Getting Out Of The Way

moveDuring my chat with Jane Wells on episode 68 of WordPress Weekly, we spoke about a number of different topics, but one I wanted to put a little more focus on today was the developer chat. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been trying to encourage people to join the developer chats as a means of participating in the development of WordPress. I myself participate in the chats I can make it to. Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure all I’ve done is get in the way.

As I’ve learned, the developer chats are meant to talk about the core development of WordPress. These 60 minute meetings each week are the one time where all of the core developers of the software get together to discuss the development of WordPress. This is also where development tasks are assigned to anyone who volunteers. This meeting is not a place to voice feature requests or bug reports. At all other times, the channel is used to bring up bugs or specific issues related to the core of WordPress, not for troubles with the plugin or theme repositories or any other general aspect of WordPress.

I’m like that kid who wants to get his hands and ears into everything but unfortunately, that kid usually becomes a nuisance or someone that gets in the way. That’s not what I want to be in the WordPress community especially as it’s related to development of the software. So with that, I am pledging to take a step back and view from a distance. I’m not a developer so I shouldn’t be getting involved in development oriented tasks or discussions.


9 responses to “Getting Out Of The Way”

  1. Well, Jane was right to point out the intended purpose of the developer chat but you performed a worthwhile service by checking it out and at least making people aware that it exists, that there is a decision-making process at the highest levels, involving many people, and that Matt doesn’t just magically pull each shiny new version of WordPress from his behind.

    So, keep getting your hands and ears into everything, you are gaining an evermore detailed knowledge of the WordPress universe and that is healthy for the community as a whole.

  2. Maybe there should be a “town hall” meeting every month… call it “WordPress Community Meeting”. They people can voice their opinions in real time. I know there is WordPress Ideas, but that doesn’t seam to do the trick. I would suggest this idea to the developers, but I’m waiting to see what the redesign beings.

  3. @Jeffro – I guess I sort of consider the developer chats to be like city council meetings. Most people don’t have the time, or a good reason, to attend these meetings, but they still like to catch up with what happened in their local paper the next day.

    So of course, I consider you our reporter, attending all these meetings and taking notes so that we don’t have to show up and get in the way! I can understand why the core developers wouldn’t want a wave of end users coming in and being disruptive or distracting. But I hope they’ll allow you to continue to report on these meetings and keep the community up to speed.

    @Dan Cole – I think Jane mentioned something in the last episode about setting up more general chats that would include the wider WordPress community.

  4. I think that Jane Wells was a bit dismissive toward the community in being so dismissive of you.
    Jeff, anyone with your level of knowledge and interest shouldn’t be discouraged with bureaucratic compartmentalization corporate-speak the way she seemed to be doing with you, at least the way I heard it on that last podcast.
    Now, in terms of the having all the punters show up and whine about their personal laundry list of WordPress issues, that probably would screw up the flow of the meeting. So I understand the basic message that Jane Wells said–but not the way she said it where you seem to have taken it as a kind of personal rebuke.
    Someone with their pulse on the community like you should be given carte blanche to speak up–or they should take the chat private.

  5. @Jeffro You should definitely keep your ears in there. And even if you feel like you should refrain from making suggestions that might not be core-related, share your opinion if something comes up that you have suggestions about.

    I for one wish I had time to participate more. But my work and family commitments make it difficult to sit in on the IRC chats. Your podcast is one of my regulars for my work commute, so when you report on some of the highlights, it helps keep me in touch with where things are going, beyond what might come up in the mailing lists.

  6. Stand-up post Jeffro. However, still, please think of this also — at times, you can be a Representative of all the WP Tavern readers, and help bridge the gap (both expressing for us, and reporting it back to us), for those of us who communicate with developers less.

  7. @donnacha | WordSkill – Thanks for the kind words. I suppose knowing why this or that feature is in WordPress is better than not knowing :)

    @Dan Cole – I think it’s wise to wait and see what the Redesign/Communication Reorganization brings. Perhaps after this happens, there won’t be a need for such a thing as the site will be one continous conversation about the evolution of WordPress.

    @JLeuze – Hmm, many people have voiced the same opinion. It looks like I should keep going to these meetings and raising concerns I see or hear in the WordPress community. Even if that means publishing a synopsis of what happened based on the log file.

    @Dan – After some other feedback I received along the same line as yours, I have to say that I know Jane wasn’t being dismissive of me, but just giving me the 411 as to who the developer meeting was for and who should really be contributing to the meeting. That’s all. I didn’t take offense or anything to what she said, it just makes it all clearer for me now. After the talk, I decided to rethink how I’m doing things because I was bringing in a bunch of end users into the room and doing some other things that were not productive to the meeting. Now that I have a better understanding of it all, I can stand back to watch/listen to what’s going on and report on that.

    @Dougal Campbell – Thanks Dougal. The overwhelming response is for me to keep doing what I’ve been doing. I’ll definitely be keeping my eyes and ears open even if I can’t help out with development.

    @dg – I’m beginning to realize this now. It’s almost as if I’m a liaison between the development and the end users. I think that’s a responsibility I can take on.

    @Matt – My post may have come off otherwise, but I’m with you, her intention was not for me to attend or continue doing what I’m doing, but just telling me what the purpose is behind the meetings and how they will be the most productive. I just noticed that some of the things I was doing didn’t help the cause so I thought it might be best to step back and let the developers do their thing.


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