While writing is something we learn at a young age, it continues to be a skill that we all develop throughout our lives. With so much of our work taking place online these daysknowing how to communicate effectively in writing when managing a community is essential.
WordCamps are, by definition, local events. There are many opinions about this within the community, some of which conflict with the guidelines set down for WordCamps. With that in mind, I thought I’d share some of my thoughts on it all from the perspective of a long-time WordCamp organiser who used to be critical of many of those guidelines but now works on the WordCamp Central team.
Yesterday afternoon I presented a session on WPSessions that was all about the WordPress community and how we can all engage with it in a more meaningful way. The session…
Last night I spoke at a meetup of the Cape Town PHP Group. I was speaking alongside the excellent Gareth McCumskey who was giving a run down of what we can expect in PHP 7 (we can expect a lot of awesomeness by the way – you should really check that out). My presentation for the evening was a primer on WordPress development and a guide on how to bend WordPress to your will (which would have made a way more awesome title for the talk).
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.
The other day I posted about showing plugin developers appreciation and how it’s actually really easy to do. The problem, as was pointed out to me, is that writing reviews, donations, etc. are all only accessible from the plugin page on the repo and there’s no quick way to get there from the WordPress dashboard. All is not lost, however! It is possible to add custom links to the plugin list table alongside the default links that point to the author’s website and the plugin details page.
When we release a plugin on the repo we don’t do it out of need or obligation – rather it’s out of passion and a desire to give back to the great community that enables us to earn a respectable living. We do it because we believe that being selfish with our code doesn’t benefit anyone and by making it available for the world to use we are adding to the overall value of WordPress as a platform and as a community.
“WordPress is web software you can use to create a beautiful website or blog. We like to say that WordPress is both free and priceless at the same time.” That’s how WordPress is introduced on WordPress.org – a humble introduction for software that powers a huge chunk of the internet. Not only that, but to many people (myself included) WordPress is more than just ‘web software’ – it enables and signifies something far greater than that. This is what WordPress mean to me.
WordCamps are brilliant. They’re a great time to learn from some awesome people in your local (and international) community in a friendly and relaxed environment. If you’re lucky you’ll generally also get some top notch food, coffee and an after party to remember. But there’s something else that makes WordCamps truly valuable.
Contributing to WordPress may sound daunting at first, but it’s ultimately a hugely rewarding endeavour that will both improve your knowledge of the platform and give you that warm, fuzzy feeling that you can only get from being a part of something so much bigger than yourself. After all – WordPress and the community has given us so much, that it’s only fair to give a small amount back.