Guide Program Handbook

This page serves as a reference for Guides assisting new contributors.

Who the Training Team Guides are

The roster of Guides consists of experienced Training Team members. It would make sense for Faculty members to participate, but it is not required of them. Training Team members that have a Training Contributor badge, and have been contributing consistently to the team for at least 6 months could also qualify as Guides.

For initial launch of the program, Guides were chosen from existing Faculty members (preferably part or full-time sponsored, since they can maintain their commitment and access). An application form for experienced contributors that are interested in becoming Guides has since been created. Applications are reviewed by Faculty members.

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How New Contributors learn about the program

When a new contributor joins the #Training channel, they are greeted with an automated message that includes offering them the option to be matched with a Training Team Guide. If interested, they are instructed to fill out the interest form in order to be matched with a Guide.

During the weekly Training Team meetings, the Welcome Committee can also remind the new channel joinees that they can join the Guide Program, and share the application form with them.

There may be more pathways for new contributors to learn about the Guide Program in the future, but for the launch of the program, we started with SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at introductions.

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Matching New Contributors and Guides

Once new contributors have completed the interest form, this information will be used to match them with Guides. The following factors are considered in order of priority:

  1. Time zone in UTC
  2. Language(s) they are comfortable conversing in
  3. Area(s) of contribution that they are interested in

Form submissions are stored in a spreadsheet that Administrators and Guides review to identify suitable pairings. Admins can help assign Guides to contributors, or Admins can volunteer themselves. It’s recommended that Guides take on no more than 4 new contributors at once.

It is recommended that Guides interact individually with the new contributors that they are paired with. However, Guides can opt to form small cohorts (up to 4 people) if they are able to arrange suitable methods of communication and synchronous connection times.

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The Guide Process

Regular check-ins between Guides and new contributors can be brief, as they will also be in constant contact via asynchronous Direct Messages (DMs) on Slack. However, keep in mind that it is important to leave space for the new contributor to communicate any questions or concerns during each check-in. It is recommended to have check-ins at least weekly, but the Guide and contributor can plan a schedule that works best for them.

Suggested formats for the check-ins are below.

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Before the first check in

  • If a Faculty Admin assigned the pairing, they introduce the Guide and the new contributor to each other via Slack DM. If the Guide is a Faculty member, they can introduce themselves.
  • The Guide and new contributor discuss the cadence for their regular check-in meetings and set up a schedule. Synchronous check-ins on a video/Zoom call are preferred, but if schedules do not allow, asynchronous check-ins on Slack are also acceptable.
  • Before their first check-in, the Guide confirms if the contributor has valid 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. and 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. accounts, and shares the Getting Started guide with them. Make sure the contributor adds their GitHub username in the General section of their profile, so contributions are properly accounted for.

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Check-in 1

  • The Guide provides a general overview of the Training Team and a brief description of the areas of contribution:
  • The Guide asks the new contributor if they have reviewed the Getting Started Guide, completed the steps, and if they have any questions.
    • Bonus: if the contributor has decided which area(s) of contribution they want to pursue, they complete the onboarding process for that area together.
  • The Guide advises the new contributor to attend the next Training Team meeting (Coffee Hour optional) to observe. Attending the meeting can be done synchronously or asynchronously. The contributor is asked to gather observations and questions from the meeting to share with their Guide during the next check-in.
  • The Guide will be available to the new contributor via Slack DM if any questions arise before their next check-in (this is an expectation between all subsequent check-ins).

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Check-in 2

  • The Guide and new contributor meet to discuss the self-guided onboarding process as well as their first Training Team meeting. They discuss any questions or concerns that arose during the process.
  • If the contributor did not decide upon an area of contribution after the first check-in, the Guide discusses the roles with the contributor to help guide them in finding how they can best apply their strengths and skills to the team.
  • The Guide gives an overview of the types of tasks in the contributor’s chosen area of contribution (using the Team Roles page as a reference). The Guide can show the contributor real examples of contributions through a screen share during a synchronous call.
  • The new contributor and Guide go over “Quick contributions you can make now” together.
    • The contributor expresses a quick contribution that they are interested in learning how to do.
    • The Guide walks the contributor through the process of their chosen contribution, allowing the contributor to ask questions as they work on their first contribution alongside their Guide.
    • The contributor agrees to make additional contributions before their next check-in.

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Check-in 3

  • The new contributor and Guide discuss how their first contributions went, sharing any learnings, concerns, and questions.
  • The Guide encourages the contributor to set a goal to earn a Training Contributor badge, reviews the requirements with them, and answers any questions they may have about the tasks involved.
  • The Guide prepares an update to share at the next Training Team meeting to introduce and acknowledge the new contributor and their area(s) of contribution.

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Guides are expected to share a brief update on their activity with their new contributors and celebrate their contributions during Training Team meetings. This can be done asynchronously if the Training Team meeting is at an inconvenient time for the Guide.

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Once the initial check-ins are completed, the Guide and Contributor can choose to continue regular check-ins and/or remain connected on the Making WordPress Slack.

It is recommended to check in again after three months to evaluate how their continued contributions are going and if they are interested in expanding their contributions (trying a new task or a different area of contribution). We will also create a survey for contributors to complete 3–6 months after concluding the Guide Program to gather feedback on their progress.

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