If you live in Africa, and want to contribute to WordPress Core, then this has never been a better time.
I have been contributing to WordPress since 2017. For the last two years, I have been much more involved in contributing to WordPress Core. I voluntarily dedicate about ten hours a week to contributing in various teams.
WordPress Core is WordPress as you get it by downloading it from the official WordPress website (https://wordpress.org/download). It is therefore the whole formed by the original WordPress source files.
Contributing to WordPress Core is therefore contributing to the source code of the CMS.
The WordPress Core Team is made up of a number of contributors active at the core of WordPress.
I have on several occasions led WordPress version releases; and currently, I’m coordinating the documentation for WordPress 5.5 which will be released in August.
During these years, I encountered many difficulties related to the schedules during which I could contribute. Indeed, a large part of the WordPress Core team lives in the United States.
Logically, some contribution activities, such as weekly Core developer meetings, release parties, etc… take place at daytime hours in the USA.
For example, the weekly meetings of Core developers (devchat) are currently held at 4pm Washington time, so 9pm Cotonou time. So for all African countries, these meetings take place between 7pm and midnight.
It is clearly difficult to participate regularly in these conditions. And during the two years that I actively contributed to WordPress Core, I only knew two other contributors living in Africa.
So I am probably one of the only actives Core contributors on the continent; and perhaps the only one living on the continent who has led a WordPress release. While this might sound flattering, it’s a fact I’ve never been comfortable with.
Devchat are the weekly meetings of WordPress Core contributors. They last one hour, and allow for regular follow-up on the evolution of the development of the CMS.
A proposal for a solution
One of the solutions currently being considered is to organize other sessions of contribution activities during times more favourable to contributors from regions of the world other than the USA.
Since the end of last year there is already a bug scrub session held during these times: the APAC Triage and Bug Scrub Sessions.
Bug scrubs are sessions in which contributors browse through the various bug tickets/improvement requests that have been reported or suggested for WordPress, and try to move them towards a resolution.
In the WordPress contributory community, the term APAC is used to refer to the time zones Asia and Pacific.
Contribute to WordPress Core while living in Africa
Another proposal was made at the end of April for the devchats: the « APAC Dev Chat« .
The proposal is still under discussion. Several people have already expressed interest in participating and/or leading these sessions. Next week (June 22nd), discussions will be held to find a program for these sessions (see the devchat summary of Wednesday, June 11th). They will take place in the #core channel on the WordPress Community Slack.
There is a good chance that hopefully APAC-friendly devchat sessions will start in July or August.
I hope this will encourage more people living in Africa to get interested in contributing.
How do I get involved?
You’re probably wondering how you can get involved in all of this!
Well the first thing is to join the official Make WordPress Slack. All the discussions related to WordPress, and the contribution take place there. Here are the instructions on how to join the Slack here.
Then, go to the #core channel on the Slack, and say hello ?? and introduce yourself. Feel free to introduce yourself. There will always be a contributor available to welcome you. Maybe it will be me ?.
After that, the best way to keep up to date with what’s going on at the heart of WordPress is the official Make/Core blog. Regularly, agendas and minutes of meetings, discussions of the different teams, calls for contributions, projects the teams are working on are published.
Finally, if you have any questions about WordPress, the contribution, etc… don’t hesitate to comment them here. I always answer ?.
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