“Impact,” lies at the heart of how Jon Desrosiers describes his experience working as a WordPress contributor. Jon first started contributing in 2013 and currently works as lead of the core triage team. He works with an innovative group of people to reduce open WordPress tickets to a more manageable number. He also contributes regularly to the General, REST API, Media, and Multisite components as a WordPress Developer for Bluehost.
We got the chance to sit and chat with Jon during WordCamp Europe this summer and discuss his experience as a WordPress contributor.
Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us Jon! What has been your favorite WordPress contribution or a contribution you were most proud of?
“I know that I can pinpoint a single favorite contribution, but I do have a deep appreciation for my experience contributing because of the people I’ve interacted with. One of my favorite parts of contributing is helping people and assisting them with any patches or issues they may have.
Whether it’s online, at a meetup, or a WordCamp, it’s always great to see things “click,” for a person after giving them a push in the right direction. You never know the impact or affect your interactions will have on someone, so always be friendly, patient, and welcoming. Having someone thank you for taking the time to help them through their issues is worth it every time.”
Community is at the heart of WordPress, do you have any community heroes or mentors who have helped shape your experience?
“I’ve learned so much from so many different WordPress committers and contributors that it’s so hard to pinpoint just one or two. Everyone is always so open to answering questions and I’ve learned a lot from observing how different contributors tackle problems in different ways.”
Contributing definitely takes a lot of patience and dedication. In your opinion, what is the hardest aspect of contributing?
“The hardest part about contributing is not overcommitting. Contributing can be very rewarding so it makes it easy to want to contribute, but that doesn’t mean you have time to do all the work a ticket might need. I have to make sure I am managing my time and that I hold myself accountable to get all my tasks accomplished effectively.”
You have been a contributor for over 5 years, how has WordPress changed your life?
“WordPress has changed my life in a lot of ways. It has given me a career and provided me with the opportunity to travel all over the world. The global nature of the project has also exposed me to new cultures I may not have encountered otherwise. I’m happy that I’ve met people all over the world who I consider friends.”
We couldn’t agree more! Some of the best relationships can be made at a WordCamp or meetup where the community continues to grow each year. What does the word “community,” mean to you?
“For me, community means people looking out for each other and working towards a common goal and the WordPress community reflects that. Everybody is passionate about WordPress and improving it in their own way. Everyone has different opinions and backgrounds and that all comes together to create levels of progress whether that’s updates or new features that emerge.”
With so many different communities of people coming together to work on the software, how do you suggest we make the community more inclusive?
“There are a few suggestions I think could help make the community more inclusive:
- Provide emerging communities with better access to the resources they need to learn WordPress and be patient.
- Having more diverse speakers at WordCamps and WordPress meetups.
- Anyone that is even a little familiar with WordPress can organize meetups in their local communities.
You never know the type of impact you can have on someone whether that is “hello,” or helping them publish their first post.”
Those are excellent suggestions. As you are juggling your roles as a contributor and developer, what inspires you to create?
“Problems. I am a problem solver. Whether that is deciding how to solve the problem, what I can build to fix it, or how can I make it easier for others to solve. Pain points in problems have always driven me to create.”
If you could create anywhere in the world, where would it be?
“Australia would a great destination.”
Why is Bluehost the perfect place to WordPress?
“Bluehost is the perfect place to WordPress because we’re always looking out for our customers by trying to understand who they are and what they actually need. This helps us to update our products and offerings to help them accomplish their goals and have more successful websites.”
Last, but not least, how does it feel to be sponsored in doing a job you love to do?
“I’m very fortunate to be sponsored to contribute. It is definitely a privilege. I don’t take it lightly and view my role as part of community service. Whether that is taking on more challenging tasks or smaller tickets, I know every bit of help is essential to making the software better. My door is always open and if anyone needs help or has a question, I try to make myself as available as possible to whoever may need me.”
It has been a pleasure chatting with you Jon!
Jonathan has been using WordPress since 2007 to build sites covering the entire spectrum of local businesses to enterprises and large universities. He has been a WordPress Core contributor since 2013, and a Core committer since 2018. He is also the WordCamp Boston 2019/2020 lead organizer, and an organizer for the Boston WordPress Meetups. He currently works as a WordPress Developer at Bluehost, where a majority of his time is spent contributing to WordPress Core and the community.