5.6 Simone and the Vogues

The all-female WordPress release squad

I made few design contributions to WordPress as part of the all-female WordPress 5.6 release team. Most of them are so tiny they went unnoticed but that’s for another post.

Why did I join a release team?

Is it easy to be a part of a release team? Is there a lot of work involved?

There are as many answers as there are questions. About a year ago, Josepha Hayden tweeted about wanting an all-female (women and persons identified as females) release team. It took a little bit of time to get there.

I had the opportunity in the 5.5 release to be an observer and to design the About page for the 5.5 release. The learning curve for me was intense being this my first big contribution to an open-source project.

What was in it for me?

I immediately accepted when asked to join the release squad. Accepting this challenge meant self-recognition to my professional growth and I was losing my inhibitions for involving myself more in the project.

The experience was astounding. Not saying that everything was 100% perfect and all lovey-dovey, but I prefer to focus on the positive. The most important aspect about my participation was the learning experience.

As a designer, it wasn’t really a lot I could help with. With few design issues to resolve after releasing 5.6 Beta 1, there wasn’t much for me to do. Instead of staying behind, I made myself available during each release to support others, whether it was looking for links to write the posts, reviewing posts, or simply cheering the core team, I was there.

Yes, I learnt a lot about how WordPress is built. I also learnt about camaraderie and the dark-side of time zones – Slack chat at 1 a.m. anyone? While we waited for the systems to roll, we enjoyed some mom jokes and asked questions about the process.

In the end, I was proud to see my name on the list. Most rewarding, I’ve come a long way and I have a new tribe.

Noteworthy contributors for WordPress 5.6 release