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

Training Team Meeting Recap for January 10, 2023

Slack Log for Meeting (Tuesday 07:00 UTC)

(Requires SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at login to view. You can set one up if you don’t have a Slack account.)

Here is the meeting agenda we followed.

Introductions and Welcome

20 people attended this week’s meeting, either live or async: @webtechpooja @chetan_200891 @onlykawshar @amitpatelmd @pitamdey @askaryabbas @psykro @bsanevans @karthickmurugan @ronakganatra @piyushmultidots @piyopiyofox @sadmansakibnadvi @onealtr @rudlinkon @robinwpdeveloper @sagarladani @lada7042 @eboxnet @courtneypk

We welcomed 8 newcomers to the Training Team this week! @mahbubshovan @jeetsoni24 @rajinsharwar @minervainfotech @evenimous @karthickmurugan @nidhidhandhukiya @aseemtharzen


Meeting Note Takers

The following people have volunteered to take notes for the team.

Please let a team repTeam Rep A Team Rep is a person who represents the Make WordPress team to the rest of the project, make sure issues are raised and addressed as needed, and coordinates cross-team efforts. know if you’d like to take notes, too!

2022 Year in review / Achievements

The team took some time to recognize our achievements from 2022. (See Training Team Goals for 2022 to see what those goals were.) Here are the achievements we listed:

Training Team: Discovering our Values

Come join @angelasjin and @bsanevans on January 23rd to discover the Training Team’s shared values!

Faculty Program Update

You can find last month’s updates from Faculty members on December 2022 Faculty Meeting.

Learning Needs Analysis

Check out the post above to understand the history and progress of the team’s desire to conduct a Needs Analysis. And if you haven’t taken the Individual Learner Survey yet, please do!

Bite-Sized Content on Learn

Conversations have started around creating 1 minute long videos on Learn. (Similar to TikTok videos, but about WordPress and hosted on Learn.) There is interest in collaborating with the Marketing Team on these, too. A blog post on the topic will come soon.

Change considered regarding the Settings icon in the editor 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.

Discussions are happening around the settings icon seen in the editor. Please contributed directly to this GitHub thread with your thoughts.


Two projects gave updates at this week’s meeting.

  1. Find the Content Localization Foundations project’s update on their project thread.
  2. The Training Team Onboarding Paths project members have a check in call next Monday. They should have draft onboarding documents ready for the team to review next week.

Open Discussions

Should we move the Learn WordPress feed out of the training Slack channel and into a new channel?

Each time a new piece of content is published on Learn WordPress, there is a notification in the training Slack channel. This was initially set up to notify team members of activity on the site when there wasn’t a lot of activity yet in the channel.

However, now that there is more activity in the Slack channel, and much more content getting published regularly, the idea was raised to remove these notices out of the training channel and into its own new channel.

If you have thoughts about this, please comment below.

Upcoming Meetings

You are welcome to join the team at any time! If you are new to the Training Team, please introduce yourself in the #training channel before the meeting (or anytime!) and feel free to join us in the meeting and participate as you are able.

Training Team Mission

The WordPress training team helps people learn to use, extend, and contribute to WordPress through synchronous and asynchronous learning as well as downloadable lesson plans for instructors to use in live environments, via

Getting Involved

Everyone is welcome and encouraged to join in, comment on posts, and participate in meetings and on projects.

    1. Lesson Plans
    2. Tutorials
    3. Courses
    4. Online Workshops
    5. Pathways to Learn WordPress
  2. Getting Involved
    1. GitHub Website Development
    2. GitHub Content Development
    3. What We Are Currently Working On This Month
  3. About The Team
  4. Our Team Blog

#learn-wordpress, #localization, #meeting-recap, #needs-analysis, #onboarding

Proposal: Create a new onboarding experience to the Training Team

Summary: This post outlines the details of creating a new onboarding experience for those who join the Training Team. The need for a more effective onboarding experience was raised in recent sprint retrospectives (June & July Sprint, August Sprint), and discussed in [Discussion] Reimagining the Training Team contributor roles. This proposal brings clarity to documentation and in-person guidance used in onboarding, by focusing on four areas of expertise within the team.

Next Steps: The plan is to start building out the proposed onboarding flows from mid-November. Let’s discuss ideas and specifics in the comment section below, and come up with a concrete plan by November 18th.

Summary of Previous Discussions

The Training Team has identified that the current onboarding process for new contributors in the Training Team is confusing and in need of improvement. Points of improvement raised in recent discussions include:

  • Easing the onboarding process for new contributors.
  • Assign a point of contact for new contributors to reach out to in each role.
  • Prepare onboarding videos/lesson plans for each role.
  • Continue building the handbook so contributors have more precise guidance.
  • Clear guidelines for new joiners, especially for basic and Intermediate-level contributors.

The team also raised points we’d want to keep in mind as we build out a new onboarding experience:

  • The current list of team roles should remain, but categorized appropriately.
  • The Training Team’s Contributor Ladder model should be incorporated.
  • Opportunities should remain for contributors who only have 30-60 minutes to contribute to get involved, without having to go through a lengthy onboarding process.
  • Documentation regarding who is in each role would be desirable.

Proposal: Four onboarding paths

Here is a proposal that reimagines the onboarding process to the Training Team, while also incorporating all the points listed above.

Step 1: First contact

A Welcome Wrangler asking a new contributor what area of contribution would excite them
A Welcome Wrangler asking a new contributor what area of contribution would excite them

When someone joins the #training channel, or submits a contact form, Welcome Wranglers send a personal message to the new contributor. In this message, we would include the question, “Of these 4, which are you most interested in?”

  1. Creating/translating content
  2. Reviewing/editing content
  3. Vetting content ideas and being a sounding board to people creating new content
  4. Focusing on the administration that keeps the Training Team running smoothly

Notice, the answer to this question will tell us which of the 4 areas of expertise in the team the contributor is interested in:

  1. Content Creator
  2. Editor
  3. Subject Matter Expert
  4. Administrator

Step 2: Onboarding pages

Depending on their answer, folks are navigated to one of four onboarding pages in the Training Team handbook. Each page has a similar format, but includes information specific to that area of expertise.

Example of what the "Editor Onboarding" handbook page would look like
Example of what the “Editor Onboarding” handbook page would look like
  • Page title: “area_of_expertise Onboarding”
  • Welcome Video with script
    • A quick overview of how this area of expertise functions in the content creation flow within the Training Team.
  • List of faculty members with this expertise
    • Introduce the faculty members as the new contributor’s mentors. Mention how to use the at-mention feature in SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at to reach all these folks at once in the #training channel.
  • Walkthrough of how to complete a first contribution
    • Ideally, this would be a task listed early on in the team’s contributor ladder.
    • Ideally, this first contribution should be something people can complete in 30-60 minutes.
    • This would be a link to another page in the handbook titled “A first contribution as an area_of_expertise“. The page would include short videos for each process, accompanied by text explanations.
    • It would be nice if each page had a “Thank you video” at the end folks would watch where they see the face of a real human thanking them for their contribution.
  • Invitation to have the contributor add themselves to a list of contributors available to continue contributing in that area of expertise
    • By walking a contributor through adding themselves to a list, we give them a sense of empowerment, and a touch of responsibility. They’d be free to come back and remove themselves from the list whenever they become unavailable to contribute.
  • A list of roles in this expertise for the contributor to explore further
    • This would be a link to another page in the handbook titled “area_of_expertise roles”. It would Include video walkthroughs and step-by-step instructions for all roles currently listed in the handbook that pertain to that particular area of expertise.
  • Invitation to join team meetings

Step 3: Continued mentorship

This proposal stops here for the moment. But I can see the team building out additional processes for those who want to continue growing to move up the contributor ladder and/or become Faculty Members.

Other considerations

What about casual contributors who only have 30-60 minutes?

In the above proposal, we would have created a page for each expertise walking folks through a first contribution in that expertise. These would be ideal pages to share with folks who want to make a quick contribution. Making one handbook page that links to those 4 pages would make sharing easier.

  • Page title: “Quick contributions you can make now!”
  • Welcome video with script
    • In this video, the speaker will still ask the same question as step 1 above. This will help the contributor decide which of the 4 links below they should follow.
    • We could also use a similar survey to to pair a contributor up with an area of expertise.
  • List of four “first contribution” pages
    • Pages are reused from the flow above, and conclude with a “Thank you video”.
  • Invitation to work through the official onboarding flow above to contribute even more!

How would we make sure the list of contributors is accurate?

Administrators could keep an eye on the list and send a “Hi!” message to anyone who adds themselves, just to make sure the contributor is aware of the purpose of the list. Then, every 6 months or so, administrators could touch base with all who have added their names to confirm they’re still interested in contributing for another 6 months.

How are we ensuring the contributor ladder is applied to this idea?

The current contributor ladder model is a great start, but will need to be updated as this onboarding flow is created and implemented. For example, there are currently no Content Creator roles in the very first rung of the ladder. However, there should be something a new volunteer with a passion for creating content should be able to do without having to experience other areas of expertise first. We would work out which of the Content Creator related roles could be moved down the ladder and introduced as a first contribution to those with a passion to create content.

Could we get, say, Matt or Josepha to record the Thank You videos? 😃

That is definitely something we could consider. Another idea is to record multiple Thank You videos from multiple contributors, and then show a random video each time the page is loaded.

Next Steps: The plan is to start building out the proposed onboarding flows from mid-November. Please leave any other ideas, questions or comments you have below. We will come up with a concrete plan by November 18th.

#onboarding, #procedures, #training-team