Get Involved with WordPress: The complete ‘How to contribute’ guide by Siobhan McKeown

His Jeffro-ness has recently started writing new articles again and today, he wrote about a new guide written by Siobhan McKeown which is effectively the complete handbook on how to contribute to WordPress.

Titled “Sharing Your Experiences: How To Contribute To WordPress” she starts by helping us to understand why it is important to get involved, before introducing us – in turn – to the different groups that make WordPress the awesome publishing platform that it is:

WordPress Contributors (Source - How to Contribute to WordPress by Siobhan McKweon)

A bunch of WordPress Contributors

  • Core
  • User Interface
  • Mobile
  • Polyglots (that’s language translation to you and me)
  • Support
  • Theme Review
  • Plugin Directory
  • Documentation
  • Events
  • Accessibility
  • Community
  • BuddyPress and bbPress

We learn about why each group exists, who is leading it, the challenges they face and bullet-pointed steps on how to get Involved. Suddenly it all felt like a really straightforward process!

Siobhan, a professional WordPress copy writer who (also) hails from the UK   – we’re on the same techtonic plate, my claim to fame! – took the time to humanise the work behind WordPress by talking to each team lead to find out their perspective and what their motivation is on contributing to this open source initiative.

For instance, Helen Hou-Sandi (UI lead) had this to say:

“I love the community, and I think that the basic premise that WordPress is built on — democratizing publishing for everybody — is a really important one.… The premise that it’s making content management and creation easier and more accessible for more people was something that I loved, and altruism wins out.”

It was also nice to be able to put names to faces, including the Mattinator (Matt Mullenweg) who sagely said:

“Remember that everyone who’s involved at WordPress started where the people who are reading this article are today, including myself. It looks big and scary. The first time someone said to me “You should patch that and put a diff on SourceForge,” I was like, “I don’t know what half the words in that sentence mean.””I had to figure out patches, I had to figure out what a diff is, I has to figure out what SourceForge is. We all started there. You’ve just got to dive in.”

If that isn’t motivation enough, the article itself certainly does make you want to get up and take action: by the end of it, not only had I learnt about how to participate, the Doc group’s Handbook initiative, and the existence the Accessibility group and,  I also found I had an extra 6 tabs open from clicking on the various links to see how I – someone with limited capabilities compared to the Ottos and Scribus of this world – could help out.

Go and read the article 🙂  Personally, I don’t even want to think how long it took Siobhan to compile and write-up – it is overwhelmingly comprehensive yet an absolute joy to read.

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2 comments on “Get Involved with WordPress: The complete ‘How to contribute’ guide by Siobhan McKeown
  1. Jeffro says:

    What she has done with her article is something I sort of tried working on but didn’t have the patience or will to do all the research she did. It provides a basic roadmap and points people in the right direction based on their interest of contributing to WordPress. The project is pretty large and there is so much going on and so many different avenues of communication, it’s easy to feel like you’re in the middle of one big mess with no way out.

  2. flick says:

    @Jeffro: Thanks for your comment, which succinctly summarises what her article does best. All credit to you for this article though – if I hadn’t visited WP Tavern, I would never have found out about it though so thank you for getting back into writing about WordPress again 🙂 I always look forward to your take on things.

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