Material and Tips for New Contributors -Five-for-the-Future

People at Contributor Day WordCamp Europe

Below post was originally written in March 2022. In July, 2022 Josepha Haden Chomphosy published Episode 36: Beginner’s Guide to Contributions 2.0. It might be worthwhile to listen before you continue reading below information. Chomphosy talks about the five stages of a contributor’s journey.

The five stages of a contributor’s journey.

  1. Connecting. That’s when you’re first learning about the community. You know WordPress exists, but now you’ve just discovered that the community exists. That’s where you are. 
  2. The second phase is Understanding. It’s when you are researching the community, like, you know it exists, you think you want to give back, and so you’re trying to figure out where everything is. 
  3. The third phase is what I call Engaging. It’s when you’re first interacting, you’ve downloaded the CMS, you have figured out which team you think you’re interested in, and you’re headed to events or meetings or whatever. 
  4. The fourth stage is one that I refer to as Performing. And that’s when you’ve decided that you’re gonna volunteer and you’re gonna take some action. You’re going to like a contributor day or running a release or whatever. I think that’s probably not the first place you land, running a release is probably a lot, but, you know, coordinating work on the release or something like that. 
  5. And then phase five, which is the Leading phase. That’s when you’re taking responsibility for things getting done. 

More explanation is provided in the epsiode.


A representative of a company that decided to participate in Five-for-The Future, asked me for reading material for new contributors. I sent the following information.

Hi [first name], thanks for connecting via DM. I am thrilled that [Company] intends to participate in the Five-for-the-Future program by contributing back to the WordPress open-source project.
TL;DR

  • Below is a list of reading material for your team, and I am happy to get on a call to fill in first gaps afterwards.
  • The core team’s space is https://make.wordpress.org/core. The team reps are @audrasjb and @marybaum
  • The Core team holds new contributors meetings every other Wednesday, usually run by @sergey or @desrosj.
  • The best way to get started after reading through the few documents is to look for “Good First Bugs” labels, select one and create a PR on GitHub.

Reading list. Before you start.

Connect with other contributors

  • #core Channel
    • New contributor meetings (every other Wednesday at 19:00 UTC.
    • Regular dev chats / meetings every Wednesday at 20:00 UTC
  • #core-editor

Start contributing

The core team is not the only team, people can contribute to, though. There are roughly about 20 teams, a contributor could join. The list is on make.wordpress.org

So far my note to the inquirer.

About Open-Source

On Learn.WordPress.org I only found a few training videos that are more general in nature:

Conclusion

In my experience, new contributors are always welcomed very warmly, and patiently helped through their first PRs. For that communication, GitHub seems to be the best place to learn, and connect with other contributors. As any developer has a different style and expertise, tackling one of the Good First issues, is the best way to get started.

If your company would like to participate in Five for the Future with multiple contributors, please also connect with Josepha Haden Chomphosy, executive director and point person for Five for the Future initiative.

What do you find missing. What else would be helpful information for a contributors, sponsored or not?

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