How you can contribute to WordPress (yes, 👉 YOU!)

Me: Do you regularly use WordPress? 📇

You: Yes, I love it, it’s fantastic! 😍

Me: Have you ever thought about helping contribute to WordPress? 💡

You: No, I am not a developer. 😥

Me: Well, good news, you do not have to be! 🎉

You: Ok, tell me more… 🤔

Whether you have considered it or not, I am absolutely certain that you CAN contribute to WordPress that I will personally offer to help you find a way to do so. I will outline some options below, but feel free to reach out to me directly and I promise to do the best I can to help!

How you can contribute to WordPress (yes, 👉 YOU!)

Note that this post is an update and refresh of a prior post on

But first, a little background on me… 🎞️

I graduated from college in 2001 with a degree in Computer Science, but have not spent any significant time coding since then. I have held roles in project management, product management, and team and customer management. The way I tell it, no one would realistically hire me these days for fine-crafted engineering. And yet, there has been a fantastic opportunity for me to help contribute to WordPress starting as a deputy release lead on WordPress 4.7. While this was a significant time commitment for me, there are many ways you can contribute with minimal time commitment.

Now let us focus on how you could contribute… 🕵️‍♂️

I am going to give you some options to describe yourself and then help show how different types of people within the WordPress community can contribute. It is like a choose-your-own-adventure!

Are you a project or product manager? 🗓️

Wonderful! There are WordPress component maintainers (in most cases, developers) that would love help running their regular meetings, taking actionable notes and publishing them, and tracking work against a roadmap. Read through the different components and reach out to the maintainers on Slack for whichever component is of most interest to you, they’ll be able to tell you how best you could help them. Come help ensure WordPress continues to deliver regular updates to the community!

Do you enjoy testing software and trying to find deficiencies? 🐛

Fantastic! There are many defect and enhancement tickets that have untested code available that would benefit from being tested appropriately. There are also many platforms that WordPress supports that would benefit from specific, detailed testing and issue logging. Take a look at how you could contribute with testing and then dive in whether it’s with automated testing, beta testing, user testing, or one of many other ways to help with testing. The best team to join is the Test team, so read through their handbook, and follow along via the #core-test channel in Slack. And remember, even something as simple as a well-defined bug report is a beautiful thing!

Do you speak a language other than English? 💬

Magnifique! There are many parts of WordPress that have not yet been fully translated into the 192 locales (and growing!) that are supported. Start by reading through the “get involved” portion of the Polyglots’ handbook, then read through how the translation process works with Glotpress, and then start translating. The Polyglots team welcomes you with open arms!

Do you enjoy organizing events? 🎪

Awesome! The Community team oversees official events (WordCamps), mentorship programs, diversity initiatives, contributor outreach, and other ways of growing the community. These ALL need help coordinating and would love to have your help! Take a look through the various handbooks for the team, read through the active projects to see which interests you most, and then follow along in the #community-team channel in Slack.

Are you a designer? 🎨

Marvelous! There is a constant need for usability testing, wireframing, prototyping, and visual designing to ensure that the user experience of reading and writing on WordPress is as seamless and graceful as possible. 34.7% (and growing!) of websites on the web need you! If you find interest here, then read through the Design handbook and follow along in the #design channel in Slack.

Are you a developer? 🏗️

Super! There are defects and enhancements both large and small that await your attention. Start off by reading through the Core handbook on how to “contribute with code” and “fixing bugs”, find a “good first bug” ticket to work on, ensure you’re following the WordPress Coding Standards, and then get to work writing a patch. If WordPress is going to continually deliver updates to the community and march down the roadmap that is constantly evolving, then we need your help to engineer that future!

Are you interested in mobile application development? 📱

Brilliant! Then check out the Mobile team and the iOS and Android repos on GitHub and read through their guide on contributing to WordPress apps.

Do you believe in making sure everyone is able to access the web? 🖥️

Fabulous! Then check out the Accessibility team, read how you can get involved with improving accessibility within WordPress, and then follow along in the #accessibility channel in Slack.

Do you enjoy helping others learn how to use WordPress? 📕

Excellent! Then check out the Support team, read their handbook, re-read the “giving good support” section as you will be the face to WordPress users in need, and then follow along in the #forums channel in Slack.

Do you love having beautiful, functional themes in the theme directory? 🌅

Outstanding! Then check out the Theme Review team, read how you can get started with theme reviews, request a theme to review and run through the review tests, and then follow along in the #themereview channel in Slack.

Do you love having secure, functional plugins in the plugin directory? 🔒

Terrific! Then check out the Plugins team, read through their handbook with specific focus on the “get involved” section, and then follow along in the #pluginreview channel in Slack.

Do you enjoy ensuring documentation is updated and accurate? 🔎

Incredible! Then check out the Documentation team, read through their Gutenberg HelpHub documentation, Codex to DevHub migration, and API documentation projects to see which interests you most, and then follow along in the #docs channel in Slack.

Do you enjoy teaching others how to use WordPress? 📝

Phenomenal! Then check out the Training team, read through their handbook and then the “getting started” guide, consider whether you want to help with writing, copyediting, testing, auditing, connecting or reviewing, and then follow along in the #training channel in Slack.

Do you just want to build WordPress sites? 🇼🇵

Groovy! Then check out the Meta team, read through their handbook, review their list of current and upcoming projects to see which most interest you, and then follow along in the #meta channel in Slack.

Do you enjoy video post-production? 🎥

Sensational! Then check out the team, read through their handbook, decide if you’re most interested in helping with video editing or managing subtitles or captions, and then following along in the #wptv channel in Slack.

Are you none of those things I have mentioned above? 🎯

Perfect! You are unique just like all of us in the WordPress community.  Please reach out to me via the Comments section or my contact information below. We will work together to find a way for you to help advance the WordPress community!

WordPress Slack: @jeffpaul

Twitter: @jeffpaul


Abdullah Ramzan on Contributing to WordPress

I love seeing people contributing to open source, with particular joy when that’s to WordPress. Sometimes though, it’s hard to know where to start contributing. I’ve written previously on high-level areas you can go to get started on contributing to WordPress, but Abdullah Ramzan published an introduction on how to contribute via reporting bugs, patching bugs, and testing bug patches. It’s worth a read if you’re technical and looking for examples on how to get started:


Farewell to XWP

I’m re-posting something I shared in XWP‘s internal Slack a couple weeks ago with some minor edits. It’s a good recap of how I felt in deciding to walk away from work and dear friends at the end of 2018.

As I unplug from XWP, I’m reminded of the many amazing people I’ve met and worked with over the last almost three years. The best way I can explain how I feel is via a Dave Matthews Band video:

If you keep your eye on Carter Beauford (the drummer), you’ll see him watching and enjoying how others in the band are improvising all while still jamming to the song together. He’s also keeping the rhythm going as others diverge from the “normal” arc of the song and not missing a beat in the process (pun intended for you punsters out there). You can start to see a lot of this happening around and after the 3m20s mark as Carter plays under the horn section while the trumpet and sax play what comes to them.

This is exactly how I’ve felt working at XWP; namely that I’ve had the fortune to watch amazing people showcase their individual talents all while I merely “kept the beat going” alongside and underneath everyone else’s work. I have had the privilege to be the face to our clients for this amazing work and I wish you all the very best in the future. Please do stay in touch!


Complaints on Gutenberg rarely include alternatives

I understand the people who feel that Gutenberg does not serve the best interests of the WordPress community, but my concern is that I rarely hear a “I think we should be working on *OTHER REALLY BIG THING* instead”. If you are going to critique the WordPress core development roadmap, then please offer alternatives.

Disclaimer: I disagree that Gutenberg only serves Automattic or other large hosting players in the WordPress ecosystem. As it evolves, I feel that it will enable easier site and content editing compared to the current set of WordPress capabilities and that very much serves a large swath of current (and hopefully future) WordPress consumers.

Related reading, especially the comments:

We Called it Gutenberg for a Reason

Matt Mullenweg

What Gutenberg Means For the Future of WordPress

Morten Rand-Hendriksen

Game Over: NBCUniversal Edition

That pesky Bowser took out my last life, so unfortunately we won’t be working together to rescue Princess Toadstool from the castle. Hopefully we’ll meet up for some two-player action again, but until then may your travels through Mushroom Kingdom be safe and enjoyable. Player One… out.


Nautica Malibu Triathlon training #throughglass

I’ve worn my Google Glass(es) while training for the Nautica Malibu Triathlon the last few weekends and wanted to share some of the pictures of the area around Zuma Beach that I’ve taken with Glass… enjoy! If you’d like to donate to my fundraising in support of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, then please graciously do so here:


Diverse Teams + Desire To Disrupt Status Quo = Breakthrough Ideas

Earlier today I sat in on a webcast that Joi Ito from MIT Media Lab hosted with David and Tom Kelley from IDEO where they discussed how to foster a culture of innovation and maximize the creative potential of said innovative organization. Then this evening I attended an intimate discussion hosted by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce at WeWork between Kevin Winston of Digital LA and Eric Garland of Live Nation Labs. I’ve excerpted some of both discussions below, but more interestingly I’d like to analyze some commonalities. The brothers Kelley came at the discussion from an agency, teaching, and author/public speaker background while Eric had an entrepreneur turned corporate research & development background, but both ended up hitting on some similar topics. Namely: hiring the best people, fostering their communication, and then getting the hell out of the way.

A common thread has emerged lately in articles I’ve read, videos I’ve watched, and events I’ve attended where managers response to the general question of “what was most important to your success?” is almost always along the lines of “I had a great team”. Clearly some people long for a shortcut to success, but the common answer tends to be “hire great people”, “set your team up for success”, “rinse & repeat”. So then how do you go about hiring great people and setting them up for success? The Kelley brothers seemed to say that having a diverse background was valuable for their team members (I seem to recall one of the brothers noting an opera singer on staff) and that diverse employee base allowed for a wide-ranging set of experiences from which to draw upon during creative sessions. That approach may work well for an agency in that they often work on varying projects and clients and need to have a different approach on a regular basis. However, I wonder how that applies to someone like an entrepreneur or someone  locked into a specific marketplace (e.g., Eric Garland’s focus on the music industry and advancing Live Nation’s business via his Labs team).  Can those teams afford the luxury of a diverse employee base or must they stick to the “engineers and designers with pre-existing experience in the music industry” bit that seems to permeate job postings? The answer, in reality, seems to be against a diverse employee base (see Live Nation Labs job postings for an answer to that). But this is a small sample size, so if you’re aware of teams who hire specifically for diverse candidates I’d love to hear about them to compare their success and failures against organizations who hire for job-specific talents with marketplace experience. My second question of “how to set up your team for success” was hit on by Eric during his discussion; he seemed to say that allowing the team to work when, where and on what they wanted while keeping them physically and mentally separated from upper management was a key to success. Any additional thoughts you have on this topic would be warmly welcomed in the comments section below; let’s chat!


News Roundup: Google Glass and Healthcare

A roundup of articles covering the intersection of Google Glass and Healthcare topics…

Five Potential Healthcare Applications for Google Glass —

Inside The Operating Room With Google Glass —


TEDxDirigo – Rafael Grossmann – iPod Teletrauma: the $229 130 million sq. ft. Trauma Room —


Sad Keanu is a 49ers Fan

Who knew that Keanu Reeves was a San Francisco 49ers fan? Not me, at least not until I saw him looking so forlorn and sad on the 49ers bench after the BALTIMORE RAVENS won Super Bowl 47!

Sad Keanu, 49ers Fan.
Who knew Keanu Reeves was a San Francisco 49ers fan?

E3 Highlights

Along with @norrismarkw, I joined 46,800 video game industry professionals, investor analysts, and retailers at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), the annual video game conference and show at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Items generating buzz at this year’s E3 were Nintendo’s Wii U next generation console, PlayStation’s PSVita next generation handheld, and Microsoft’s Live TV on Xbox 360. Notable software demonstrations included Star Wars Old Republic and Battlefield 3 from EA, Gears of War 3 from id, Halo 4 from Microsoft Game Studios, Tomb Raider from Square Enix, Rage and Elder Scrolls V Skyrim from Bethesda, and Bioshock Infinite by 2k Games.

According to an info-graphically dense report from the Entertainment Software Association’s (ESA) survey of almost 1,200 households that have been identified as owning either or both a video game console or a personal computer used to run entertainment software, 72% of American households play video games and 82% of gamers are adults. The report also highlighted that 42% of gamers are women and that women over 18 represent more than 1/3 of the game-playing population. In addition, purchases of digital full games, digital add-on content, mobile apps, subscriptions, and social network gaming accounted for 24 percent of game sales in 2010, generating $5.9 billion in revenue.

Other findings of the survey include:

  • The average game player is 37 years old, while the average game purchaser is 41 years old
  • 65% of gamers play games with other gamers in person
  • More than half (55%) of gamers play games on their phones or handheld devices
  • 86% of parents are aware of the Entertainment Software Rating Board rating system, and 98% of these parents are confident in the accuracy of the ratings
  • Parents are present when games are purchased or rented 91% of the time
  • Consumers spent $25.1 billion on game content, hardware and accessories in 2010

Hardware News
Nintendo announced the sequel to its Wii console, dubbed “Wii U”, that includes a new controller with a tablet-like touch screen. The new controller sports a 6.2in touch screen with a heft similar to the Galaxy Tab, yet still has a rather plastic-y feel (the durability will hopefully be improved by the time the console launches late in 2012). In addition to displaying info that’s not on the TV (e.g., map details, special character views, game configuration details) the new controller features a user-facing camera, microphone and speakers, and stylus. Also, information and viewpoint of the controller can change based on the orientation of its gyroscope. In theory, the Wii U “experience” shown at E3 can support full HD graphics and allows consumers to continue playing while the TV is used for other activities (e.g., TV, movie), but must still be in range of the main console (so it’s not a standalone device). Games can be played on a TV, the Wii U controller, or both (in conjunction with the Wii Remote). Nintendo’s aim is to continue their progress on capturing the causal gamers while focusing back on hardcore gamers that never really took to the original Wii and are entrenched with the PlayStation3 or Xbox 360. The only negative that the public seemed to espouse with the Wii U is its intended launch date later in 2012. Thus, most items shown at E3 were concept games and not fully functioning next generation games; those are expected at E3 2012.

Sony unveiled its new portable device, the PlayStation Vita, as the successor to the PlayStation Portable. The new handheld sports a 5in multi-touch OLED screen, dual analog sticks, dual front and back cameras, and Sixaxis motion sensing. It will come in either WiFi only or dual WiFi/3G (3G from AT&T) models. The PSVita allows the use of its Internet connection for voice and text chat during gameplay or when browsing the web. It also provides a new social networking function called Near that allows owners to connect and interact. Cloud-based game saving will allow PSVita players to pickup gameplay on their PS3 and vice versa.

Software News
Microsoft’s Kinect has started to penetrate hardcore gaming titles like Ubisoft’s Ghost Recon: Future Solider, where players can assemble and fire a large variety of guns using just their hands. Microsoft Game Studios also demonstrated an upcoming Star Wars themed title: Star Wars Kinect. Players take the role of a Jedi and wield a lightsaber and force powers with nothing more than hand gestures. However, there are concerns as to how realistically a hardcore gamer would play using just their body and Kinect as moving seems to be optimal using the normal remote. Other titles that focus less on precise movements seem to be where Kinect will truly shin. These types of games include Dance Central 2, Sesame Street: Once Upon A Monster, Kinect Sports: Season 2 (golf, but not football), and Kinect Disneyland Adventures.

Of the various highlights from Microsoft’s keynote, the most notable for media companies is the Kinect-based TV navigation. This allows an Xbox to act as a set-top box, let consumers watch live TV, and use an Xbox-based DVR with voice & body movements. This feature is already live with Sky TV in the UK, Canal+ in France, and FoxTel in Australia. In partnership with the UFC, they will be allowing mixed martial arts fans to quickly and easily enjoy pay-per-view events on the Xbox. Xbox Live is also getting some additional entertainment features including YouTube, Bing for search, and voice control capabilities.

The movement in the Asian gaming market has been towards the freemium model and is most likely where the US market will trend in the future. A great example of this sort of success is Zynga’s $10B valuation and probable IPO. The days of subscription-based gaming (e.g., World of Warcraft) are likely on their way out; what remains to be seen is whether the console gaming market will trend this way as well and focus more on in-game purchases. Clearly game studios are hedging their bets with the likes of Disney purchasing Playdom, THQ partnering with Jimmy Buffett, Exploding Barrel Games creating a 3D game on Facebook, and iOS devices using the Unity gaming platform.

NBCU-related News
Syfy and Trion Worlds announced a partnership to launch the game and television show titled “Defiance”. This unique title will blend game play elements from first person shooters (FPS) taking place in a MMO virtual world (massively multiplayer). The game will have a shared universe with a TV series to be aired on the Syfy channel. In-game events and those on the show will influence each other. According to Lars Buttler, CEO of Trion Worlds, “This is essentially the convergence of the television and gaming industry into one fully-developed cohesive property. Syfy is creating a television show that takes place in the fictional universe that the game is set in. The game and the show will constantly [influence] each other from the moment they simultaneously launch.”

Universal Pictures also had some coverage of their upcoming Jurassic Park game and their existing Back To The Future (“BTTF”) game; both games are in conjunction with Telltale Games. The Jurassic Park game comes out later this year on PC/Mac, the PlayStation Network, and eventually the Xbox 360. The game focuses on puzzle solving and is very story-driven. It is based on the untold story of Nedry, his Barbasol canister, his handlers, and of course Velociraptors & T-rex. The BTTF game is an interactive choose-your-own-adventure style game that allows fans to take the role of Marty McFly and travel back in time to save Doc Brown. The game comes in several incarnations: iPad, Facebook, PC/Mac, and a physical card game.

NBCU Competitor-Related News
Disney Interactive Studios showed off their upcoming titles that include characters from Cars, Phineas and Ferb, and Pirates of the Caribbean. Phineas and Ferb: Across the Second Dimension is an action game (Wii, DS, & PS3) taking part over five worlds that gives players access to odd gadgets that let them melt enemies and stick to walls. Players may also play with a friend in co-op mode. Disney Universe is an online multiplayer action game (Xbox 360, PS3, & PC) that has gamers working together to save the “Disney Universe”. Fans take on various Disney characters and progress through Disney-themed worlds via challenges. Cars 2: The Video Game is a racing game (PS3, Xbox 260, Wii, DS, & PC/Mac) similar to Mario Cart that takes place across Europe and Japan where fans can play as Mater and 20 other characters. LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game (Wii, DS/3DS, Xbox 360, PS3, PSP, & PC) has fans building Legos, dueling, and treasure hunting as 70 various characters. Finally, a fan favorite at E3 had several Disney animators drawing hand sketches of various characters from the Disney archives, easily winning as the best swag item of the show.

Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment’s lineup of games at E3 included Batman, Lord of the Rings, Green Lantern, and Sesame Street. Batman Arkham City’s follow-up to Batman Arkham Asylum is an action and puzzle game (Xbox 360, PS3, & PC) that sees the Caped Crusader using forensic analysis and a criminal database to track and catch villains across the city. The Lord of the Rings: War in the North is a co-op game (PS3, Xbox 360, & PC) for up to three players touching on items not in the films. Rise of the Manhunters is a 3D game (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, DS/3DS) that sees Hal Jordan, using the likeness and voice of Ryan Reynolds, and his Power Ring use various weapons to defeat the Manhunters. Bastion is an RPG game (Xbox Live & PC) that sees the narrator provide different feedback based on the players actions. Finally, Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster is an adventure game (Xbox 360 Kinect) focused on helping kids learn to read by solving problems with the help of monsters. It also features a co-op version to allow for parent-child cooperation (sibling cooperation gameplay seems highly unlikely).

Other Gaming / Software News
Another interesting development from Nintendo was its 3DS mobile gaming platform. There were several games to demo including classics like Excitebike [10] and Tetris [11], as well as updates to newer favorites like Mario Kart- all of which use autostereoscopic (aka glasses-free) 3D that can be increased, decreased or disabled depending on the consumers desire. Older gamers and those with glasses or contacts take note: 3DS gaming can make you reach for some Visine as well as a serious temple-rubbing rather quickly.

Nintendo’s 3DS mobile gaming device also showed off some Augmented Reality (“AR”) titles including Kid Icarus: Uprising [12] and Pokédex 3D [13]. The new version of the classic Kid Icarus game certainly cannot be labeled “retro”. It uses the built-in 3D camera to recognize countless specially designed AR Cards with animated game characters popping up in 3D on the game screen and even battling each other when two cards face off. For those Fallon fans out there: in addition to a copy of Kid Icarus, Jimmy Fallon received a demo of Zelda: Skyward Sword and the WiiU console and controller courtesy of Reggie Fils-Aime (President & COO, Nintendo of America) [14]. The free Pokédex 3D application includes a collection of over 150 Pokémon from the Pokémon Black and Pokémon White games. The application lets you see each Pokémon in 3D with animated motion and sound, and you can rotate the Pokémon image 360 degrees to zoom in and view it from any angle. You can receive Pokémon data from friends using the SpotPass WiFi feature or by scanning AR markers. Once you have collected data for a Pokémon, the AR Viewer allows you to view that Pokémon image in a real-world setting in real time and create photos to share with friends.

GRilli3D [15] presented their “3D Without Glasses” technology to allow for 3D viewing on iOS devices. GRilli3D films are known as “GRillis” and allow users to view 3D-generated content in true 3D stereo format without cumbersome and expensive 3D glasses. GRilli3D offers the very first of a next-generation utility that allows users to enjoy true 3D stereo depth by virtue of applying a simple and inexpensive plastic film to a 3D-enabled device. GRillis operates by interposing a series of “Barrier Lines” between the eyes and the projected image, blocking the view of each eye differently and providing the signal separation that result in depth perception at close intervals when used with mobile devices. “GRilli3D really is the first of a new generation of 3D stereo viewing devices that completely eliminates the need for special glasses,” said Dwight Prouty, GRilli3D’s Inventor and Founding Partner. The GRillis in combination with Final Cut or Avid software would allow for rendering and viewing content for iOS; this was demoed at E3 using an episode of Mr. Ed to prove that it wasn’t content created for 3D.

As an observation, there were several companies including QR codes in their booths and marketing materials to direct consumers to mobile websites, video clips, and other marketing materials. However, several brands directed users to full web sites instead of mobile-optimized websites and this sort of QR code usage should be explicitly avoided by NBCU brands looking to explore this space.

EA made a splash with its new Lord of the Rings title: War in the North. Using a full orchestra, EA demonstrated the emotional impact of a powerful musical score. In the EA booth, several stations were setup for attendees to try out four player cooperative game play. The game will be available on PC, XBOX360 and Sony PS3.

For those classic gamers: a company out of El Monte, CA called Hyperkin [16] have gone the Ben Heckendorn route [17] and are mass-marketing new hardware systems to support classic cartridge games. Favorites at the show include the RetroN 3 console [18], which allows for playing NES, Super Nintendo, and Sega Genesis cartridges all on one system, and the SUPABOY portable pocket SNES console [19], which can play Super Nintendo and Super Famicom cartridges anywhere you are.

Finally, and again for the classic gamers, the Video Game History Museum [20] had an exhibit at the show displaying a portion of their 25 years of game artifact and memorabilia archives. Their mission is focused on archiving and preserving the stories of how the industry evolved as well as honoring and documenting the contributions of the people that made it possible. In addition to thousands of physical artifacts and memorabilia, the museum’s digital archives boast hundreds of gigabytes of design documents, memos, magazines, press kits, and other historical corporate paperwork. The exhibit specifically showed off 30 classic coin-Op machines, 18 classic console stations, 256 pieces of nostalgia, and two bands rockin’ classic game tunes.