The WordPress open source/free software project has contributors from all over the world who work on code, provide support, do translations, organize events, write documentation, review plugins and themes, and many other tasks that make the project what it is. These contributors are grouped into project teams, and each team has a site on the make.wordpress.org network to communicate about the work they’re doing. Each team should elect two team reps to represent the team to the rest of the project, make sure issues are raised and addressed as needed, and coordinate cross-team efforts.
Current Team Reps
Team Rep Orientation
Since anyone who is an active contributor on a team can be elected as team rep, team reps will often have different levels of familiarity with other areas of the project, communication protocols, and general processes. To get everyone’s expectations in the same place, here’s the “job description” for team reps.
Often, Team Reps are the people who would be labeled Leads if we had that designation, but please avoid calling people Team Lead rather than Team Rep. There are be many cases where the team reps will not be the same people that are considered “Leads” (a title we only have on core team right now, but could discuss for others if people think it’s useful), so being careful with language now will prevent confusion later.
Team Rep is a leadership role that is mostly administrative in nature; it is not a Lead role. Letting go of the Team Rep title is not a loss of status, just a handing off of responsibilities. Someone who is a leader in a team can lead whether they are doing the team rep job or not.
- There are two Team Reps. The intent is that one will take responsibility for the duties during the first half of the term while the other provides backup, and that in the 2nd half of the term, the backup rep will take the primary responsibility. This means about 3 months learning the ropes, and about 3 months as the primary team rep.
- The primary Team Rep is responsible for posting a weekly update of the team’s activity to the make.wordpress.org/updates blog, as well as raising any issues or red flags that other teams should be aware of or discussing. A schedule is posted on that blog, with each team assigned a specific day. If the day assigned to your team is inconvenient, contact Jane to get it changed. If the primary Team Rep can’t post the update, the backup rep needs to make it happen. If a team misses one update, an email reminder will be the result. Missing two updates will result in a warning. Missing three updates will cause your availability/dedication to the role to be questioned, and you may be removed from the Team Rep role.
- A monthly live chat helps to reinforce the connection and communication between Reps. If the weekly updates are being posted and there are no issues to discuss that affect your team, missing a monthly live chat is not as big of a deal, but each team should strive to have the rep (or backup rep) attend as many as possible, preferably at least 4 per term. A recurring day/time for these live chats will be scheduled during the first month of the term.
All sites on this network are set up to allow anyone to comment. Add people as authors if they are active members of the team and you trust them to respect the responsibility of author status — author privileges are given to enable better communication, not to give anyone and everyone access to post all their opinions and ideas in an official channel. Anyone with posting privileges will be seen by the public as being official, so when someone is given author privileges, make sure to go over what is appropriate to post on a team site vs on a personal one.
On Being Official
Please be thoughtful about how you communicate in and about the WordPress community and project. As a Team Rep, you have an official role, and while we certainly have no interest in censoring anyone, please remember that when speaking on behalf of your team, you should represent the project in a professional, courteous manner. It should go without saying, but: no swearing, no personal attacks, no discriminatory language, check your facts before making announcements, and most importantly, ALWAYS spell WordPress with a capital P. 😉
You will be added as an author to the make.wordpress.org/updates blog so that you can post your weekly updates. Each Team Rep will be made an admin on their team’s site so that they can update widgets, give people author privileges, etc.
Note that being a Team Rep doesn’t impart unilateral decision-making authority for the WordPress project or the wordpress.org site. Here are some rules of thumb to help in determining what you and your team should just do, what should get feedback from other reps and Matt first, and what requires permission.
- If it’s something that only affects your team or team site, and your team is agreement, go for it. Include it in your weekly update so everyone else will know what’s up.
- If it’s something that involves another team, changes a policy, or would affect the make.wordpress.org network, put your proposal in writing and post it to the updates blog for feedback before implementing the change (incorporating feedback). You can do this as part of your weekly update or as a standalone post. If there is significant opposition to your proposal, don’t proceed until we get the concerns addressed.
- If you have an idea for improving the wordpress.org site based on your team’s area of expertise, Matt’s approval is required. Write up the suggestion (and/or mockups if applicable) and post it to the updates blog. The other Team Reps will weigh in, but Matt will make the final decision about changes to the wordpress.org site. Once approved, the Meta team handles implementation. Please don’t give requests for changes to the wordpress.org site to the Meta team without approval unless it is for small/uncontroversial things like fixing typos, reporting bad css, etc. Also note that there are a number of changes/projects for improving wordpress.org that have been approved but not implemented yet, so your request may already be in the queue.
Team Reps will be added as authors to the Meta team site, so that small fixes and approved proposals can be posted.