WP Engine is currently on the hunt to hire two developers to work on the open source WordPress project full-time. This is a relatively new trend that has caught on among companies that sell WordPress products and/or services. Last November, 10up announced that it would be sponsoring Helen Hou-Sandi to work full-time on WordPress core. Many other WordPress-related companies and agencies regularly sponsor a portion of their employees time to contribute to WordPress, WordCamps and other open source projects.
The WP Engine job advertisement says that the developers selected will be responsible for submitting new functionality to the WordPress code base, making it more accessible and easy to use, keeping up with modern trends, and evangelizing the benefits of WordPress to the Austin, TX community and abroad. Tomas Puig, Head of marketing at WP Engine, said that they haven’t been getting enough of the right applicants so far, even though the jobs have been open since mid-April.
Puig confirmed that the contributors WP Engine aims to hire will be 100% devoted to core and will occasionally interface with other open source projects such as NGINX. Applicants are not rigidly required to have contributed to core previously, but it certainly helps.
“Our goal is to have people who have contributed to core in the past and this enables them to realize their dream about it becoming a full time job,” Puig said. “Though if an amazing developer that hasn’t contributed applies we’d like them to talk with Nacin and see if there is a fit.”
Puig said most of the current applicants have submitted patches to core, or plugins to the official directory. WP Engine has been speaking with WordPress lead developer Andrew Nacin to find recommendations for qualified applicants. The final hiring selection, however, will be done by WP Engine.
What is WP Engine looking for, specifically? “Our first priority is making sure they get along with the community and are fantastic engineers,” Puig said. “I’m really hopeful a known developer with commit access comes forward to apply.”
WP Engine is hoping to relocate the selected developers to Austin, TX. “They do not have to relocate but our preference is that they are Austin or SF,” Puig said, as the employees would need to be on hand to fly in for company wide meetings.
It’s not easy to find solid core contributors, much less ones willing to relocate. WordPress talent is in high demand and most of the developers of that caliber could work virtually anywhere. However, Puig is hopeful that they will find the right fit for giving back to the project.
If we’re going to fund full time positions we want them to be huge assets to the project. But in all honesty finding great developers for any company or project is hard. We have a few applications in process but I wanted to get the word out much farther.
Working on the WordPress open source project full time would be a dream job for many developers who love this software. The challenge for WP Engine is getting the word out and attracting high quality engineers. The prospect of two more high level contributors giving back to WordPress full time is good news and can only serve to propel the project further ahead.