WordPress Executive Director, Josepha Haden Chomphosy, is leading a second women and nonbinary release squad for the anticipated 6.4 release in November 2023. The first all-women and non-binary identifying release squad was for WordPress 5.6 “Simone” in 2020, and Haden Chomphosy is proposing to repeat the initiative. The goal is to increase the number of underrepresented people who have experience maintaining, managing, and shipping software in an open-source project. All contributions to the release and release process are welcome, and WordPress 6.3, which is targeted for a mid-July release, will provide prospective 6.4 squad members with the opportunity to shadow more experienced contributors, gain new skills by working with mentors, and assist with the release. Haden Chomphosy is calling for mentors to join in preparing this new round of leaders.
The process is a several-month-long commitment that gives contributors a head start on understanding their roles in the squad, although it is not required for participation in the 6.4 release. Haden Chomphosy emphasized that anyone will be able to contribute to the release, but the leaders in the 6.4 squad will be limited to this specific group. The release squad will be open to anyone who identifies as a woman, nonbinary, or gender-expansive. WordPress has gained valuable new contributors and leaders from this initiative in the past, including 6.2 Core Tech Co-Leads Tonya Mork.
Mork said that before joining the 5.6 Release Squad, she had not contributed to the project. She had no idea how the release cycle worked or where to start. But with mentoring, she was well-supported in her onboarding. The experience was incredible, and it still is.
Based on the response to Haden Chomphosy’s proposal, there should be no shortage of contributors and volunteers available to help with the women and nonbinary 6.4 release squad. She is requesting anyone who wants to be part of the squad or help as a mentor leading up to the release to leave a comment on the post.