When you give, give your best

A short while ago Matt Mullenweg wrote an article about the future of WordPress and how he feels businesses should be contributing back to the project.

My business (WP Ninjas) is built on WordPress so obviously it’s in my best interest to see it flourish. I wrote an article talking about how I feel the Freemium model is one way companies might give back and in fact is one of our motivations behind how we’ve released Ninja Forms.

I also wrote a post recently about focusing on where you can have the greatest impact on your business by doing the things you’re best at. It turns out this could apply to contributing to the WordPress project as well.

My history with contributing to WordPress

I want WordPress to continue to be successful. I want to give back to the project. While I’ve tried to do so in various ways they were not all equally impactful.

The first way I started contributing was in the support forums. This was a natural place to start since I was dabbling a lot with multisite in the pre 3.0 days and people like Mika and Andrea were always kind and patient enough to assist me. As I learned from them I started to help out a bit myself. Once I started releasing my code and had a support load of my own it became harder and harder for me to contribute in that way.

Next I had started building themes for clients so I joined the theme review team. This had a dual purpose. I was able to help the WordPress project but I was also learning theme standards as well as getting ideas from other theme developers. My time building themes was short-lived though due to my growing interest in plugins so reviewing themes also took a back seat.

Another way I would love to contribute someday is directly to the core code base. The problem is I’m not sure I will ever be that good of a developer. Perhaps I can contribute vicariously through one of my team members someday.

Contributing with my strengths

My skills tend to be most active when I’m building or starting something. I’m a great organizer and I’m pretty successful at seeing the big picture. I’m also known to be a good public speaker. These skills have set me up well to contribute to WordPress in a way I’m really excited about.

I’ve recently started organizing the WordPress Meetup for the greater Chattanooga area. This allows me to do many of the things I’m best at which also means I can have the biggest impact possible. I’m most excited about the prospect of possibly holding a WordCamp Chattanooga in the future. If and when that happens you can expect that if you’re connected to me I’ll be asking for some favors. 😉

There are so many ways you can contribute but consider leveraging what you do best. Both you and the community will reap the greatest benefit if you do.