Discussion: Contributor ladders for the Training team and Learn WordPress

A few weeks ago, @andreamiddleton offered to help guide building a contributor ladder for the Training team and other related contributions to Learn WordPress. As lesson plan development moved from the Training team 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. https://github.com/ to the Learn WordPress site, there have been some considerable shifts in how the Training team approaches contributing which, in turn, has led to exploring new ways to track and acknowledge those contributions.

The idea of a contributor ladder is based on @chanthaboune‘s post, Observations on WordPress Contributor Team Structure. She defines the five stages of volunteering – or contributing – as:

  1. Connecting 
  2. Understanding
  3. Engaging
  4. Performing
  5. Leading

A contributor ladder can act as a resource for new contributors to understand ways to participate, and for experienced contributors to see where they may find opportunities for growth on the team. Getting clear on the stages of contribution for each team can help clarify pathways to leadership or, because not everyone is interested in leadership, different ways to get involved. 

Training Contributor Ladder

For the Training team, @azhiyadev, @courane01, and @andreamiddleton took the existing team contributor roles in the Training team Handbook and built out the following contributor ladder. 

To view this as a spreadsheet instead, click here.

RoleStage of volunteeringWho can participateTraining/experience neededTeam roles
AidesConnectingAnyoneNone, no special experience or training neededMeeting Notetakers, Meeting Facilitators, Lesson Plan Testers, TrelloTrello Project management system using the concepts of boards and cards to organize tasks in a sane way. This is what the make.wordpress.com/marketing team uses for example: https://trello.com/b/8UGHVBu8/wp-marketing. Board Wrangler, Make Team Buddy, Contributor Days Coordinator
TrainersEngagingTraining team contributorsNone, some experience in the Aides-rolesStyle Guide Wrangler, Make Site Wrangler, Training Team Liaison, Team Welcome Wrangler, Support Flow Wrangler
GuidesPerformingTraining team contributors, Subject Matter ExpertsFamiliarity with the Training team review process and style guide, topic expertiseLesson Plan Writers, Subject Matter Experts, Instructional Design Experts, SEO Experts, Copy Editors, Designers, Developers
AdminsLeadingExperienced Training team contributors and/or team representativesExpertise in the Training team review process and instructional designGitHub Wrangler, Final Lesson Plan Reviewer

Learn WordPress Contributor Ladder

For Learn WordPress workshops, discussions, and other contributions outside of lesson plan development, I also created a smaller, related contributor ladder to help identify other contributions to the site. 

To view this as a spreadsheet instead, click here.

RoleStage of volunteeringWho can participateTraining/experience neededTeam roles
TrainersEngagingAnyoneNoneWorkshop contributors (i.e., speakers, presenters, script writers, etc.), Course creators
Trainers/OrganizersPerformingExperienced Training or Community team contributorsMeetupMeetup All local/regional gatherings that are officially a part of the WordPress world but are not WordCamps are organized through https://www.meetup.com/. 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 meetup.com will help you find options in your area. organizer trainingDiscussion group leaders
Admins/DeputiesLeadingCommunity Deputies or Training AdminsCommunity Deputy orientationWorkshop application reviewers, Discussion group application reviewers

Since so much of learn.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/ is a cross-Training and Community team endeavor, my goal was to match these contributions to both the proposed Training contributor ladder and the Community team ladder.

Writing up the Learn WordPress contributor ladder felt a little odd since it’s a combination of two separate contributor ladders. I’m leaning towards the idea of combining the two as a single resource for Learn WordPress contributions, rather than keeping them separate.

Your thoughts?

I’d like to open this post up for feedback to check if anything has been overlooked or miscategorized. With that in mind, I would like to ask:

  • Are there any roles or ways of contributing missing from these lists?
  • Is there anything that doesn’t sit right in terms of expectations or requirements?
  • Does this feel like a valuable resource to you? How can it tie into onboarding and making contributing easier?

Any feedback that comes to mind is helpful, so please do share any thoughts you may have over the next few weeks. 

Based on the discussion, we can then add these as resources to both the Learn WordPress and Training Handbooks for future reference, and to help shape upcoming discussions on onboarding and contributor acknowledgement methods, like badges on WordPress.org profiles.

Thank you to @andreamiddleton and @courane01 for helping to write this post.