WordPress Launches Mentorship Program with Inaugural Cohort

WordPress’ Community Team Launches Mentorship Program to Support New Contributors

WordPress’ Community Team has recently introduced an experimental mentorship program aimed at guiding new contributors in their project contributions across various teams. The program assigns mentors to each participant, providing them with personalized 1:1 support and guidance throughout their journey.

The mentors play a crucial role in the program by checking in with their mentees on a weekly basis, offering assistance, answering questions, and providing valuable guidance. The goal of the program is to create a new generation of ongoing contributors who can actively contribute to the WordPress community.

To graduate from the program, mentees are required to complete self-directed courses, participate in “learn-up” sessions, select a contributor team, and make an initial contribution to that team. Additionally, mentors have the option to guide their mentees through a three-month contribution plan, further enhancing their learning experience.

Thirteen mentees have been carefully selected from a pool of 50 applicants to participate in the inaugural cohort. These mentees will be assigned to eight different teams, including Core, Training, Community, Documentation, Photos, Test, Polyglots, and Support. This diverse range of teams ensures that participants have the opportunity to explore various aspects of WordPress and contribute to different areas of the project.

While not every applicant was assigned a mentor due to limited resources, the activities and tasks of the cohort will be shared in the newly-formed #contributor-mentorship channel of the Make/WordPress Slack. This allows interested individuals to join contributing and onboarding sessions, fostering a collaborative environment within the community.

The concept of mentorship programs is not new to the open-source community. Other projects like Drupal have successfully implemented similar programs, resulting in increased engagement from new contributors, enhanced collaboration, and a thriving learning environment. In fact, a recent study conducted by the Linux Foundation on Mentorship in Open Source revealed that 99% of mentees found the program beneficial, with 47% of graduates reporting that it helped them secure a job.

Mentorship programs offer numerous benefits beyond increasing contributions to the open-source project itself. They have a significant economic and career impact on mentees, while also promoting diversity within the project and helping new contributors establish stronger connections within the community.

The launch of WordPress’ mentorship program required the dedication of 22 facilitators and 13 mentors. Although the program is still in its early stages, it aims to provide a more formal experience akin to a short internship. The structure and format of the program may evolve based on feedback from participants, ensuring continuous improvement and effectiveness.

Hari Shanker R, a contributor sponsored by Automattic and a member of the Community Team, emphasized that this program is an experiment. The team hopes to gain valuable insights from the program to enhance mentorship within the WordPress project and empower more contributors to actively participate in the community.

In conclusion, WordPress’ Community Team has taken a significant step by launching an experimental mentorship program. By providing personalized support and guidance, this program aims to nurture new contributors and create a more vibrant and diverse WordPress community. As the program progresses, it is expected to yield positive results and inspire other open-source projects to implement similar initiatives.

Stay in Touch


Related Articles