Proposal: Updating the Contributor Ladder to a five-path model

Last year, the Training Team identified a need to clarify the contributor roles in the team. This post first outlines what improvements have been made over the last 12 months. It then proposes updating the team’s Contributor Ladder handbook page from a linear ladder to a five-path ladder, matching the team’s onboarding and faculty program structures.

Achievements from the last 12 months

Last year, the Training Team identified multiple needs in regards to the team roles. These were summarized in [Discussion] Reimagining the Training Team contributor roles. Many processes have since been implemented in response to these needs, and the team is seeing not just more contributors, but more engagement from contributors, too! Let’s take a moment to celebrate these wins!

Identified NeedImplemented Process
Easing the onboarding process for newcomers and beginners.A structured onboarding program was launched, with an additional Guide Program that new contributors can also sign up for.
Having a few folks who can focus on sorting 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. issues consistently would be beneficial.Weekly dev-squad triage sessions are now being conducted to triage web development issues.
– The content feedback validation and topic vetting processes were revised so that anyone can get involved, regardless of GitHub access.
Translation Coordinators have been onboarded to triage content localization issues.
Increasing membership in the copy editor, reviewer, and auditor roles.Clarified guidelines for reviewing content has lowered the barrier for people to get involved with content reviews.
Assign a point of contact for new contributors to reach out to in each role.The use of SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at groups has made it easier for new contributors to reach out to all faculty members in a specific area of expertise at once without the need to identify and 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.” individuals.
It would be excellent to have onboarding videos/lesson plans for each role.The team’s onboarding program walks users through their first contribution, regardless of which of the five areas of expertise they choose.
Continue building the handbook so contributors have more precise guidance.The team handbook was audited, with additional resources added in particular to the How-To Guides section.
Clear guidelines for new joiners, especially for basic and Intermediate-level contributors.In addition to the onboarding program for new contributors, a Quick Contributions You Can Make Now page was also launched to assist intermediate-level contributors.

Proposal: a five-path contributor ladder

There is, however, one identified need which has yet to be addressed:

Better team role implementation, so new contributors will also have a clear picture of their assigned task(s).

The Training Team’s Team Roles and Contributor Ladder, as currently seen in the handbook, were last discussed in 2020. These were laid out in a linear progression to match the structure of the Training Team at that time.

However, as the team has grown, we’ve come to split the areas of contribution in the team into five areas. This is most evident in the five-path onboarding program, and the five areas of responsibility in the Faculty program. It is also a concept that has been shared in presentation slides throughout the year, such as this Online Workshop by @courtneypk: What is Learn WordPress?

Below is an image of a proposed grid, placing 30 Training Team contributor roles (or tasks) in a five-path contributor ladder. The five paths match the areas of contribution already defined in the team’s onboarding program and Faculty program. The same data is added below the image in a table also.

A table proposing a five path contributor ladder for the training team's contributor roles. Five columns are titled Content Creator, Content Translator, Editor, Subject Matter Expert, and Administrator. Four rows are titled Connecting, Engaging, Performing, and Leading. Thirty contributor roles are placed within the grid.
Click to see a table with the same data shown in the image above.
Stages of VolunteeringContent CreatorContent TranslatorEditorSubject Matter ExpertAdministrator
ConnectingTutorial Script WriterTranslation ReviewerTutorial Editor,Online Workshop Slide Editor,Content Feedback TriagerTopic Vetter,Content Draft ReviewerMeeting Notetaker,Online Workshop Co-host,Development GitHub Triager
EngagingTutorial Presenter,Online Workshop Facilitator,Lesson Plan WriterContent TranslatorTechnical Editor,Lesson Plan TesterStyle Guide Wrangler,SEO ExpertMeeting Facilitator,Welcome Committee
PerformingCourse CreatorLocalized Content CreatorFinal Lesson Plan ReviewerInstructional Design Expert,WordPress Update TriagerContributor 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. Coordinator,GitHub Wrangler,Application Reviewer
LeadingMentor/Guide, Faculty MemberMentor/Guide, Faculty MemberMentor/Guide, Faculty MemberMentor/Guide, Faculty MemberMentor/Guide, Faculty Member

Request for feedback

Please share your feedback regarding this proposal by October 16th. Here are some questions to help you get started.

  • What are your thoughts about the five-path contributor ladder model?
  • How is the placement of contributor roles in the table? Should any roles be moved to another area of contribution, or to a different stage of volunteering?
  • Are there any other currently active roles in the Training Team that are missing from this table?

Thank you for reviewing this post, @courtneypk @piyopiyofox and @webtechpooja !

#contributor-ladder, #roles

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Let’s share our notes from the Community Summit

A handful of folks who regularly contribute to the Training Team attended the recent Community Summit. Anyone can read the official notes from each session on With almost 30 sessions that took place, though, there is a lot of information to consume there.

Training Team reps discussed how it would be great if those who attended the Community Summit could share their observations and learnings that pertain specifically to the Training Team with the team. The goal is to highlight important information to Training Team members who were not at the summit, and may also not have the time to read through the different notes.

  • If you attended the Community Summit: Come leave a comment below with any observations you came home from the summit with that would pertain specifically to the Training Team.
  • If you did not attend the Community Summit: Follow this post from the button below to receive an email notification anytime someone comments.

Anyone is welcome to add questions or additional comments on what other people have written also. Thanks!


Next steps for GitHub updates

Summary: This post gives a brief overview of what updates have been introduced to the team’s 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. project management system so far, and outlines the next updates being planned. If you’d like to get involved with the next round of process updates, please comment below 😃

Updates so far

The Training Team migrated its project management tool from Trello to GitHub in early 2022. Since then, different updates have been implemented to the team’s project boards. These have included:

  • Making use of GitHub-specific tools
  • Creating entirely new projects for new processes (such as content localization)
  • Ensuring current processes enable the growing number of contributors in the team to effectively contribute to the team goals
  • Triaging the backlog of issues accumulated from TrelloTrello Project management system using the concepts of boards and cards to organize tasks in a sane way. This is what the team uses for example: days

The team handbook now also has documentation regarding the team’s GitHub repository structure, and step-by-step guides for different team processes that use GitHub. These can be found on How we use GitHub and its child pages.

Current issue – checklists

Training Team processes have relied on checklists for a long time. However, due to the way access is set up in the WordPress GitHub organization, GitHub checklists can generally only be ticked by those who added the checklist to the issue. This has made it difficult for multiple contributors to effectively collaborate on a single issue. The checklists added to issue templates have been somewhat ineffective, as the person who submits an issue is in many cases not the person who will actually work on the issue.

To get around this issue, an idea was brought forth to move GitHub checklists into the handbook, and direct contributors to copy-paste the checklists into GitHub issues when they work on an issue. This update has been implemented into the following administrative processes, and has received positive feedback so far.

Next steps

It’s time to make similar changes regarding checklists to content development processes next. Here are specific tasks that need to be completed:

  • Move checklists currently in content development issue templates into the handbook as markdown text which contributors can copy-paste as needed
  • Update issue templates and project interfaces to link to the respective handbook entries
  • Audit handbook entries around content development processes and update to reflect the new GitHub setup

Additionally, the team’s GitHub repository currently has 114 labels, of which 20 are not being used on any open issue. I suggest we audit the current list of labels and make sure they match the current processes and tracking needs in the team.

I will be able to start implementing these updates from July 31st, and am looking for one or two other volunteers to collaborate with. If you would like to get involved, please comment below, and I’ll discuss next steps with you!

Final thoughts

Switching project management tools is not an easy feat! I appreciate the efforts of Training Team members before me who got this work started.

The team also has a desire to implement automations into the GitHub repository to automate some of the manual processes. If you have experience with GitHub automations, and would like to help implement those into the team’s repository, please comment below.

#handbook, #process

Announcement: Updates to team meeting times

The Training Team has been discussing switching from meeting times that alternate each week to having just one set of consistent meeting times that don’t change. Thank you to everyone who provided input.


Starting July 10th (Mon), the Training team will be conducting four meetings each week at these times:

  • Global Team Meeting: Tuesdays at 07:00 UTC
  • APAC Coffee Hour: To be decided
  • Dev-squad 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. Triage Session: Thursdays at 07:00 UTC
  • EMEA/Americas Coffee Hour: Fridays at 13:00 UTC

The official meeting calendar, the team handbook, the Welcome message on the team blog, and the sidebarSidebar A sidebar in WordPress is referred to a widget-ready area used by WordPress themes to display information that is not a part of the main content. It is not always a vertical column on the side. It can be a horizontal rectangle below or above the content area, footer, header, or any where in the theme. waidgets, have all been update to reference these new times.

For reference, here is a list of when the next meetings will be held, shown in your local time:

  • Global Team Meeting: Tuesday, 07:00.
  • APAC Coffee Hour: still to be decided
    • Fill out this form with times you’d be able to attend. Form submission will close on July 21st, and the APAC Coffee Hours will resume from the week of July 24th.
  • Dev-squad GitHub Triage Session: Thursday, 07:00
  • EMEA/Americas Coffee Hour: Friday, 13:00.


Here is more information about how each of these meetings are conducted:

  • Global Team Meeting – 1 hour
    • Text-based meeting in the #training channel in Slack where we cover news, project updates, and other discussion topics.
    • The agenda will be created in GitHub and shared in the #training Slack channel by Monday each week.
    • Anyone can contribute to discussions asynchronously, and meeting notes will be published by the end of each week.
  • Coffee Hours – 1 hour
    • Video-based social chats. You can also attend with audio only, or via text in the SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at thread that will be created at the time of the meeting.
    • There is no formal agenda. These are designed for team members to connect with each other, and are also great opportunities to ask questions about contributing to the team.
    • The Zoom link will be shared in the #training Slack channel at the time of the meeting each week.
  • Dev-squad GitHub Triage Session – 30 minutes
    • Text-based meeting in the #meta-learn channel in Slack where we triage pull requests and issues regarding Learn WordPress website development.
    • The triage session’s focus is to help move GitHub issues forward. We will not be reviewing/verifying code, but instead reaching out to the issue submitters, helping them move their requests forward.


Expertise needed: Learn how to vet content topic ideas for the Training Team

Summary: The Training Team is looking for community members to join the team as Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)! SMEs lend their expertise by vetting content topic ideas and becoming sounding boards for the Content Creators that develop content. We’ll be hosting Online Workshops to demonstrate these tasks and answer any questions.

Online Workshop: How to vet content topic ideas for the WordPress Training Team

Both workshops will cover the same content. (Learn WordPress) is the WordPress project’s official learning platform. Contributors from all around the world create new content for Learn WordPress regularly.

Before a piece of content is created, the topic of that content is vetted for accuracy and relevance. Learning objectives are set, and related resources are collected. These tasks are completed by the team’s Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). SMEs may also be contacted by Content Creators as the content is being developed, assisting by providing additional information to create accurate and informative content.

If you are interested in sharing your expertise and contributing to the Training Team as an SME, then great! Come join one of the Online Workshops mentioned at the top of this posts, where we’ll walk you through the tasks of an SME and answer any questions you may have.

To get the most out of these Online Workshops, make sure you have:


Proposal: Let’s actively promote the Learn WordPress platform in Learn WordPress content


As a team, let’s find opportunities in our content where we can actively promote the Learn WordPress platform more.


I was involved in multiple conversations recently where the Training Team’s Brand Usage Guidelines and Promotional Guidelines were being discussed. As the WordPress project evolves, and as the needs of contributors/learners change, it’s good practice to approach our guidelines with curiosity – Why are the guidelines set the way they are? Are they still applicable to us today? Are revisionsRevisions The WordPress revisions system stores a record of each saved draft or published update. The revision system allows you to see what changes were made in each revision by dragging a slider (or using the Next/Previous buttons). The display indicates what has changed in each revision. needed to better reflect our mission?

A few concerns were being discussed in these recent conversations:

  • Should content on Learn WordPress link to individual/business websites or social media accounts?
  • Should content on Learn WordPress link to external educational websites about WordPress?
  • What extent (if any) of prior contributions should we seek in content creators for Learn WordPress?

I see the fact these questions were raised as a sign that the Training Team is growing! We’re seeing more contributors getting involved with content creation. And these content creators are coming from a more diverse background than we’ve historically seen in the team.

There were a few underlying trains of thought that led to the discussion points above:

  • What is a good balance between content creators giving “selfless contribution” and receiving “reasonable exposure” for their contributions?
  • What is a healthy relationship between Learn WordPress and other educational platforms that teach WordPress? What if these platforms require payment for their resources?
  • Is it important that content creators have a track record of making general contributions to WordPress before they make content for Learn WordPress? And if so, how can that be objectively assessed?

For each of these thoughts, there were a wide range of opinions. And since opinions varied, I tried to flip the questions around in my mind. Rather than focusing on what we don’t want to happen, is there any practice we are wanting to happen more?


I propose that we, as a team, actively look for opportunities in our content to promote the Learn WordPress platform. For example, what about concluding every Tutorial and Online Workshop recording with an invitation for folks to come to Learn WordPress to learn more? This would be similar to what many YouTubers do at the end of a video, asking viewers to come to their channel to see more content.

Currently, the team guidelines allow presenters to make reasonable callouts to their social media accounts. How about we add, though, to always call out the Learn WordPress platform as the final call-to-action in a piece of content? I can see this being easily applied to video content (Tutorials and Online Workshops,) but we could probably do the same in Courses, too.

As a start to this discussion, a new section has been added to the team handbook on Promotional Guidelines titled Actively promote Learn WordPress and other official WordPress content. What are your thoughts of this proposal, and the new section in the handbook? Please leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.

Thank you to @angelasjin for input when writing this post.

Come join the Training Team as a Translation Coordinator (Faculty role)

The Training Team is excited to announce a new role to the Faculty ProgramTranslation Coordinators. If you have experience translating content for the Training Team and are excited about helping even more people get involved, then Apply to Join today!


The Training Team recently concluded the Content Localization Foundations project, which kick-started efforts of translating content for During this project, it was noted that renewing the previous “Locale Ambassador” role as a fifth Faculty role, and renaming it to “Translation Coordinators”, would be good next steps as the team iterates on its translation processes. (A full recap of the project can be found on Recap: Content Localization Foundations Project.)

Introducing Translation Coordinators – a new Faculty role

The Faculty Program is a team of dedicated volunteers who work to achieve the goals of the Training Team. The new Translation Coordinator role aims to add to the team those who are experienced with translating content for 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., have a strong connection with their local community, and are excited to help others join the team’s translation efforts.

You can read more about the Translation Coordinator role in the handbook page below. If this is something you are interested in, come apply to join today! 

We’re also looking for Content Translators

While applications for the Translation Coordinators role are open to those who have a strong record of being leaders in their communities, the Content Translators role is available for anyone to join at any time!

Content Translators translate content that has been published on into their own locale. If you’re interested in joining the Training Team as a Content Translator, come walk through the Training Team’s onboarding program.

#faculty-program, #localization, #procedures

Announcing GitHub updates for Subject Matter Experts and Content Translators

I’m pleased to announce that the two new 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. project boards discussed in this proposal have been created. Read on to see what’s new.

Streamlined processes to vet content topic ideas

A new project board titled LearnWP Topic Vetting has been created specifically for vetting content topic ideas. This is in response to feedback submitted by Faculty SMEs earlier this year about how it was difficult to sift through submitted ideas to find those related to their area of expertise.

With the new project board, content ideas are now filtered by topic, allowing SMEs to find items related to their area of expertise easier. Below is a list of topics, linked to their respective view:

A new handbook page has been created, detailing how this project board works, and listing steps SMEs can take to vet topic ideas. We invite all SMEs to read through Vetting Topic Ideas, and in particular, the section “Vetting topic ideas”.

Dedicated project board for content localization

Also, a new GitHub project board titled LearnWP Content – Localization has been created. This new project board tracks localization issues separately to general content creation issues, and has filtered views for each active locale. It was created in response to feedback provided in the Content Localization Foundation project.

While the new project board doesn’t introduce major changes to content localization processes, it should make identifying and tracking localization issues much easier. We invite all Faculty Admin to read through the new handbook page:

If you have any feedback as you work with the new project boards, please leave them in the comments below.

And if you’re interested in contributing to the Training Team, come walk through our onboarding program to learn how we use these project boards.

Thanks to @digitalchild for reviewing this post.

#localization, #procedures

Recap and Next Steps: Training Team Onboarding


The Training Team’s new onboarding program has been completed by 25 people, of which more than half have continued on with regular contributions to the team. This post considers how the program can be improved further, and proposes a new optional Guide Program for those who would benefit from mentorship by an experienced contributor during onboarding.

What is the Onboarding Program?

Last year, the Training Team identified a need to improve the onboarding process for new contributors in the team. In response to that need, the team created a new 30-60 minute self-serve onboarding program that introduces contributors to the team’s mission, walks them through making accounts necessary to contribute, guides them through their first contribution, and connects them with continued contribution possibilities. This new Onboarding Program was launched on February 10th, 2023 – just in time 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. at 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. Asia 2023.

What feedback has the Onboarding program received?

In the three and a half months since it launched, 25 people have completed the Onboarding Program. (This data is collected from a survey folks fill out at the end of the material.) Of these:

  • 14 people have contributed to the team beyond onboarding such as by contributing to meetings, reviewing/translating content, and becoming co-hosts in Online Workshops.
  • 8 people completed the program during Contributor Day at WordCamp Asia (February 17th.)
  • 3 people submitted feedback about the program through a feedback form. All feedback was positive.
  • 1 person joined the Faculty Program.

What other observations have we made?

While the Onboarding program has been successful, it can also feel like there is a human element missing while a new contributor is getting started. Also, the self-serve onboarding program is great for self-driven contributors, but may not meet the needs of every learning style. What can we do to help make an even more welcoming experience for all new contributors?

Proposal: The Guide Program

An optional Guide Program (similar to a mentorship) for the Training Team could serve to support new contributors to the team. The idea is that experienced Training Team members would serve as Guides for these new team members, regularly checking in with them as they make their first contributions to the team. They would be available as a point of contact for new contributors if they have questions while completing the onboarding program.

@courtneypk is working on building out a more detailed proposal on this program for the team to review, and is interested in any thoughts that people have about the idea.

What are your thoughts?

Please leave your thoughts about the following points in the comments below:

  • Do you have any other observations or feedback about the Onboarding Program?
  • What are your thoughts about the proposed Guide Program?
  • Any other ideas that would improve the onboarding experience for new contributors to the Training Team?

Please leave your thoughts by June 18. Thanks!

This post was co-authored by @bsanevans and @courtneypk.

#guide-program, #onboarding