The Albuquerque WordPress community hosted a 10th anniversary of WordPress Meetup and party last night. In attendance were 30+ Automattic Happiness Engineers from around the world. It sounded like the UN, with all the accents you could hear in the room.
During the actual meetup, the people from Automattic talked about the various jobs they perform and explained how bloggers and developers can get involved in WordPress.
The Happiness Engineers have a variety of roles, from working with people needing help and support via email, to working on the WordPress core, developing plugins like Jetpack. There were specialists in both the .com and .org issues, WordPress store, and more. There was also a ‘happiness gardener’ who works on issues and bugs no one else is assigned to do as well as developing for the WordPress core.
Someone asked about developers contributing to the core. The response suggested it’s a good way to grow and improve as a developer in an environment where there are so many people who can help you. If you develop a theme, there are a list of guidelines for what will be tested.
Some of the people from Automattic mentioned that they got their starts working in the open source part of the community and were eventually hired by Automattic. There are many ways you can contribute to the open source project that is WordPress. Here are a few suggestions I heard.
- Use the forums to give back to the community
- Write plugins
- Work on documentation (the documentation in the codex is user created.)
- Get involved in writing patches or fixing bugs
- Work on adding feature requests
- Translations are always needed for all the documents and other information because WordPress is in so many languages
- There are a number of public mailing lists. [http://codex.wordpress.org/Mailing_Lists] in which you can participate
- Contribute to the development of mobile apps
- Join in meetups and Word Camps
- Someone from the audience suggested that submitting ratings for plugins is helpful so that other people can see ratings and comments
At Automattic, all developers spend their first 3 weeks as happiness engineers and one week a year for every year thereafter.
2 Timely Tips from the WordPress community
You know that you should be downloading and saving a backup of your blog each time you upgrade WordPress. But did you know there’s a company that does it for you – every day – for a minimal charge? That company is VaultPress. Check it out. It could save you from a disaster.
Everyone from newbies to old WordPress hands can find something valuable at learn.wordpress.com.