A significant number of major WordCamps around the world have a day set aside as ‘Contributor Day’. But, in Nepal, we have never had one. Taking that into account, it’s probable that many Nepali WordPressers aren’t familiar with the concept of contributor day; let alone understand why it is best to have one.
In this post, we’ll give you a brief introduction to contributor day and why we think we need one in the country.
What is a contributor day?
Many WordCamps now are two-day events. The first day is the general conference with speakers and the second is a contributor day. It’s a great place to learn, talk, discuss WordPress core and contribute back to WordPress (Hence the name). It provides an exceptional opportunity to work together with new and experienced contributors in the community. You learn how WordPress is made and help make WordPress, having fun all the while.
Who is it for?
‘Whether you’re a budding developer, a pixel-perfect designer, or just like helping out, we’re always looking for people to help make WordPress even better.’
Contributor Day brings together contributors – both seasoned contributors and people making their first foray into getting involved. Your skill level does not matter. You don’t have to worry if you never contributed before either. There will be plenty of people on hand to help you get started and there are a number of areas where you can make a difference.
What happens in a contributor day?
Contributors are given the freedom to choose which team to work with. Each team is focused on a particular segment of WordPress. The following are some of the examples of the areas that teams work on during a contributor day:
- Core – There are generally two different groups at a contributor day: those who have contributed to the core before and those who haven’t. It’s usually best to split the core group into two, letting previous contributors work on new contributions and teaching new contributors how to contribute. You’ll probably want two leads here, but it’ll depend on attendance at your WordCamp. For new contributors, you need to go through a number of things, most of which are listed in the sidebar of the core contributor handbook. Be sure to cover how to use trac, what makes a good ticket, how to setup a local development environment (if needed), and general best practices (coding standards).
- Support – Most contributions here will be to the support forums. You should go through what the support team does and focus on answering questions in the support forums. Be sure to give information on stock answers and help users setup a WordPress.org account.
- Training – The training team creates downloadable lesson plans and related materials for instructors to use in a live workshop environment. If you enjoy teaching people how to use and build stuff for WordPress, stop by and learn about contributing to our team! Focus.
- Docs – At a contributor day, docs contributions are generally editing and improving the theme and plugin developer handbooks. However, some people may want to improve the codex or contribute examples to the developer hub. Talk to a docs contributor ahead of time to make sure someone is around to give out Editor status on make/docs.
- Community –The Community team oversees official events, mentorship programs, diversity initiatives, contributor outreach, and other ways of growing our community. At Contributor days, we work on many tasks – getting new people involved, improving our documentation to name a couple.
- Theme Review Team – A full walkthrough on how to review themes is important. Likewise, be sure to contact a TRT admin so they can be around during your contributor day and can assign tickets to new contributors.
- Mobile – The mobile handbook is generally up-to-date. For contributors to either the iOS or Android apps, they should have a knowledge of development on their respective platform. Following the handbook at that point shouldn’t be hard.
- Polyglots – Contributing string translations to a current localization of WordPress is a great way to get started. The document linked to walks through how that should be done. If you’re hosting a WordCamp in a language that does not have a full translation of WordPress (or related projects), it can be good to set one up ahead of time with the polyglots team and kick off your translation work there. The first step there will be requesting a new locale.
- Meta – The meta team is programming-based, for the most part. The WordPress Meta Environment (based on VVV) is the best way to get setup and contribute to the open sourced projects that the meta team manages, including wordcamp.org, global.wordpress.org (rosetta), jobs.wordpress.net, developer.wordpress.org, and apps.wordpress.org.
- Accessibility – Generally, we group the accessibility team with the core so they can contribute their testing or programming expertise to core tickets with the “accessibility” focus.
The day is very friendly and sociable and there are plenty of people to help you. You can contribute as much or as little as you like – all contributions are welcome and celebrated! And you can move between teams if you want to contribute in more than one way. You will meet a lot of nice and interesting people to expand your network. No wonder a lot of people think the contributor days are more rewarding than the main WordCamp event, both in terms of knowledge and networking.
At the end of the day, the team leaders give a wrap-up of what happened in their team.
Does contributor day not sound great?
For all that’s said above, we believe the Nepali WordPress community is missing out on a lot by not having one. If you agree with us, spread the word. Hopefully, the organizers of WordCamp Kathmandu will consider and we get to attend one ourselves next year.