I’m officially unofficially a WordPress core contributor! Earlier this month I decided that I wanted to contribute to WordPress. The first step I took was joining the WordPress slack channel and I mostly silently (with the odd sentence here and there) observed various tickets being created and seeing how meetings are conducted.

Steps to become a contributor

  • Have a wordpress.org profile. This is the first obvious step.
  • Set up your local environment so you can work with the latest WordPress code. WordPress uses Docker to run the development environment.
  • Find a ticket to work on. You can find a list of tickets that need patches here: https://core.trac.wordpress.org/tickets/no-patch
  • Create your fix and wait for feedback. If you haven’t submitted a patch before, you will get your badge after the next release and after your fix is accepted!

Last week I was browsing all the tickets that needed a patch. There was one patch that was particularly interesting to me because it seemed useful and it seemed like a patch I could easily contribute to. (ticket) Once I started writing in the ticket, several people chipped in and helped me when I needed help to make sure my solution was the right one. I would like to draw a parallel between the WordPress core team and Toastmasters because in Toastmasters when you’re giving a speech or table topic and you don’t do well, people cheer you on to encourage you. The Core team I have interacted with were all very nice and helpful, and everyone’s goal is for WordPress to succeed and get better, so people want to help you out if you’re stuck on something.

I want to help, what can I do?

I love the core team because that’s where all the excitement happens (for me), and I love writing code, so that’s where I gravitate to. If you don’t know how to code, there are many other areas you can still contribute in. You can see all the areas you can contribute to as well as detailed information on this page https://wordpress.org/support/article/contributing-to-wordpress/

Now that I have officially contributed my first patch (which won’t be released until August in version 5.5), I am moving on to working on more patches!