One of the cool values of WordPress is the opportunity to give back to the project with your specialty. That certainly includes coders and developers, but there’s also a huge group of folks who love and contribute to WordPress but might not call themselves developers. These people are writers and marketers and designers who all work with WordPress, but may not know their way around the terminal (yet).
Contributing to WordPress doesn’t need to be the domain of the highly technical. Developers will always have an edge in contributing back to the platform, particularly when it comes to the architecture of WordPress core as it grows in popularity and shows up as the building blocks for more and more high-profile sites.
However, As the community continues to grow and expand, there is an increasing amount of work for non-technical volunteers to do during WordCamp dev days. If you take a look, there is basically an infinite amount of work to be done to keep WordPress growing quickly, from WordPress core, Documentation, Design Wireframes, to the WordPress forums, the more WordPress grows, the more work there is to do.
Just take a look at the checklist for the Theme Developer Handbook from WordCamp SF Contribute Day. There were about 30 people working on that, and there is still more to be done.
Using that checklist as an example, there’s every reason to harness the efforts of the eager crowds of WordPress folk that come to every WordCamp and let them loose on things like documentation.
This year at WordCamp San Francisco, Dev Day Turned into Contribute Day, and was, by all accounts, the largest Dev/Contribute day in the history of WordPress. One of the big reasons was that there were folks from every side of WordPress organizing the largest crew of volunteers I’ve ever seen to work on everything from WordPress documentation, to the Forums, to Core.
It was great to roll up my sleeves and collaborate with folks on the theming documentation, and the leadership of Ryan Markel and Siobhan McKeown kept everything incredibly organized and ready to roll.
Obviously, every WordCamp is going to be different, and there’s a lot to be said for the value that comes out of days where developers come together exclusively to squash bugs and write code. I hope that never goes away either. However, there are a lot of bloggers, content creators, and brilliant marketers who are ready and waiting to be unleashed on the WordPress open-source project. We just need to create opportunities for them to contribute.