Experiment with New Support Volunteer Orientation

Last summer (June 2017) at Community Summit, we discussed several ideas that could help us as a Team do a better job at orienting new Support Team volunteers and help them find the tools to get started contributing by answering topics in the wordpress.orgWordPress.org 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. https://wordpress.org/ support forums.

At WCUS 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 https://make.wordpress.org/ There are many teams that people can participate in, each with a different focus. https://2017.us.wordcamp.org/contributor-day/ https://make.wordpress.org/support/handbook/getting-started/getting-started-at-a-contributor-day/. today in Nashville, we experimented with a “live” volunteer orientation in our 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. This orientation included new volunteers at Contributor Day in Nashville, but also was announced in the Slack channel over the last week, and included a few folks who attended remotely.

In the orientation, we:

  • Welcomed new volunteers
  • Pointed them toward several of the “get started” parts of our handbook
  • Described how to filterFilter Filters are one of the two types of Hooks https://codex.wordpress.org/Plugin_API/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. topics in the forum
  • Pointed out one of our important tools, the “Also Viewing” browser script, that allows you to see what other users are currently viewing a specific topic
  • Encouraged volunteers to come to the Slack channel for help in answering topics, and to tag topics with `modlook` when a moderator’s attention is needed
  • Finally, we encouraged new volunteers to join us at our weekly Team meeting

If you would like to read through the Slack archive of this Orientation, you can do that here.

Our next steps:

  1. We are going to refine the items & links, and make the “script” available for our support liaisons for specific language forums outside the international forums if they would like to use it.
  2. We are tentatively planning to offer this “live” orientation on a regular basis in the international forums Slack channel.
  3. We want to encourage the use of this “live” Orientation at other Contributor Days. Support leads for those days could use our script to do their own Orientation, or Support Team moderators might be able to lead this Orientation remotely.