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