Today is not only my 3 year anniversary of joining WooThemes, but it also marks the first day that I am no longer a full-time developer on the team. This kicks off a significant new chapter in my professional career as it will be the first time since I started working that my job will no longer be 100% focussed on writing software.
My new title at WooThemes is Community Engagement Manager, but titles don’t mean all that much in the WordPress community these days so let me explain that a bit further. I essentially created this position for myself because I saw a need at WooThemes that I wanted to fill.
What is it?
The Community Engagement Manager position exists to manage WooThemes’ relationship with the WordPress community. It will involve engaging with other companies and individuals in the community as well getting involved in practical ways – from events and sponsorships to core contributions, plugin development and engaging in discussions. On top of that, a big part of this position is ensuring that our whole team gets involved in the broader WordPress community on an individual level.
Why does WooThemes need it?
I believe it is incredibly important for WooThemes, as a company, to be more heavily involved in the WordPress community than we are currently. Matt Mullenweg also thinks so and, while this isn’t a quest to tick a box or fill a quota, the principle behind his 5% is to be giving back to the community in a dedicated and intentional manner – this position fills that need at WooThemes.
I completely believe in the community and I’ve benefitted so much from it already that giving back in an intentional and direct manner is something that I am totally passionate about. I love what the WordPress community is and what it represents – being the Community Engagement Manager will allow me to tie my work at WooThemes together with my passion for the WordPress community.
What will I be doing?
Seeing as though this is a brand new position at WooThemes, we’ll be figuring a lot of it out as we go, but the overall goal of the position is to move WooThemes to the forefront of WordPress contributions and the community. This will come in the form of active contributions on my part as well as working with each member of our team to get them all to a point where they are actively contributing on a regular basis. I’ll also be working towards getting WooThemes directly involved in community projects (such as CommHub and HelpHub).
I’m very excited for this position – not only because I now get to devote 100% of my time to improving the WordPress community, but also because it will enable WooThemes to become far more effective and present in the global WordPress community.
As a side note, this move is nicely complemented by Bryce Adams moving into a full time development role at WooThemes.