

Facilitator: Julia Golomb

Notetaker 1: Jonathan Desrosiers (@desrosj)

Notetaker 2: Bigul Malayi (@mbigul)

Raw Notes

  • Current state of props across project
    • Props are not uniformly tracked across various teams.
    • CoreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. does the best job, but only on the SVNSVN Apache Subversion (often abbreviated SVN, after its command name svn) is a software versioning and revision control system. Software developers use Subversion to maintain current and historical versions of files such as source code, web pages, and documentation. Its goal is to be a mostly compatible successor to the widely used Concurrent Versions System (CVS). WordPress core and the released code are all centrally managed through SVN. side with “Props x, y, z.” in commit messages.
    • All contributions boil down to 1 prop, regardless of the amount of effort invested or overall impact.
    • Props are collected during betaBeta A pre-release of software that is given out to a large group of users to trial under real conditions. Beta versions have gone through alpha testing in-house and are generally fairly close in look, feel and function to the final product; however, design changes often occur as part of the process./RCRelease Candidate A beta version of software with the potential to be a final product, which is ready to release unless significant bugs emerge. of each release cycle. Some of it is automated, but a good amount of manual work involved.
    • Inevitably there are always contributors unintentionally left out.
    • Different teams have different ways to recognize contributors.
  • Original purpose of props in a core release: to recognize lots of work that is not apparent by just looking at a commit (design, testing, code review, etc.).
  • The goal was to incentivize behaviors we want to see from contributors.
  • Why are there invisible contributions at all?
  • Other open source projects were discussed:
    • Drupal: Attributions are discussed a lot.
      • pages can be used as a resume. Not as true for
      • They’re highly automated.
      • There are different ways of breaking down one issue into multiple phases instead of one epic.
      • Credit can be received multiple times for each ticket (testing, coding, designing, etc.).
      • can create sub tasks for the Drupal Conference. Like Logo creation, financing, writing articles on event sites etc.. Once the task is finished the credit will be shown in Profile. 
      • The Drupal profile has many type of credits & attributes 
      • More easy access to the statistics of the contributions
      • It also has a dashboard for contributors 
      • Credit is weighted.
      • Some attribution farming occurs.
      • Different contributions based on experience. There is a structured phase out of credit to try and encourage positive progression to more advanced contributions.
      • Drupal embraces company and organization involvement, giving recognition to corporate entities that contribute.
      • Drupal allows enterprises to create profile pages like this – Their contribution is also listed like an individual. Like Sponsorship, Supporting Contributors etc.. 
      • The profile page also have section to list the mentors of a user 
      • Corporate citizenship is weighted by the last 90 days, affecting how they’re displayed on in a few ways.
      • Is this what Five for the Future is meant to do? Different discussion, but does there need to be more incentivization for companies to participate?
      • Drupal uses a “novice” tag instead of “good-first-bug”
    • Linux Foundation has a badge system used to give attribution.
  • Why are credits not grouped by team or separated out on the Credits page for a release?
    • That page was meant to reflect everyone who contributed positively to that specific release. Who pushes that release forward?
    • Drupal has team recognition unrelated to a release.
    • Other teams have been left to send credits to release squads or figure out their own methods to give credit.
  • Where do we currently give credit outside of a release?
    • profile Badges
    • #props channel in SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at
    • Translators receive credit in a separate section on the credits page when a non-default locale is being used (though this is tied to contributing to a specific version number
    • Openverse does not have a formal way to recognize contributions besides badges.
    • This Week in Core posts on
  • Commits are not always the right way to recognize contributions or quantify effort.
  • Badges are a form of credit/props
    • Each team is on their own to come up with the qualifications to receive a badge.
    • There is a good amount of badge hunting that occurs.
    • Badges are one thing that makes profiles more like a resume.
    • Majority of badges are currently assigned by role.
    • Training team has a great outline of how to receive a badge with task and count requirements outlined. They were praised multiple times for their related processes and documentation.
    • Some teams are less structured.
    • Photo team gives out badges as soon as someone shares a single photo in the directory.
    • There are gaps in badges that can be given out.
    • All flagship contributor days have virtual contributor days. Could add a virtual contributor dayContributor Day Contributor Days are standalone days, frequently held before or after WordCamps but they can also happen at any time. They are events where people get together to work on various areas of There are many teams that people can participate in, each with a different focus. badge for those folks unable to travel.
    • Could explore tiered or “super user” badges to encourage contributors to advance and contribute more.
    • Teams should decide what is appropriate for them for issuing badges, but having documented best practices, or guidelines would be helpful for this.
    • Badges are binary in nature. How can we add nuance, leveling, etc..
    • Some teams have multiple badges. Openverse, for example, has team and contributor badges. But most contributors are sponsored. There is a higher threshold to cross for unsponsored folks. There is a disadvantage.
  • Badges could have an expiration period
    • This would discourage badge hunting.
    • Incentivize the actual behavior we want.
    • They shouldn’t disappear entirely, though. They were important and valid for a point in time, and that history should be preserved.
    • Badges could also be active or inactive.
    • Expectations and removal criteria must be clear to avoid mix ups and hurt feelings.
  • It’s important to recognize contribution where it matters to the person investing the time and effort.
    • There are times when both external and internal recognition are important
  • Where else can contributors be recognized that may be more impactful?
  • Releases are not the event to recognize for all teams within the entire project.
    • Some teams work on different timelines. Have different deadlines, etc..
  • Props chasing does occur.
    • How do we nudge people to make more substantive contributions as they learn and grow?
    • Sometimes this will be an indication of the limits of their skills.
    • Contributions are accepted in all forms from everyone, regardless of size, perceived impact, or team/component.
    • It’s totally fine for someone to find a comfort zone where they are happy and live forever.
  • The Lead Developer title currently does not really mean anything. Especially to new contributors.
    • Previously, this may have incentivized some folks to work harder. But it’s currently unattainable.
    • What else can we offer along these lines and at what levels to hopefully incentivize better?
  • There are considerations to be had around sponsored vs. unsponsored contributions.
    • The number of hours is not a great way of quantifying contributions either (see 5FTF).
    • It’s difficult for contributors to meetups, WordCamps, etc. to quantify a regular amount.
    • This creates a perceived disadvantage to self sponsored folks vs. sponsored ones.
    • Being sponsored by a corporation to contribute is recognition in itself. That is meaningful to many in the community but not all.
  • Visibility and transparency into contribution should be a goal.
    • It creates a cross team understanding and excitement for collaboration
  • Quantifying contribution is difficult and not uniform.
    • Writing make posts can be a big deal that can require days of work.
    • Creating well worded and detailed issues can also be time intensive.
    • See above about it being difficult for contributors to meetups, WordCamps, etc. to quantify a regular amount.
    • Design team does a ton of work that’s not represented in the final deliverable. Wireframes and design iterations, for example.
  • For GutenbergGutenberg The Gutenberg project is the new Editor Interface for WordPress. The editor improves the process and experience of creating new content, making writing rich content much simpler. It uses ‘blocks’ to add richness rather than shortcodes, custom HTML etc., it’s difficult to juggle GitHubGitHub GitHub is a website that offers online implementation of git repositories that can easily be shared, copied and modified by other developers. Public repositories are free to host, private repositories require a paid subscription. GitHub introduced the concept of the ‘pull request’ where code changes done in branches by contributors can be reviewed and discussed before being merged be the repository owner. vs. TracTrac Trac is the place where contributors create issues for bugs or feature requests much like GitHub.
    • Code commits are easiest but a very small piece of the puzzle.
    • Docs commits are gamified the most with typo fixes, etc.
    • Hard to decide who should receive attribution for changes.
    • Discussions, triage, etc. all deserve credit.
    • Gutenberg recognizes contributors for all public pluginPlugin 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 Plugin Directory or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party version releases.
  • Could the People of WordPress series be used to recognize contribution efforts as well as unique contributor journeys?
  • Can the release page be expanded to recognize different groups?
  • Legacy people are important to all aspects of what we do. How do those contributions get properly recognized?
  • Having strong clear automation helps avoid bias. Anytime a human gives credit it opens the door for some bias, whether intentional or not.
  • WordPress has a bad habit of being internally facing and not interacting with other communities. What can we learn from mistakes and triumphs for other projects and communities?
  • Who is the audience for the recognition types being discussed?
  • Be very clear about problems being solved. 
  • How do people find out who to talk to about what?
  • Titles represent recognition to peers.
  • Badges represent recognition for self or prospective employers.
  • How to recognize work in siloed communities
    • Travel funds could be a form of recognition to enable travel.
  • Emeritus committers is a potential example of how to have an “archived” or “inactive” contributor state.

Key Points

  • Fair and accurate recognition is a key to a thriving open source project. Contributors must feel valued.
  • All forms of contribution should be recognized.
  • Behaviors that the project wants to see should be incentivized by any credits system.
  • Contributions need to be recognized where it matters most to the contributor.
  • There are different audiences for different types of recognition.
  • There are many different types of contributors (unsponsored, sponsored) with many different backgrounds (design, development, translations, testing, etc.).
  • Releases may not be the right event to celebrate recognition for all teams.
  • Event organizing (WordCamps & Meetups) takes lots of time and effort, but receive less recognition.
  • Any credit system adopted must stand on its own, independent of the tools being used.
  • There should be as little invisible contribution as possible.
  • Strong automation helps avoid any potential bias.
  • Contributions are not weighted by level of effort or difficulty.


Community Summit Discussion Notes: Iterating on the Team Rep role

From the session schedule:

Today, each Make Team has a few Team Representatives (often referred to as “Team Reps”). Historically this role was not a leadership position, but designed to help facilitate communication across teams through weekly updates and cross-team discussions. Over the years, the Team RepTeam 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. role has shifted and now differs from team to team: on some teams, Team Reps are only responsible for setting weekly agendas for meetings and posting recaps. On other teams, the Team Rep holds mentorship responsibilities. This discussion aims to a explore stronger definition for the Team Rep role, including responsibilities and what skills might be helpful, and where in the contributor journey they should be.

Facilitator: Angela Jin (@angelasjin)

Notetakers: Jonathan Desrosiers (@desrosj), Benjamin Evans (@bsanevans)

Discussion Objectives:

  • Create a stronger definition of the team rep role
  • Consider how team reps can be better supported
  • Consider how folks can be helped to become better team reps

Key Points

Community Summit 2012 is where the role was initially discussed, and should be revisited.

  • The role was originally in charge of communication and project management, and represented the team to the project.
  • Was not about prestige.
  • Considering the size of the project today, the role was created for a smaller subset of groups than what we have now.
  • Was created when 6-8 teams existed, at most.

What is a team rep?

  • We need standardization and a stronger definition of what we want/need the role to be.
    • The community site where WordPress code is created and shared by the users. This is where you can download the source code for WordPress core, plugins and themes as well as the central location for community conversations and organization. can be used for standardization.
    • At the same time, some teams have found the team rep role does not work.
    • Some think the rep role should be limited to admin tasks, while others think it should be limited to project wide communication.
    • Variation in the role definition is good (teams are making it work for them). But these differences need to be clearly documented.
  • Some folks do it because they want to serve, but sometimes also because there is a need.
    • Some people are rep for too long because they can’t pass it on.
    • Sometimes it is hard to make it look attractive.
  • For some teams, it’s very difficult to be an unsponsored contributor and serve as a team rep.
    • How can this barrier be removed?
  • It should be a role folks grow out of.
    • Teams should have a clear progression path (contribution ladder).
    • If folks are doing it for recognition, then there should be other means of recognition.
  • Projects need leads to get stuff done, but there is history behind not calling reps “leads”.
    • There is a difficult balance of democratizing, and pushing things forward.
  • Ideally, team reps shouldn’t need to know English
  • Having diverse reps can ensure global coverage.
  • Some teams require a higher level of trust and vetting, such as Security or PluginPlugin 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 Plugin Directory or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party Review teams.

Teams can do better at setting reps up to succeed.

  • New team reps need onboarding.
  • Clearer expectations and outlined responsibilities.
  • Teams need documentation on the role, and also how succession is made.
  • Teams should strive towards a diverse group of team leads
    • Stagger term limits so that there is both an experienced and non-experienced person
    • Have reps from different time zones
  • Teams should have separate folks assigned to inter-team collaboration – such as project managers.
  • Keep working groups in mind when defining what a team lead is.
  • The project can empower new teams to get up and running with representation more quickly with stronger definitions and better documentation.

Improvement ideas for

  • /updates/ was created as a place for reps to communicate with each other.
  • Access to the site needs to be managed better for new team reps.
  • This needs to be better marketed so that non-reps also know it and follow it.
  • Great spot to get the birds-eye view for what teams are working on.

Suggestions to improve the rep role:

  • Send Welcome packs to new reps, welcoming them to the role and setting out clear next-steps.
  • Have Rep/Lead Camp – a point of accountability and connection.
  • As there are many teams now, we should group teams and have someone represent the group.

Have the responsibilities outgrown a single role?

  • Is there a need for multiple kinds of reps (project manager, communications, etc.)
  • Is there a need for both internally and externally focused reps?
  • Does this involve directly responsible individuals? Another team is working on a proposal for what this could mean and how it could work.


  • Most teams have the following needs. But how much falls under the responsibility of the team rep role, and how much is conducted by other active contributors, differs from team to team.
    • Team Representative
      • Represents the team to the wider Make project, and the project to the team.
    • Project Manager
      • Accountable to “get things done” within the team.
      • Aggregates ideas in the team in a format the whole team can follow easily.
    • Administrator
      • Conducts general administration for the team.
      • Collects stats about the team’s performance and projects.
    • Mentor
      • Onboards and mentors new contributors.
  • Teams need to clearly define the team rep role in their team and set up a succession/onboarding process.
    • Guidance or “templates” from the larger program could assist with this.

Community Summit Discussion Notes: Open Source participation in global legislation

From the session schedule:

Historically, the WordPress project has avoided taking clear public stances on legislation as it appeared across the world, instead relying on our sustaining/underwriting corporations to advocate for the best positions. Increasingly, WP is being asked to weigh in or participate in taking a collective stand with other FOSS projects in our field. Are our current methods sustainable? Do we have the community backing to make this sort of broad claim?

Facilitator: Angela Jin (@angelasjin)

Notetaker: david wolfpaw (@wolfpaw)

Notetaker: Erica Varlese (@evarlese)

Raw notes:

  • As we’ve learned from Spider-Man: with great power comes great responsibility.
  • Some questions to address:
    • What questions do we have on the topic and what context would be helpful to start the conversation?
    • What kind of government regulation/legislation are we discussing? Global, such as EU, GDPR, etc.
  • While a lot of legislation is starting in Europe, such as GDPR, it is going to evolve and spread to other parts of the world, as that already has.
  • What do we currently do, how we can improve it, and is it sustainable when it involves participating in legislation.
  • How reactive versus proactive should we be in the project for legislation: just reacting to legislation as it comes up, or making suggestions for future legislation.
  • We need to find an official home within the structure of the project (Make Teams) to have legislation related discussions. The Sustainability Team has been brought up as a suggestion. Without this anchor of a team, transparency becomes untenable. We need to set some sort of framework for a process when it comes to thinking about these issues.
  • Russia is considering a law to make it illegal to work with a foreign non-profit. What does that mean when it comes to volunteering with the WordPress project? We have to be proactive since we can see it coming. It’s not just high level discussions on code and security, but on who can participate in the community.
  • When we respond to requests, how do we ensure that we are capturing the community.
  • We might want to measure how likely legislation is to pass before determining if we should get involved.
  • We should not only be discussing legislation, but how else we can or should be involved with other governmental activities. For instance, should the WordPress project respond with amicus briefs on cases being brought before courts, such as what some technology projects have done.
  • This in part goes to the idea of, “decisions, not options”. Are we an opinionated project or not? Should we put out these amicus briefs, or just respond if something affects us. We can say that we have talked about things as a community, and generally agree on some action/idea and publish that to Make.
  • WordPress could say, “this could affect these sites, this source code, etc”, and the greater community could take this information and act on it. Not making the statement so much advocacy, but opinions that could facilitate action that the community would not have to take explicitly.
  • As a community we need to lobby a little to be reactive to things that exist like GDPR, and to make changes in WordPress. For instance how we need to be more open about security in the project because we will need to due to upcoming legislation.
  • We need a space to explain what is happening with specific laws when it relates to our community.
  • As a 501(c)3 we cannot be seen as doing any sort of lobbying.
  • What would a proactive response from WordPress look like? – The most important thing to be proactive about is deciding about what is important to address. Legislation that we are looking at is very broad, and could be globally reaching, or even more locally, such as Montana banning TikTok. Deciding upfront which things that we care about, and then looking for how we can get involved. We should not feel intimated or that there is a barrier, but work on conversations where we can participate in with our domain knowledge, such as on 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., contributors, security, etc.
  • We don’t want our contributors, especially self-sponsored contributors who make smaller contributions, to be responsible for legislation. We have a majority of contributors in the EU, and we want them to be able to contribute for as long as they would like, as safely as possible.
  • The difficulty in knowing that silence is safety versus silence is complicity is how much it affects us as a community. If other CMS reactReact React is a JavaScript library that makes it easy to reason about, construct, and maintain stateless and stateful user interfaces. to something, WordPress either has to respond, or not responding could be seen as tacit disagreement.
  • Would it be beneficial for WordPress to explore consultative status at the United Nations, with the office of NGOs
  • There was a position taken concerning contributors and the EU, and there will need to be other positions taken in the future. If someone takes a position on behalf of the community, it needs to have the support of the community. Perhaps we could create a structure where discussions happen, for when positions will or won’t be taken.
  • There are so many times when individuals or sponsored contributors take positions, and the rest of the community can feel left out and that their discussion and feedback does not matter.
  • There are so many issues that the community could comment on: Black Lives Matter and George Floyd, gender, sexuality, war. How can these translate into advocacy? We can have a conversation of how far we go. Human Rights are important, but how far do we go as a community?
  • There is an assumption that Make teams are representative of what we call the Community. The challenges of representing the community is that people are represented, but that is not representative. That could be an issue with whether representation is ever possible. We are asking some big blockBlock Block is the abstract term used to describe units of markup that, composed together, form the content or layout of a webpage using the WordPress editor. The idea combines concepts of what in the past may have achieved with shortcodes, custom HTML, and embed discovery into a single consistent API and user experience. of people but it won’t represent everyone.
  • How do we flag things for WordPress to review. How do we see what things that we should be concerned about, what should be the structure to do this advocacy work, and how do we keep it sustainable.
  • We cannot be representative of the entire community, and decisions have to be made, otherwise not making a decision is a decision. There will be some subset of people who make opinions that are representative of the WordPress community. Majority cannot make opinions that cover the Minority.
  • Right now, someone says, “hey, has someone looked at this?” and shares it to Matt or Josepha, and we react.
  • What could a process look like: Someone raises a question to Josepha or Matt, but maybe there is a group that could have a process.
  • Is the process broken enough that we need to make a system? We need specific people to agree to make positions. Perhaps it is not a process worth iterating on right now.
  • Leaning on the fact that the community is global would be nearly impossible to track things in countries where we don’t have as many contributors or do not speak the same language. Even putting out, “this is what the process is” without adding structure could be helpful to ensure that people know how to be heard.
  • Our motto is “democratize publishing”. But we are not going to be a direct democracy in the project. A representative democracy would better serve us by having community members who represent parts of their community. The only thing that is missing right now is garnering topics from the community. One on one conversations are valuable, but can be negative because it excludes people by its nature.
  • As an example there are regular town halls in some communities that people can bring issues up to that are not specifically about one problem, so that people can bring up any of the issues that they have to be addressed. The conversation component as a community is what is missing.
  • If something comes out of a discussion that the community cares about, it will become a big thing regardless.
  • Looking at how we can improve the process: what we need is a space for people to share in one space, and where people can comment on things that are happening in various parts of the world, with various legislation, etc.
  • Voting would be tricky, but we do have tools available, such as polling.
  • One issue is that the more things that we take positions on, there are more things that we have to take positions on. For instance we take positions on human rights issues in some places, but not in others. We could look to where we have the most contextual authority as a group of contributors to comment on positions.
  • When you 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.” someone about a problem asking for position, keeping in mind whether we have domain experience. The recent issues of open source contributors being legally responsible for projects is something that is important to this community, but maybe something like agricultural bills is not important in the same way for our skills. The bigger your grasp gets, the further that people want you to reach.
  • We want to ensure that what we are adding is impactful, like having teams and representatives on squads for a purpose, not just because everyone should have a voice. Having people have to reach out to whole teams takes time that could be used for other pressing projects.
  • When we lead through example, it is powerful, and that’s something that we can control.
  • We don’t think that the community would not understand wanting to keep a narrow focus on things that directly impact the project, and we can define that. Things that matter as an open source project.
  • Some people will want us to talk about everything, but we can filterFilter Filters are one of the two types of Hooks They provide a way for functions to modify data of other functions. They are the counterpart to Actions. Unlike Actions, filters are meant to work in an isolated manner, and should never have side effects such as affecting global variables and output. that out and just focus on a clear scope of things that will directly impact the efficacy of the project. Open source things, infrastructure things, security things that directly impact CoreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress..
  • It is clear that there is a distinction between, “Stuff that WordPress supports”, and “Stuff that WordPress makes a statement about”. Statements about some law that affects someone doesn’t change things, but ensuring that the community is supported matters more.
  • Following this conversation, what are the things that we care about to make a statement on:
    • Four Freedoms of Open Source
    • Things that affect the openness of the internet/web that affect our users
    • Things that affect the ability to participate/use open source software
    • Security, personal security, encryption
    • AI Ethics
    • Legislation that might affect the content that we have on our various platforms, like on OpenVerse, Learn, Photos
  • WordPress tries to have human-centric approaches to dealing with modern technology and projects. Working your way through the project can teach you a lot about this. We look at open source as you can take it into the world, not just with WordPress itself.
  • It can be valuable to share how things are done when it comes to taking a position on behalf of the project. That way even if we don’t address something as the community, we have guideposts on how to respond on an individual level to take action.
  • If we don’t have a discussion as a community, then it will be seen as just Automattic’s position when a statement is made. Even from a perception standpoint, this is an issue.
  • If conversations are being had but people don’t know where they are or how to get involved, it can seem as if they were not able to have an opinion.
  • Some mechanism for Make teams to be notified of legal decisions coming down that would need to adjust what the teams are doing would be helpful to have.
  • A barrier to get involved in discussions is being able to parse all of the details, length of research and statements, etc. The summaries can be placed somewhere that more people can see.
  • Possible next steps:
    • Designate a place for these conversations to happen.
    • Draft a “Here are the topics WordPress would address” document.
      • We had a lot of discussion, so it may not already be apparent.
    • A method of communicating to the Make teams when there is something with legal ramifications or something we’ll need to deal with.
      • Summaries of what’s happening to allow people to get involved in the discussion.

#summit, #summit-2023

Community Summit Discussion Notes: Communication and Collaboration – Finding Your Way Around WordPress

From the session page:

The WordPress project both generates and processes a lot of information on a regular basis. Even for tenured contributors, it can be challenging to know where or who to go for much needed information. On each team and across the project, who should be responsible for disseminating information, and how can communication practices be streamlined to make collaboration more seamless for everyone building WordPress? This discussion will explore current friction points and possible ways to address communication and collaboration in the WordPress ecosystem.

Facilitator: Kevin Cristiano (@kcristiano)
Notetaker: Jessica Frick (@jessibelle)

Discussion Objectives

  • Explore current problems we face when communicating across teams
  • Explore possible solutions to address the identified friction points

Basic Summary

The Community faces a number of different challenges where communication and collaboration are concerned. Whether it manifests as duplicated work across teams due to a lack of communication or simply dead zones where discussions are purposely kept behind closed doors, these friction points cause real issues on all teams. While most agree we need cross-team communication, many don’t know where to go or what information is missing.

Action Items / Next Steps

  • Members from different Make teams need to work together to develop a proposed process for more public communication and coordination.
  • An ethical standard and code of conduct should be established to determine what information can be kept private and what we have an ethical duty to keep public.
  • We should update our definition of the community to reflect what it is today, including the roles and power therein, as this informs the communication internally and externally from reps, members, and beyond.

Full Session Notes

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Community summit discussion notes: Revitalizing contributor teams’ leadership pipeline

Title of session: Revitalizing Contributor Teams’ Leadership Pipeline

Facilitator: @cbringmann

Notetakers: @ninianepress, @peiraisotta

Personal check-in about the topic

How do we feel about the leadership pipeline?

Discussion objectives

  • Identify the challenges to the current leadership
  • Explore motivations for folks becoming leaders
  • Discuss barriers that prevent people from embracing leadership 
  • Brainstorm potential solutions
  • Identify future pipelines

Key points

Identify the challenges to the current leadership

We don’t know what we are doing – things work, but we don’t know why we’re doing specific things.

There’s a different onboarding experience for each team and personal unstructured mentorships, but we don’t know all the things that we have the power to do or all the tools that are available.

Team reps don’t have clear instructions; we have followed some guidelines without knowing the reason why those guidelines are in place.

Burnout and overwhelm are a reality and the confusion doesn’t help.

There’s a particular challenge in understanding what is a “leader” in our ecosystem: 

  • Leadership: whoever is very active in the projects (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. and MeetupMeetup All local/regional gatherings that are officially a part of the WordPress world but are not WordCamps are organized through A meetup is typically a chance for local WordPress users to get together and share new ideas and seek help from one another. Searching for ‘WordPress’ on will help you find options in your area. organizers, folks heavily involved in the releases and projects being sustainable, etc. and not only team reps)

From other sessions we realized the lack of definition of what team repTeam 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. is, but we know that it’s not necessarily a lead. So, we don’t have a structure to define what a leader is in this community. People who are louder might be perceived as leaders leaving behind other folks. Formally, the only clear definition is a project lead.

Community members expect organizers and team reps to have all the answers, but many times leaders don’t have answers or the power to make the change requested. It causes a frustrating feeling that we do and don’t have the power to create positive change.

There’s a real need for clarity since there’s a lack of documentation for stewardship roles, and people have to:

  • Make mistakes and ask for forgiveness in retrospect
  • Be pushy and take initiative

People expect team reps to move things forward, but there’s no clear way forward often, no documentation, and it’s clear reps can’t do whatever they want. This makes it incredibly difficult to get anything done.

It’s difficult to find people who are willing to share responsibilities in local teams:

  • There’s a lot of focus on global stewardship, but not enough for local communities.

If we don’t have a clear idea about the responsibilities of a leadership role, we can’t onboard new leaders.

New contributors think they can only contribute to small tasks and they don’t realize they can become a team rep.

Leadership onboarding doesn’t exist on all teams and projects.

There’s a lack of connection between local teams and their respective global teams.

Explore what motivates folks into becoming leaders

  • Desire to learn as well as a love of learning by doing, and contributing
  • Desire to support and empower others
  • Maintaining and supporting a local community or project
  • Filling a gap, no motivation
  • Feeling empowered and helping others empower themselves
  • Seeking opportunities to fix things and knowing that we’re making progress (Ex. a high number of closed tickets)
  • Learning how the whole project works – the challenge of getting to learn how everything is connected is the motivation

Discuss barriers that prevent people from embracing leadership roles

  • Contributors aren’t aware about the possibility of growing into leadership roles.
  • The contributor pipelines are clearer on some teams than others.
  • There are knowledge barriers with a lack of documentation on many teams.

Brainstorming potential solutions

  • Better documentation and maybe a few centralized places for the documentation that is needed by different teams:
    • “What is leadership” in General Documentation or the Marketing Team, and maybe linked to team pages on how reps work on their team as well as what the role looks like and what it takes.
    • Further asynchronous discussion will be needed.
  • Request the information that is missing
  • Create an auto-updating chart on or where ever we can find the people responsible of each project and team
  • Leadership training: give contributors the path and tools to develop their leadership skills 
  • Mentorships to help contributors look for opportunities since current leaders can recognize future ones and can help them step into the role little by little
  • Small steps into the role
  • Keeping and maintaining the human component related to leadership without getting lost in process

What are the incentives to being a rep?

  • Every successful contribution helps as a learning opportunity that leaves reps feeling empowered to lead.
  • When a rep is able to lead someone, it further helps develop their skills, which feels great, especially when the project moves forward.
  • Some reps have no motivation to lead, they just became leaders because they were told by others to fill the open, much-needed position.
    • You can lead and inspire without being a rep.
  • In some cases, there’s an aspect of mentorship where if someone notices your hard work and says the role could be a good fit for you, it can snowball; it can be really encouraging and motivating.
  • Knowing your contributions are live for over 40% of the (public) web.
  • You don’t need to be a rep to learn a lot, but it does happen.
  • There are a lot of opportunities on the Test Team and other Teams.
  • You can start to see where there are gaps that need to be bridged.
  • Learning how everything works can be really motivating.
  • Having a role where success objectives are clearly defined such as counting the number of closed tickets is definitely motivating for many.
  • The trust everyone puts in you is empowering.
  • Helping foster a strong sense of community is motivating.
  • Human connection and making life-long friendships.

Identify future pipelines

  • Starting or facilitating meetups and being active in the community can help someone spot you to encourage you into a leadership role.
  • One of the jobs as a rep isn’t just to lead, but to see and encourage others.
  • Mentorships and documentation are key.
  • Create a system to ensure that the current leaders support the next ones by mentoring them and walking them through the leadership path
  • Standardize badge system including leadership badges
  • Standardize training path to leadership (to get the badge folks have to take specific course) and we could use material already available on the Learn platform, or decide what’s needed during contributor days
    • Courses or to-do lists may not be accessible for everyone, unless they’re short and concise
  • Expand and standardize leadership roles to include something like junior and senior reps both globally and per team
  • Offboarding process for when leaders want to step back (information transfers, access removal, etc.)
  • Process to transfer the knowledge 
  • Defining leadership roles is crucial for reps but also for working groups
  • Visuals are needed to understand the structure of everything
    • There’s already a Marketing issue in GitHubGitHub GitHub is a website that offers online implementation of git repositories that can easily be shared, copied and modified by other developers. Public repositories are free to host, private repositories require a paid subscription. GitHub introduced the concept of the ‘pull request’ where code changes done in branches by contributors can be reviewed and discussed before being merged be the repository owner. for this idea
  • Too much bureaucracy can be a barrier to entry for new(er) contributors
  • Using accessible tools is critical as Google Docs isn’t accessible

#summit, #summit-2023, #team-reps

Community Summit Discussion Notes: PHP version support

Title of Session: PHPPHP PHP (recursive acronym for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) is a widely-used open source general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for web development and can be embedded into HTML. version support

Facilitator: @mikeschroder

Notetaker 1: @flixos90

Notetaker 2: @courane01

From the session schedule:

Currently, WordPress does not officially fully support PHP 8.0+. This discussion will focus on how WordPress can support and align with modern PHP versions, and how to drop support for PHP versions that are end-of-life (“EoL”). There is urgency to this as PHP 8.0 will be EoL in November, and PHP 7.4 reached EoL last November.

Raw Notes

  • Several hosting providers expressing support for running automated tests for PHP version support across hosting providers
  • Is WordPress 6.3 fully supporting PHP 8? – Basically yes (PHP 8.0 and 8.1 compatible with known exceptions, TracTrac Trac is the place where contributors create issues for bugs or feature requests much like GitHub. tickets available for all exceptions) 
  • PHP 8 “betaBeta A pre-release of software that is given out to a large group of users to trial under real conditions. Beta versions have gone through alpha testing in-house and are generally fairly close in look, feel and function to the final product; however, design changes often occur as part of the process.” tag was removed after WP 6.3 release 
  • Encourage/support plugins supporting it
  • Attention was raised for Juliette’s published post asking for support on WPCSWPCS The collection of PHP_CodeSniffer rules (sniffs) used to format and validate PHP code developed for WordPress according to the WordPress Coding Standards. May also be an acronym referring to the Accessibility, PHP, JavaScript, CSS, HTML, etc. coding standards as published in the WordPress Coding Standards Handbook. which is critical to facilitate PHP version support in the future 
  • Hosting team’s PHP test runner project (running coreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. unit tests on several hosts) has issues with PHP 8 – who can help fix/maintain this project? 
  • PHP 5.6 support being dropped in WP 6.3 hopefully encourages hosting providers to jump up to supporting more recent PHP versions including 8+
  • PHP version usage of WP sites
  • Big push on GoDaddy to get sites on PHP 8+, vast majority of migrations (>70%) has gone smoothly (~18% marked as “high risk” updates)
  • Bluehost checking factors like closing body tags, document size changing etc.
  • Is there room to open-source tooling for checking that PHP update was successful or is causing errors on the site?
  • While there’s a desire in collaborating on tools across hosting providers, historically differences between platforms has hindered that → knowledge sharing rather than actual tooling
  • Users don’t care what version of PHP they are on, managed hosts manage that for them
  • Can we use WP-CLIWP-CLI WP-CLI is the Command Line Interface for WordPress, used to do administrative and development tasks in a programmatic way. The project page is for supporting updates? Useful by hosts
  • Min/max for PHP for the plugins/themes
    • Max version hasn’t been needed before
    • List of deprecations that would cause PHP incompatibility, run a scanner. 
    • Max version puts the work on pluginPlugin 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 Plugin Directory or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party/theme maintainers, and less useful. 
  • Implement automated scanner in plugin and theme directories to detect PHP version issues → responsibility of metaMeta 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
  • Paid plugins have another issue: many sites no longer have active licenses and therefore don’t receive the updates that would add PHP 8+ support
  • WP plugin repository is not able to force-update premium plugins, particularly if they use the new upgrade URI headerHeader The header of your site is typically the first thing people will experience. The masthead or header art located across the top of your page is part of the look and feel of your website. It can influence a visitor’s opinion about your content and you/ your organization’s brand. It may also look different on different screen sizes. introduced a while ago (which bypasses completely)
  • Steps to encourage plugin support
    • email plugin authors prompting to update, but anticipate plugins to end 
    • display info on plugin page
    • integrate into Plugin APIAPI An API or Application Programming Interface is a software intermediary that allows programs to interact with each other and share data in limited, clearly defined ways., health check could warn them 
  • Security plugins could tackle Tide scores and compatibility – WP Scan mentioned as a possible option
  • Resources:
  • For the bulk of sites, ensuring PHP support of ~50 most popular plugins will be enough, then the long tail of 100s or 1000s of plugins only applies to a relatively smaller amount
  • What educational resources can LearnWP create to help educate on what/why/how to update?
    • How to start contributing to PHP areas 
  • Speed at which we drop older versions of PHP – can we correlate versions of WP with PHP?
    • Who can update the PHP? Often hosts deployDeploy Launching code from a local development environment to the production web server, so that it's available to visitors. it
  • Current 5% rule is based on overall WP sites’ PHP version usage, could we make it based on only recent WP version sites’ PHP version usage? – That would not make a notable difference, there is not a real correlation between using old WP versions and PHP versions, which makes sense since the hosting provider controls PHP support regardless of WP. internally has that data available, and it’s only ~0.1% different from overall PHP version usage.
  • Extender ecosystem is waiting on Core
  • Bottleneck of keeping up 
  • How can we keep support financially or with labor long-term maintenance of the WPCS / PHP compatibility tooling?
    • Long-term additional contributors would be great, but short-term the barrier of entry to this work is so high that support of the existing contributors is essential
    • Generally, the WP project is focused on getting more contributors, but sometimes there may be more value in identifying and funding already experienced contributors, or attract specific contributors with specific expertise needed
    • mentorship for PHP niche areas, separated out from the rest of Core new contributor table 
  • Conclusion
    • Find funding for contributors and tooling, also mentoring
    • repo plugins to WP users
    • Hosting companies working together to find common versions encounter errors

#summit, #summit-2023

Community Summit Discussion Notes: Can WordPress become the household name it deserves to be?

Title of Session: Can WordPress become the household name it deserves to be?

Facilitator: @dtsears

Notetaker 1: @mikachan

Notetaker 2: @jessibelle

From the session schedule:

WordPress is the internet’s best kept secret. What would it take for WordPress to be able to raise awareness about itself and elevate the value of the ecosystem, while being thoughtful on behalf of the community that surrounds it?

Key Points

  • We began the discussion by highlighting important historical events, starting with things that have encouraged market adoption, for example:
    • When Movable Type changed its license
    • When Custom Post Types were introduced
    • Adding import/export functionality
    • Ability to make multilingual sites
    • Amount of developer support, so easy for new users to pick up
  • We discussed the importance of WordPress being a household name, including the why and the how. Some highlights include:
    • WP levels the playing field for small businesses to have the same good quality websites as larger companies. The most important people are the people who don’t have big budgets.
    • The flexibility of WP means that it’s unlikely to be stopped by new trends.
    • Brand awareness – it is not self-sustaining and is sustained by the extremely active community.
    • Expanding the reach of WP – Lack of next-generation WP users. Explore the social side of WP – make it a social network? Connect things as part of the open web rather than the closed web. Elevate WP to provide exposure to content.
    • WP not seen as serious career option, but for some people its the beginning of their career.
  • We concluded by discussing current challenges and the next steps

Action Items/Next Steps:

  • Ideas to address different audience segments:
    1. Audience segmentation – create the top 8-10 audiences (developers, small-business, enterprise, marketers)
    2. Group the audiences into categories (end-users, makers)
    3. Segment messaging to those categories (lots of different pathways)
  • Tutorials need to be updated. Being out-of-date and inconsistent puts new users off and breaks trust. Backwards compatibility with tutorials – can we mark them as deprecated? Use Playground to keep tutorials up to date.
  • Teach new translators using better tutorials.
  • Make the process to update docs content more obvious. See Mozilla onboarding for documentation.
  • – alleviate this tool we already have. Surface video content in the WP backend, along with docs and other content.
  • Use WP Playground more in tutorials
  • Improve onboarding on all levels (new users, new contributors). See Mozilla onboarding for a good example.

Raw Notes

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#summit, #summit-2023

Community Summit Discussion Notes: Refreshing the contributor pipeline

Title of Session: Refreshing the contributor pipeline

Facilitator: @volkswagenchick

Notetaker 1: @mikachan

Notetaker 2: @evarlese

From the session schedule:

A healthy contributor pipeline requires new contributors! Prior to the pandemic, our in-person events were key to welcoming and engaging new contributors. With events slower to return, how can we continue to connect with and bring in new contributors? This discussion will explore where Make Teams are currently seeing new contributors from, and brainstorm what kind of outreach the WordPress project could do to refresh the contributor pipeline. An additional focus for this discussion will be around how to continually retain new contributors.

Key Points

  • Community Team spent 2022 re-activating the community.
  • The Docs team is an inspirational team, both in how they attract new contributors and how they support people longer-term 🍪
  • The pandemic immensely impacted the community; there is a lot of work done at in-person events and we lost that.
  • There is a new Contribute page on Make WP.
    • Ideally, we’d also have a “getting set up” page that includes how to set up SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at, find your team meetings etc.
  • There are no longer enough people to help organise in-person events as the momentum has been lost post-pandemic.
  • The need to go to the larger WordCamps because the local ones no longer happen.
  • People tend to be more passionate at local events.
  • Personal connections are important.
  • Recent mentorship program has been extremely successful.
  • What is the reward? What are people getting from contributing?
    • Reframing why we contribute – what 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. is on a broader scale. You’re helping the wider community, keeping the software free.
  • Badges are an under-utilised component, and WP profiles could be improved.
  • Lack of contributor data.
  • Reframe “office hours” to AMAs – everyone can help everyone, eases the pressure on the usual few people.
  • Big challenge is that there is a completely different repo for every single team. Overwhelming. GH and tracTrac Trac is the place where contributors create issues for bugs or feature requests much like GitHub. are very overwhelming for new contributions. Do we need some consistency across the different repos?
  • We should recruit more contributors from external projects.

Action Items/Next Steps:

  • Create a “getting set up” page alongside the new Contribute page, for each Make team.
  • Create a contributor tool CTA that takes people to the Contributor page.
  • We also need a clear pathway for people who get stuck or need help – add a direct link to the public-mentoring channel to ask for help on anything from the contributor team handbook pages.
  • Recruit more organisers for in-person events.
  • What can other teams learn from the Docs team?
  • Revisit Google Summer of Code as a way to recruit new contributors. Look for other ways to recruit externally to the WP community.
  • Set up support for existing contributors to become mentors to new contributors.
  • Be consistent with what’s included on each Make team handbook, how can people ask for help? Add link to mentoring channel.
  • Explore introducing a more immediate attribution system – get the “feel good” factor early on in the contributor journey.
  • Are there more online workshops that the Make teams can create?
  • Break down the large YouTube tutorial videos into shorter videos.
  • Can we look into how we can improve the badge system for each Make team? And the WP profile page in general.
  • Explore creating events to attract specific types of contributors – e.g. a design event
  • Make incentives more transparent, make it easy to find out what people did.
  • How can we handle data better? Data can help with the incentives, especially for contributor dayContributor Day Contributor Days are standalone days, frequently held before or after WordCamps but they can also happen at any time. They are events where people get together to work on various areas of There are many teams that people can participate in, each with a different focus., similar to a release squad.

Raw Notes

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#props, #summit, #summit-2023