Our 5% for WordPress: Meet Ivan, Calvin and Bojan
In October we committed to contributing 2.5 full-time, dedicated support people to the WordPress Support Forums.
This was in response to WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg’s proposal that companies directly involved in WordPress should give back Five for the Future, specifically that they:
…Should dedicate 5% of their people to working on something to do with core — be it development, documentation, security, support forums, theme reviews, training, testing, translation or whatever it might be that helps move WordPress mission forward.
We absolutely agree with Matt’s sentiment. After all, we use WordPress everyday, make a living from the software, and wholeheartedly want to give back to the WordPress community.
So we put a call out for friendly new people to join our support team, but unlike our regular crew these new people would hang out in the WordPress.org Support Forums all day, 40 hours minimum per week, helping folks out with anything and everything.
After initially trialling 12 people over a few weeks of intense training, we’re pleased to announce our WordPress Support Forums team.
Introducing Ivan, Calvin and Bojan
Ivan Denkov, Calvin Roger Canas, Bojan Radonic will be our full-time staff in the WordPress Support Forums and have already been getting stuck in to helping out users.
These guys will be helping out WordPress users with ANY issue, not just users with questions about WPMU DEV products (we already have other staff members doing that!).
So if you’re having problems with changing backgrounds colors on your site, editing your CSS, or even customizing another company’s theme, our guys will be in the forums throughout the week ready to help.
Jumping Through Hoops
Joining our support team is no easy process and involves a lot of jumping and a lot of hoops.
For Tim Bowers, our Head of Support, it’s been a busy few weeks and, unfortunately, not everyone who applied to join our support team was successful.
Tim said Ivan, Calvin and Bojan initially worked through tickets in the WPMU DEV support forums so he could assess them through our own system and collect feedback from members before letting them loose in the WordPress forums.
“The initial training is actually all about our system, how we work, working with our team, interacting with our members, breaking down answers, making sure they’re understood and can work through issues,” Tim said.
“The rest of the time it’s a continuous process of feedback every day or two. Sometimes twice or more a day on occasion.”
Tim said he was “happy” and “nervous” to unleash these guys on WordPress users, though he and other long-time WPMU DEV support staff members would also step in to help in the WordPress forums when needed – meaning our contribution to WordPress will likely exceed our promised 2.5 full-time staff.
“I’m just hoping we’ll do both WPMU DEV and WP.org really proud. I’m certain we will. I’m also certain we’re going to be learning here, too, so mistakes will be made. But this is what being human is all about, learning,” he said.
Let Us Know What You Think
We’re excited to have Ivan, Calvin and Bojan working in the forums, and if you see them say hello!
As always, we would love to have your feedback on our contribution to WordPress and hear any ideas you have on how we can improve our offering and help WordPress users.
We would love to see other people of all WordPress skill levels help out in the forums, so if you’ve got a bit of time, check out our guide to helping in the forums.