It’s been around 6 months since we announced our Diversity fund recipients for 2021, so it’s time for an update on their progress! For this post, we’ve been talking to Milana Cap, TC Cazy, and Estela Rueda. What have they been working on, and what have they achieved with their projects so far? Has everything gone to plan, or were there surprises along the way? We’ve got all the answers, so keep reading!

Checking in with Milana Cap

“Do it. If you want something to be done
don’t wait for others to see the need, don’t
waste your time and energy trying to
convince others that it should be done. Do
it.” – Milana Cap

Could you tell us a bit more about yourself?
I’m a freelance WordPress Engineer currently employed by XWP, WordPress Documentation Team co-rep, speaker and WordCamp organiser, ex opera prompter (classical musician by default), single mum, chocolate and bacon worshipper.

Can you tell us more about your project?
I was leading the documentation focus for WordPress 5.8 release. Therefore, it was my responsibility to make sure that complete release related documentation was published in time. This meant:

checking up with people who volunteered to write parts of it, mostly Dev Notes and end user docs,writing parts of it by myself (but always with the help from the others) such as Field Guide, updating changelogs, developer docs etc,keeping track of and reporting progress to release squad, andkeeping Docs team in the loop.

Why did you create this project/program? How did you come up with the idea?
The reason I took the role this time was because the whole process of documenting WordPress releases was unknown to the Documentation team. I wanted not only to get the Docs team familiar with it but also involved as a part of the release process.

How has your project added diversity to WordPress and its community?
We had people who are daily working on WordPress documentation to work on documenting WordPress release. Also, I’m a single mum from Serbia. I don’t think we had one being in the release squad before.

Are there any lessons that you’ve learned from this project?
Yes, definitely. We are doing a shockingly amazing amount of manual work for a project of this size. We are far far away from the time when this was just a fun side project you do in your spare time.

However, the tools we are using are still in that time. Don’t get me wrong, everyone is doing their best but it’s 2022 and we are building a widely used software. Great thing is, however, that other teams in community have the same needs and we can work together in building tools to help us all out.

To what extent have the intended outcomes been achieved?
I’d dare to say that everything planned was achieved. The Docs team was involved and regularly updated the release phases. The release itself was well documented and everything was published in time. I’m very pleased with the outcome.

Were there any unintended positive outcomes?
Yes, some Documentation team contributors became more interested in continuing their contributions while new ideas of more cross-team collaborations were born and we are doing our best to make them work.

What does the future of your project look like? Can others contribute to it too?
Of course. Anyone can contribute to WordPress documentation.

What would you love to work on next? Do you have any plans?
I’m very lucky to have some of my time in the Documentation team being sponsored by XWP and I’m planning to reset some stalled projects but also to work on a few new ones we, as a team, have been discussing. There is really so much work waiting that it’s hard to pick one thing.

My great wish is to work on the Core and Docs teams collaboration which would consist of dedicated documentor “shadowing” developer’s work, asking questions and understanding that specific piece of code and, by the time the code is ready for merging into core, we would have complete documentation with code examples ready. Ultimate goal is to never again have a feature being released without proper end user and developer documentation published. Yes, I said “again”.

Has working on this project helped your personal development?
Of course. There is hardly anything you can do at WordPress.org that wouldn’t help your personal development. After being more than a decade in open source I’d say you can always count on at least one aspect of personal development – revealing to yourself yet another skill you have. It’s a rather intoxicating feeling of being a better self each day.

Do you have any advice for others who want to work on a project like this?
Do it. If you want something to be done don’t wait for others to see the need, don’t waste your time and energy trying to convince others that it should be done. Do it.

Is there anything else you’d like to share about your project?
If you can’t document software can you really claim that you understand it? If you can, I’ll be waiting for you in the #docs channel. I’ll bring the cookies

How’s it going with TC Cazy?

“I have people reaching out because they
see me contributing. They figure ‘if TC can
do it, I can too.’” – TC Cazy

Could you tell us a bit more about yourself and your project?
My name is TC Cazy. I’m a web developer from Dallas, Texas.

I’m working with the WordPress documentation team. Today I’m working in the Documentation Issue Tracker, making sure all screenshots/videos are relevant to 5.9

Why did you create this project/program? How did you come up with the idea?
The best way to learn is from two resources for a new person coming into WordPress:

Learn WordPress – this is where the tutorials, lesson plans, and courses are located.WordPress Documentation – another resource to learn how to use WordPress.

Because both are ideal starting points, I thought it would be an excellent place for me to contribute.

How has your project added diversity to WordPress and its community?
I’m a black man with a unique perspective and skill set. I check off a lot of boxes when it comes to diversity.

We have very smart and strong female contributors. We have Femy, Estela and Milana. They’re very good at what they do.

The ball is rollin! It will take time, but I’m here for it.

Are there any lessons that you’ve learned from this project?
Yeah, I didn’t realize how few contributors there are — considering that WordPress powers half the web, it is unfortunate to see that only four people are being compensated for their contributions to the WordPress documentation.

To what extent have the intended outcomes been achieved?
I have people reaching out because they see me contributing. They figure “if TC can do it, I can too.”

They know I’m a regular guy. I’m approachable, and I’m willing to share what I learn.

It’ll only get better! Stay tuned!

Were there any unintended positive outcomes?
I’ve been speaking up more at meetings. I’m an introvert, but I’ve facilitated quite a few meetings.

What does the future of your project look like? Can others contribute to it too?
I’ll always be about diversity. The documentation team always needs help. Likewise, the contributors deserve compensation. If you got time, join us. If you are busy, buy the team a cup of coffee.

What would you love to work on next? Do you have any plans?
Oh, I got a lot of ideas! I want to relaunch my Codebrothers community learning project. Of course continue contributing to documentation.

I plan to be more active in the UnderRepdInTech, BlackPress Slack Group, and the Diverse Speaker Training group. I believe that if these movements succeed, we will be in a good place.

Has working on this project helped your personal development?
Yes. As I mentioned, I’m an introvert, and facilitating has to help me a lot.

Do you have any advice for others who want to work on a project like this?
Join us. Don’t be afraid your brother TC is here to greet you with a hug. DM me. I’m codebrother1 on Twitter. I’m a regular guy.

Catching up with Estela Rueda

“Patience and organization are key. Being
able to collaborate with other teams and to
understand how one’s contributions can
affect (positive or negative) the work of
others is crucial.” – Estela Rueda

Could you tell us a bit more about yourself?
My name is Estela Rueda, I was born in Mexico and have been living in Bratislava, Slovakia a little before the pandemic started. I started using WordPress in 2005 but found it difficult to understand as a non-developer. After learning more about it, I built my first WP site in 2007. Yet, my contribution days started 10 years later in 2017 when I attended my first WordCamp in Utrecht, Netherlands. In the past 3 years, I have volunteered for WCEU2019, been an organizer for WCEU 2020 and was design team rep for a year.

Can you tell us more about your project?
We are working on the reclassification of the end-user documentation to provide better search results. At the moment the articles are distributed in 9 categories and some articles are classified in more than 2 categories, making it very difficult to navigate.

Why did you create this project/program? How did you come up with the idea?
I was invited during WCEU 2019 to help with a new design for the documentation area in WP.org. While I was doing my research to understand the needs of the community I found the problem with search and navigation to be very user-unfriendly. This project is close to my heart because when I started learning about WordPress, I found the documentation very hard to understand and navigate, back in the days, it was only the Codex where the documentation for developers and non-developer (end-users) was mixed. This issue sent me to look for other places to learn about WordPress that were easier to follow. WordPress.org should be the source of truth about the software we all love.

How has your project added diversity to WordPress and its community?
Well, the documentation team is very diverse and contributors are very enthusiastic about helping make better documentation.

Are there any lessons that you’ve learned from this project?
Yes, that everything moves slowly in WordPress.org and that we need to collaborate with other teams in order to achieve our goals.

To what extent have the intended outcomes been achieved?
I had to stop contributing for personal reasons (I would prefer not to make public the real reason why I had to stop the project) but I have the goal to finish reclassification by the end of February and continue working on the design. We would love it if Matt could introduce the new documentation during his talk at WCEU.

Were there any unintended positive outcomes?
Yes, by reading each article we have been able to catch a lot of outdated information and dead links that are also being reworked by the docs team. We also created 2 projects in GitHub for the Glossary terms to maintain a list of when each term has been updated, as well as a list of blocks. Another good outcome would be for the Support team that they will be able to find the articles much faster.

What does the future of your project look like? Can others contribute to it too?
Documentation is a monster that will need lots of work. New developments and new features need constant updates and writing new articles. It would be awesome when the docs team finalizes the updates and is able to write articles as new features are being developed.

What would you love to work on next? Do you have any plans?
My plan now is to support the release team so I can learn the ropes and perhaps in the future I am confident enough to lead a release.

Has working on this project helped your personal development?
Oh yes! Reading all 170 articles has been like speed training on WordPress. I understand how the software works a lot better now.

Do you have any advice for others who want to work on a project like this?
Patience and organization are key. Being able to collaborate with other teams and to understand how one’s contributions can affect (positive or negative) the work of others is crucial.

Is there anything else you’d like to share about your project?
Another item that I am looking at is removing the hashtag at the end of each heading for accessibility reasons. Still looking for the best solution and soon I will publish a post about this, written with the support of the accessibility team.

Posts written so far about the project:

Findings in the reclassification of WordPress.org documentationExploration of a new classification for user documentationRequirements for a new design for the article pages in user documentationUpdate on the revision of documentation

These are the tickets, I hope to resolve with the reclassification and new design:

#5589 (Category archives pages : accessibility improvement (HTML)) – Making WordPress.org#4995 (Page title format incorrect on support article category templates) – Making WordPress.org#5251 (Faulty links redirect to random pages) – Making WordPress.org#5860 (Make translated support pages discoverable, and prompt translation) – Making WordPress.org#5758 (HelpHub feedback form message needs to be improved) – Making WordPress.org#5519 (301 redirects for new titles in HelpHub) – Making WordPress.org#6001 (Lack of Context for Docs (no learning path) under https://wordpress.org/support/) – Making WordPress.org

See also:

GitHub projects Glossary updateBlock editor end-user docs inventory

We’re feeling inspired! How about you?

Milana, TC, and Estela are doing great things for WordPress and its community. We’re feeling energized and inspired to see how their projects are coming along! It doesn’t matter who you are or what your background is — you can make a meaningful contribution too. So go ahead and explore the ways you can get involved with WordPress! Don’t miss our updates from Mary Job, Abel Lifaefi Mbula, and David Towoju next week to bring you even more inspiration.

The diversity mission isn’t over

There’s still a lot of important work to be done making WordPress more diverse. Too often we see the same kind of people running the show, while we know there are some people missing from the bigger picture. We’re here to help, but we can’t do it without you! We’ve just opened up applications for the Yoast Diversity fund 2022.

In 2022, we move back to our initial purpose. The Yoast Diversity Fund focuses on taking away financial barriers that prevent people from underrepresented groups to speak at tech conferences. We prefer applications for events focusing on WordPress (via a Meetup or WordCamp), TYPO3, PHP, JavaScript, or another Open Source community.

Could you or someone you know benefit from our Diversity fund? Find out more here!

The post Yoast Diversity fund: updates from Milana, TC, and Estela appeared first on Yoast.

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