WordCamp Europe 2017 Contributor Day Recap

Benoit Gütz, July 6, 2017

A Contributor Day gives you the opportunity to contribute to WordPress. Of course contributing to WordPress is always an option, but during Contributor Days, you are able to really get down to business with one another and learn from a number of important contributors within the community. Last month, it was time for the WordCamp Europe 2017 Contributor Day. If you are wondering how Contributor Days are organised and how they can benefit you, continue reading this report by our co-workers.

General impression – by Wouter

WordCamp Europe in Paris was the first WordCamp I ever visited, and as such, it was the first time I ever attended a Contributor Day. I went in with an open mind, not knowing what to expect. As soon as I arrived, I was overwhelmed by a sense of belonging. Everyone was working on the WordPress project together. Those who spoke English worked on translating texts; developers tackled the writing of code. All over, people from different cultural backgrounds were talking and working together. It was a wonderful thing to be a part of, and an excellent start to my WordCamp.

Polyglots team – by Remco

Like Wouter, this was my first ever Contributor Day. After having worked for Savvii for eight months, I thought I had a decent idea of what the WordPress community is like. It turns out I couldn’t have been more wrong. The passion with which everyone who attended was involved with WordPress was simply overwhelming. It was very palpable on the first day of WordCamp Europe. When we arrived, a long queue had already formed outside of the building. It was wonderful to see that so many people are willing to work on WordPress. I signed up to be a part of the Polyglot team. When I came in, one question was at the forefront of my mind; how do I get started?

My question was quickly answered. After a brief workshop by Caspar Hübinger, I merely needed to log on to a number of systems, and in 5 minutes’ time, I had already translated my first few lines. I worked on the translation of WordPress for the remainder of the day, and the great thing was that everyone helped one another out while doing so. It was also a great day for meeting other companies and listening to their ideas about the future of WordPress.

WordPress Core team – by Arno

I also participated in a WordPress Contributor Day for the first time. As such, I was very curious to see what it would be like. First, the team leaders of the various core projects were introduced. We were then allowed to decide which WordPress element to contribute to. Due to my background as a developer, I chose the WordPress core. I was really excited about the idea of working with code. I picked a table and was soon joined by a team from Tokyo and developers from Slovenia, Spain, Italy, France, and the US. The fact that we were able to gather six nationalities at a single table was very special in and of itself. And what makes it even more special is the fact that you are collaborating on a system that is used by people with many more different nationalities.

We felt that it was very important to develop a VVV (Varying Vagrant Vagrants), i.e. to run a version of WordPress to work in. Whenever you make an adjustment, that adjustment is immediately shared with other developers to be assessed. Once it is approved, it can be merged into the code.
I really enjoyed seeing how many people made an effort towards making WordPress a little bit better that day.

Marketing team – by Benoit

Things were off to a rather messy start for me; I joined the marketing team in the basement of the building, but there were not enough tables there, and there was no working Internet. Team leader Bridget Willard explained that the marketing team consists of four subgroups:

  • marketing WordPress to developers
  • marketing WordPress to agencies and clients
  • marketing WordPress to end-users
  • marketing the WordPress community itself

An hour later, we had managed to obtain a proper Internet connection. The marketing team also moved to the 2nd floor, to a more suitable working space. It quickly became apparent that there was little structure within the marketing team. Therefore, we first established a Trello board, allowing us to keep track of what we need to do, what we are working on at any given time, who does what, and who to approach regarding certain matters.

Later that day, we came up with a plan to improve the usability – and with that, the information provision – of https://central.wordcamp.org/. Each of the marketing team’s subgroups meets up once a month. The plan will likely be discussed during the next meeting. The collaboration with one another was excellent throughout the entire day, and it was very interesting to meet a variety of people who do similar work within the WordPress world.

Networking by contributing

Contributor Day is meant to contribute to WordPress. However, it is also an excellent occasion for expanding your network, because it allows you to get to know various contributors. There are many different contributor teams, each with their own approach. No matter whether you know a lot or relatively little about WordPress, there is a suitable contributor team out there for everyone. The teams are low-threshold, and are open to everyone.

Do you want to contribute?

If you have never attended a WordPress Contributor Day but are supportive of WordPress, then do go ahead and sign up for one! Most WordCamps organise Contributor Days of their own. For an overview of all WordCamps, go to the WordCamp Central website. Go to a WordCamp’s individual website to sign up for that camp’s Contributor Day. When you sign up, you will be given the opportunity to specify which element you would like to contribute to. You can also join one of the many contributor teams directly via make.wordpress.org.

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