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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