Skip to main content
wordpress supportwordpress support services

#74 – Ahmed Kabir Chaion on How to Find Your Place in WordPress Even if You Don’t Code

[00:00:00] Nathan Wrigley: Welcome to the Jukebox podcast from WP Tavern. My name is Nathan Wrigley.

Jukebox is a podcast which is dedicated to all things WordPress. The people, the events, the plugins, the blocks, the themes, and in this case finding a place in the WordPress community as a non coder.

If you’d like to subscribe to the podcast, you can do that by searching for WP Tavern in your podcast player of choice. Or by going to forward slash feed forward slash podcast. And you can copy that URL into most podcast players.

If you have a topic that you’d like us to feature on the podcast, I’m keen to hear from you, and hopefully get you, or your idea, featured on the show. Head to forward slash contact forward slash jukebox, and use the form there.

So on the podcast today, we have Ahmed Kabir Chaion.

As you’ll hear in the podcast, Ahmed has a genuine love of the WordPress community. He’s been an organizer at multiple WordPress events, including WordCamp Asia, the WordPress Accessibility Day. WordFest Live, WordCamp Santa Clarita, and the WordPress Translation Day.

As if that were not enough, he’s also served as the co-organizer of the Dhaka WordPress meetup chapter, is a former Design Team rep, and a current Polyglots Team rep. Like I said, Ahmed is really engaged in the WordPress community, but how did all this happen? The podcast today focuses on Ahmed’s journey into WordPress.

Given Ahmed’s involvement in the recent WordCamp Asia, we start the discussion there, talking about how the event went and what plans there are for next year.

We then get into what the WordPress community is like in the city of Dhaka and Bangladesh as a whole. Technology has become a popular career option, and WordPress is playing a crucial role in that. We talk about how the community is growing, particularly through local meetups.

The rest of the podcast is all about how you can find a place in the WordPress community no matter what your strengths are. Maybe you’re into writing code or SEO. Perhaps marketing or translations or more your thing. Ahmed lays out the multitude of paths that you can take to engage and give back to the project.

You don’t need to feel you’ve got to be an expert. The project needs people working at every level, and maybe there’s work to be done which you did not know about. That’s certainly Ahmed’s experience.

He tells us how we got started just by showing up repeatedly, slowly working out areas where he thought his contributions would be most valuable.

We talk about some of the places Ahmed has frequented online, and some people he’s been most influenced by.

It’s a lovely tale of a community member who is truly inspired to make the project better.

In places, the quality of Ahmed’s audio is a little poor. But it’s more than listable, especially given how enthusiastic Ahmed is.

If you’re interested in finding out more, you can find all of the links in the show notes by heading to forward slash podcast. Where you’ll find all the other episodes as well.

And so without further delay, I bring you Ahmed Kabir Chaion.

I am joined on the podcast today by Ahmed Kabir Chaion. Hello, Ahmed.

[00:04:08] Ahmed Kabir Chaion: Hi Nathan. How are you?

[00:04:09] Nathan Wrigley: I am so pleased that we’ve got you on the podcast today. We don’t usually reveal about the technical gremlins, but we did have some technical gremlins, so much so that a previous podcast recording we abandoned, and we’ve come back today to try again.

So firstly, Ahmed, really fully appreciate you sticking with the process and helping me get this podcast episode out. I really appreciate it.

[00:04:32] Ahmed Kabir Chaion: Thank you, Nathan.

[00:04:33] Nathan Wrigley: You’re very welcome. So you’re on the podcast today. We’re going to talk about open source contributions and who might do that, and how you might do that. And indeed, what you might do, whether you are a coder or a non coder.

But Ahmed, just before we begin, we always typically ask the podcast guests to spend a moment just telling the audience about who they are, where they’re from, what they’ve been involved within the WordPress space. So may I ask you that question? Just tell us a little bit about yourself and how you relate to WordPress.

[00:05:03] Ahmed Kabir Chaion: Absolutely. So my name is Ahmed and I’m from Dhaka, Bangladesh. I started my WordPress journey in 2009 for a university project. And then I shifted into my major, which was network security. I graduated from Central Queensland University in Australia. From 2010 to 2019, nine years, I was not involved with WordPress by any means, not even professionally.

I came back to Bangladesh in 2016, and in 2019 when I switched my workplace, I joined a company called weDevs, from where I actually got involved into WordPress on a full-time basis. And I found that there are some voluntary options, opportunities, and scopes where people can go in and improve WordPress as it is.

Now, not being a programmer or someone who likes to code myself, I was looking for ways to contribute to the project. And then, during the covid lockdown March in 2020, I started going through the handbook and other articles, blogs, tutorials that you can find in the internet possibly, to getting involved in the side of things.

And slowly I started to see that it’s not always about writing codes and, going through the major release. And I started learning more about the Make WordPress Team. And then I found that there are many teams where I can get involved and I can start slowly be a regular.

So I started with the marketing team, then went to documentation, and so on. Late 2020, one of the team reps for the design team suggested that I could also be a team rep. And being team rep did not have to be something that requires me subject knowledge or extraordinary skills, it can be something that I’m committed to giving back. And that’s where I basically fell in love with giving back to the community. Voluntary work for open source and so on.

And gradually attended online WorkCamps. Became a co-organizer of my local WorkCamp, and Meetup as well. And then I organize online WordCamps. Just a month back, I was part of the organizing team for WordCamp Asia and so on. I feel like my journey has only started Nathan.

[00:07:32] Nathan Wrigley: That’s great. We share show notes, so Ahmed has shared me a variety of different things that he’s been involved with, and really over the last couple of years, during the pandemic and obviously subsequently with things like WordCamp Asia, there’s a whole laundry list of things that you’ve been involved in.

So we mentioned WordCamp Asia, Accessibility Day. You’ve been involved in WordFest Live, and a whole bunch of other things. There’s a great big laundry list. So, firstly, thank you. The project doesn’t move forward without people such as yourself. So we’re in your debt for taking so much on in the recent past.

[00:08:07] Ahmed Kabir Chaion: Thank you so much. I guess recognition is something that motivates people, but personally I am happy to continue as much as long as I can, because I considered this as a privilege. That I’m able to give back to the project and also collaborate with many folks across the world. So I think it’s a privilege for me be able to give back.

[00:08:28] Nathan Wrigley: That’s so nice. I want to digress just a little bit because of a couple of things that you said there. Firstly, I want to ask you about your experience at WordCamp Asia. It finished a little while ago. I’m not entirely sure when this podcast episode will go out, so there may be several weeks between it finishing and the podcast airing, but regardless of that. You attended, and by all accounts you enjoyed it.

I’m just wondering if you could tell us a little bit about your experience there. You can talk about the organizational side, if you like, or just purely what you did, or how you enjoyed it. What you thought about it. What were your memories from that event?

[00:09:06] Ahmed Kabir Chaion: Right. WordCamp Asia is the first flagship event within Asia, and the biggest WordPress event in Asia as well. As we all know, it was scheduled to happen in 2020, right before we had lockdown instructions and not have WordCamp Asia three years ago. With the hard work and effort for everyone, WordCamp Asia finally took place in Bangkok, Thailand.

From an organizational point of view, I went through the application for becoming an organizer, and I was allocated to the contributor day team, which perfectly fit with my interest, passion. And, as part of the contributor day team, I was able to inspire many contributors through 11 live episodes that we did. We did some webinars on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube live, and we were able to engage with contributors across Asia who would eventually, I believe about 50% or more actually showed up for the event.

Even though we weren’t selling tickets for the WordCamp, we were getting lots of inquiries related to that because people wanted to come, and attend the biggest contributor day event in Asia. And successfully the first day of the WordCamp, which was 17th of February, we had 650 registered participants who were supposed to come up, and ended up having 700 plus.

People were so keen to contribute. We had snacks and lunch allocated for registered participants. Some folks came to the door and said, hey, I just want to contribute. If you have a seat, let me take part. I don’t mind having snacks or lunch. I’m happy to just be here because it’s first time.

For my contribution to the WordCamp Asia, I feel like myself, along with our team lead, Lia Kale, who’s from Nepal, and he has been the themes team rep for quite some time. We also had two other members, Yugi and Doji, who’s from Bhutan, and Lax, who’s from Philippines.

So four of us actually managed the whole contributor day side of things. Outreaching to teams. Making sure we have representation, contributor table leads, and they have a plan. We contributed for about seven to eight hours on 17th of February. We received great feedback, good feedback from the participants, from the table lead, sponsors, anyone who came in said that they had a great time contributing and collaborating together.

Even folks who were not from Asia gave feedback saying that it’s culturally vibrant, and it’s also fulfilling to collaborate together. So from that point of view, I feel like we had an excellent time.

Moving forward to the next two days, 18 and 19, which is WordCamp Asia. We kicked off with Matts Asking Me Anything, more like fireside chat with Josepha being there as one of the co-hosts. That pretty much set the tone for the WordCamp, and we had excellent round of speakers, which people can go in and check from WordCamp Asia YouTube channel. All the sessions are still being uploaded, and information is there on the site.

I feel that it was a much needed event and now that we have WordCamp Asia on the calendar itself, WordCamp Asia 2024, which will take place in Taipai, Taiwan is going to be a much bigger one. And even better one, because from an organizational point of view we will learn more than we actually accomplished in the past 10 months, 12 months, I should say. Started somewhere around this time last month of organizing. It’s been an experience that we want to relive again and again.

[00:12:58] Nathan Wrigley: Oh, nice. I had quite a few chats with people who were in attendance that I know and the general feeling that I got from them, I didn’t attend, so I should probably throw that in. The general feeling that I got from more or less everybody that I spoke to was that it was quite a special event.

They weren’t really able to capture why they thought it was special, but there was something going on at that event that they thought was pretty extraordinary. Maybe it was the fact that it was the first time. Maybe it was the fact that they were attending a country that they had perhaps not been to before.

There was something there. I don’t know. But everybody that I spoke to really had something incredibly positive to say about it. So yeah, big congratulations to the entire team of people who pulled that off. Very much appreciated and looking forward to Taiwan next year.

I want to just change direction just very quickly again before we get into the main subject, because in your introduction you mentioned that you are in Bangladesh. You mentioned Dhaka, I don’t know if you actually live there not. But I wonder if, for the audience listening, I wonder if you could paint a picture of what the word WordPress community is like in Dhaka or perhaps better yet, in Bangladesh in general.

Be nice to kind of prize that open so that we can have some feeling for whether the software is being used and developed and talked about, and are there events that are happening over there? Really just a broad question. What’s the WordPress community look like in Bangladesh?

[00:14:28] Ahmed Kabir Chaion: Yeah, it’s an interesting question. I’m going to try to paint my version of the picture about this, because there are three aspects. Aspect one is that WordPress and contributing to WordPress and open source is not fairly new to Bangladesh. It’s been there, but then again, everyone wants to be either recognized or have something as a return because of their recognition.

I guess it comes from the fact that we are developing, and people want to spend most of their time in getting something back or being productive. So, contributing to open source is something that people does not take that positively because they want to spend that time for work or other purposes.

Now there are communities and leaders within the community who encourage others, and it’s slowly, gradually building. I feel from 2020 onwards, since the lockdown happened, many people have looked back and utilizing their leisure hours, where they just want to do something more.

They want to improve their skills. And from the point of learning new things, WordPress comes up simply because we have a growing community of freelancers, and the freelancer community has been there since 2010, 2011. And a major portion of our revenue, foreign currency revenue, comes from freelancers. Which is why software companies in Bangladesh do get many benefits if they’re bringing foreign reserves to Bangladesh, for example, dollars.

So freelancers numbers growing. So they know WordPress for a profession. They use WordPress for their clients, for their different projects. Marketplaces have 80 to 90% projects related to WordPress. And this number fluctuates from now and then. But when it comes to contributing to WordPress Core, people aren’t aware because of another thing called communication skills.

Which is something we are lacking for many years now. And I work with a lot of freelancers trying to train them with their level of English. I even work with companies improving their corporate communication business and formal writing, all of those stuff, since I was trainer back in Australia. And that experience came in handy when I started collaborating with the freelancer community in Bangladesh.

So we have one organization called B D O S N, Bangladesh Open Source Network, and that was the primary driver of open source events and open source platforms. They had lots of events about Mozilla and WordPress. But as we got closer to the pandemic, it slowly decreased and pretty much non-existent this day.

So the second aspect of your question is that people know about WordPress because we have seven Meetup chapters within the country, and Dhaka being the capital is one of the most active one, and there’s nothing wrong for me to say that it’s pretty much leading the efforts of community engagement for WordPress. Encouraging people to attend Meetup events. Letting people know that they can Host Meetup events, and in general sharing information about that, the knowledge share about that.

So, Dhaka’s been inspiring Chittagong, then Barisal, Sylhet. These are different Meetup chapters within Bangladesh. And a result of that is actually WordCamp Sylhet scheduled for May 19th this year. So, in 2019, we had our first and only WordCamp in Bangladesh, which was called WordCamp Dhaka 2019. Now we’re going to have WordCamp Sylhet on May 19th.

So I feel that it’s still a work in progress. So a lot of people still come to Meetups and say that this is their first time joining a Meetup. And we had about 275 people attending WordCamp Asia from Bangladesh only. So that brings in the third aspect of your question that we’re getting regular folks coming to the Meetups.

I was fortunate to be able to host the first mega Meetup of the country, last year in November. I hosted a meetup with one of my colleagues, named Yasin Raman. I don’t know if he’s listening or will be listening. Shout out to him, because both of us organized an event with 170 people joining. We had five speaker sessions.

It was around five hour event. We got sponsors luckily, and it was like a mini WordCamp. We got the feedback people coming back to saying, hey, you hosted a mini WordCamp. It was not a WordCamp, it was just a WordPress Meetup, and I was inspired by the South Florida Mega Meetup, posted by David Bisset. I got the idea that you could bundle and merge Meetup chapters and have a bigger event to give more people allocation for the event. Usually in our meetups, we get 50, average 50 participants, so having 170 plus was the next step for us to getting there.

So to summarise, the answer to your question. The government acknowledges open source and WordPress is there. We have some initiatives, but that’s only for the companies and organizations, software developing companies and whatnot. B D O S N, as I mentioned, is still not that active. I feel there’s not enough contributors there. And when it comes to WordPress, I do see this particular release, 6.2, which is scheduled within a week and a half. So around 30th of March, we will have what per 6.2 release.

I at least feel or expect and anticipate that we’ll have 50 plus contributors from Bangladesh itself. So that is a big number as well for us, because last time we had about 30 or even less. So, it’s going to a direction when we will have regular contributors contributing to WordPress, attending WordCamps, hosting events, and just carry it forward.

[00:20:55] Nathan Wrigley: It really does sound like there’s an awful lot going on in your part of the world and a great deal of excitement and change and new people coming in and new events and a whole ground swell of new and interesting challenges arising. That really genuinely was fascinating. I really enjoyed that. Thank you for describing that in such detail.

[00:21:16] Ahmed Kabir Chaion: My pleasure.

[00:21:17] Nathan Wrigley: It would be, really interesting if anybody was listening to this who is from your part of the world who hasn’t reached out, maybe this podcast episode will get even more people, you never know, attending. That would be lovely.

We’ll move on to the main thrust of our conversation today because the topic which we had designed for this podcast episode was all about non code contribution to WordPress. And I know that that’s an area that you are very keen on. You mentioned in your introduction that you don’t really classify yourself as a coder. But clearly from everything that you’ve said, you definitely classify yourself as a WordPresser.

And so that’s how this conversation’s going to develop. I wonder if you could talk to us about your experience as to whether when you began dipping your feet into the WordPress ecosystem, did you sense that it was okay to be a non coder, or as I’ve heard many stories of people who, when they begin and they attend events, or they just start looking into community online, there’s this feeling that if you’re not into code, it might be more difficult to find your place.

Now, I think as time has gone on, certainly in the last several years, I feel that’s less true in that we’ve figured out now that there are literally hundreds of different roles for people who don’t code. But I wondered what your experience was when you first encountered WordPress. Did you have that feeling of, if I’m not coding, I’m not sure I belong here?

[00:22:45] Ahmed Kabir Chaion: Yeah, I did. The general consensus is that when you first join the make, making WordPress Slack, you land on the Core channel, and you see 30,000, I think it’s 40,000 now, 40,000 members in the Core channel. And the ones who are active around couple hundred people are talking about different code, sharing tickets of issues. It doesn’t feel like that anyone who doesn’t understand this can be a part of this. It gets intimidating.

But for myself, when I first started, as I was going through Slack and exploring new channels, I found out there are teams called Marketing, Documentation, and, Polyglots and so on. So I started with marketing and I realized that you did not need to know coding or you did not have to write a developer field guide, or even you need to write a test report.

And that got me thinking that, hey, that means it’s not always about writing code. It’s not always about customizing the front end of WordPress and so on. So I felt that, which usually we all feel when we first start. But lucky for me, I’m going to take some names because people have been nice to me and I was fortunate to have some guidance.

There was Yvette Sonneveld, who’s currently working at Yoast, who used to be the then marketing team rep, who helped me a great deal around that time. There was Michelle Frechette, who I’m sure is a good friend of yours, and she’s been kind enough to spend many hours on Zoom. Not for my sake, but you know, different coffee breaks that used to be hosted in during the lockdown, marketing team used to have a monthly coffee break.

I think they still do it. And I used to join those Zoom calls, which would be very difficult for my time zone, around 2 or 3:00 AM, midnight my time. But I would still stay up because I had literally nothing else to do, and people were in lockdown. So I would just attend there first three, four, or six weeks. I would just listen to what everyone else was saying.

And as time progressed, and they were kind enough to just let us stay on the call and not speak a single word. So I give my thanks back to people. There are many names, I just cannot think of the names right now. But Milana, from documentation team, there’s John from documentation team. Alva Tucker from the marketing team.

I feel like these are the folks who primarily set the tone for me and encourage that, yes. I’m not a programmer, and regardless of where I’m from, I can just give my time back in many different ways. And I started writing meeting notes, summary of a Slack meeting. I started posting those summaries.

I started creating new agenda items, you know, talking to back and forth, different contributors. Even different time zones, some teams have meeting in different time zones. You know, there’s the EMEA, there’s this APAC one. So, going back and forth and trying to make sure the information is sustained across team communication is where I learned the most.

So as part of the marketing team, I would attend other team meetings just to collect information from there, which we can then repurpose or re-share with other teams. These are ways that I got involved. And then jump to the documentation team. Like I said, Estella Weather. We have many other, I just can’t think of the names and I don’t think I’m being fair to them. These names need to be shouted to.

Then I saw this opportunity. Well, there was this post before a major release, there’s a call for release squad members. You could just raise your hand and say, hey, I want to be part of this release squad. And after I became a core contributor for the first time for 5.6, I thought, okay, I’ve become a core contributor without writing a code. I can maybe do something even bigger.

And if I just share this with the audience that what I did was I tested an issue that was reported many years ago. I replicated the issue in different operating systems and then I took some screen recording. I wrote some feedback. That was it. I became a core contributor and that got me thinking that I could do even something bigger. So I raised my hand to become a release squad member. And these are names that I cannot forget. Jeffrey B. Paul, who works for 10up. There’s JB address and there’s Peter Wilson, who’s from Australia.

These are three folks primarily who inspired me to start working, or even contribute to the trials team for core releases, major releases. And I got mentorship from these three folks who just said that you don’t need to be a programmer. You can listen to the discussion of the programmers on Slack. Summarize it, and the programmers can continue their discussion.

So what I used to do, I used to sit in front of my computer for one hour on a dedicated time schedule. The developers from different parts of the world would show up, or a ticket would be raised, and everyone would look into the ticket and share their feedback and ideas.

Sometimes one ticket can spend an hour. Sometimes each ticket can be two minutes, three minutes long discussion. My job, my role was to summarize everything, document it, and making sure it’s passed onto the next meeting. Or, more importantly, update each ticket with what to do next, some recommendation. Sometimes I would do testing as well. And that’s how I found my place.

I feel like I’m good at doing that. I’m confident at finding years old tickets, making sure we triage them. These are stuff that took me to the next level and I’m ready to give my time back again for WordPress 6.3 release squad.

[00:28:59] Nathan Wrigley: That’s amazing. Such an interesting story and unlike one I’ve heard before actually. So a core contributor, but no code in sight. But nevertheless a very important set of roles that you were describing there. I wonder, you’ve obviously thrown yourself into this. In other words it does sound like it’s become an incredibly important part of what you do, and I wonder if you have any thoughts for people who really really maybe don’t have the time available that you do? Are not quite sure.

They don’t see that they’ll probably ever be as keen as you seem to be. Do you think there’s a place for them? Is it more a case that if you are willing to really go the extra mile then these wonderful things can happen? Or is it the case that people who can just contribute perhaps a few minutes a week are still welcome and needed?

[00:29:50] Ahmed Kabir Chaion: In short both. But for this to be meaningful and for someone to be satisfied about what they do, you need to go the long, longer path. If you are keen to learn something new. If you’re interested in finding out more and tap into the unknown, then WordPress is a beautiful prospect. I feel every team that I tap into, I learn something new.

Currently, I’m collaborating with the training team and they have this project called Learn WordPress, which is going to be an amazing thing in a couple of years. It’s already there with many different languages of workshops, tutorials, and information about WordPress. Not just WordPress as a platform, but more like different aspects of WordPress.

And, even as a programmer, there are different sides of programming. I’m not an expert, but I’ve noticed that some people like to do certain things. So there are components within WordPress. So if a programmer is interested about a particular component, they can start working on that.

And I believe there’s 30 plus component with each of them having one to five, sometimes ten, component maintainers who take care of those components, which make sure that WordPress is equipped with everything new and not falling back.

[00:31:09] Nathan Wrigley: It is truly remarkable, the depth and breadth of WordPress. So it’s kind of interesting. You’ve talked about the fact that you’ve dipped your toes into all sorts of different channels in WordPress. You’ve talked about marketing. You’ve talked about documentation and so on. I wonder, for people who are listening to this who are new to WordPress, I don’t know if you’ve got a list available or in your head, I wonder if you can summon up the range of different topics or areas within WordPress that people could become involved in?

[00:31:39] Ahmed Kabir Chaion: Sure. so there’s two set of common topics or checklists that I usually share. We had our latest Meetup just couple of days ago, and I was discussing this topic with a few of our new contributors. So one fact is that if someone’s willing to join the local Meetups, they should start there. That should always be the first step. That gives so much motivation and encouragement, and you can engage with a lot of people.

And for those who are able to attend those Meetups, they can start finding WordCamps nearby. I don’t know if everyone loves travel, but I love travel and it can sometimes do a positive change for you. So traveling blended with WordPress is a beautiful thing. Unless you experience it, you won’t be able to know what I’m talking about.

And the second thing is for those who does not want to go to the Meetup. For them, they can always go through the site. There are different teams. Just skim through and search for the team that feeds them most, or appropriate team. Find it and then go through that team’s handbook. Most of the teams these days have at least a workshop or tutorial within Learn WordPress. So if you want to contribute to WordPress org, you can check Learn WordPress first.

Slowly create a WordPress profile and then join the WordPress Slack. As soon as you are able to join a channel, start finding if there is a time which is convenient for you in terms of that team’s meeting. Because team meetings are essential for you to be directly involved with the project. Some teams have weekly meetings, some teams have biweekly, others have monthly meetings. So it’s not that difficult.

You don’t need to attend the entire meeting. Just stay up to date about your team of interest. About the agenda. What is the focus right now? What kind of work, different work groups are there. Try to tap into a work group. As soon as you are part of a work group, you will know about the details and the current stuff that’s in the pipeline for WordPress. And that can motivate a lot of people.

And for those who are programmers, they can easily just go to the Core team. And there’s many different sub-channel and sub-teams of Core. There’s Core test. There’s Core performance. There’s WPCLI and many more. I’m just sharing some of the names from the top of my head, because that’s not my strong suit, but there are about six or seven different key teams or sub-teams within the Core team where you can get involved in.

And I’ve always noticed among contributors, if there’s anything that is within the sweet spot of their passion and interest, it gives them a better result. So, finding that is critical for someone, when it comes to going the long run and sustainably contributing for many years.

[00:34:44] Nathan Wrigley: You mentioned in the show notes that you had some resources to share. Now, it may be that you’ve just done that, and that was the list of things that you wanted to talk about. But I do want to give you an opportunity to share that list if indeed there were other things on it that you hadn’t yet mentioned.

[00:35:00] Ahmed Kabir Chaion: Yep. I just want to add a name, Sam Munos. I think she works for WP Engine, and is the community developer relationship manager. Apologies if I got her designation wrong. But I have seen her in the documentation team and coming in and always contributing. And she’s the one who inspired me to talk about, or dive deep into this topic.

I read one of her articles in Torque Magazine. It was published in August, 2002. The title of the article said, no code WordPress contributions matter. And since I read that article in 2000, I got to think, hey, my contributions matter too. Because for the better part of 2020 and 2021, I was simply just contributing as a no coder.

But now I see people talking about it, and I think Torque Magazine wouldn’t cost anything if that wasn’t substantially important. And I think that article, since I read it, I’ve shared it with at least 15 to 20 people. Just so that I could encourage them to come and contribute to WordPress.

So when it comes to the resources, there is a lot of resources out there aside from Learn WordPress. But I feel like just following a few folks in Twitter can do the trick for now, for anyone starting. Sam Munos is one of them who I believe is going to be a great advocate in the coming years for non code WordPress.

[00:36:31] Nathan Wrigley: Thank you so much. What I’ll say is that when we finally click the button to stop recording, I’ll allow us the opportunity to collaborate on the show notes that hit the WP Tavern website. And there may well be things that Ahmed would wish to add, names that he wants to mention and so on, that he hasn’t managed to get together for this show. And I’ll put those in the show notes. So if anything does occur to you in the next days or weeks before this episode goes live, hopefully we can add those in as well.

We’ve talked a little bit about WordPress events. We’ve obviously, the whole going back to doing things in person is probably one of the most interesting things in the WordPress space. You know, it is fabulous to get in the same room as all those people. But the vast majority of what you are describing is taking place online. And I’m just wondering again, the description for those people who’ve never contributed before. What kind of processes are people going through?

You know, it can be a bit intimidating joining a Slack channel. But is that the kind of place where all of this happens? Do you need to be following track tickets? Where do you find yourself online? Where do you collaborate online to make this happen?

[00:37:48] Ahmed Kabir Chaion: I think that’s the question that I hear the most. And you are right on the money with that question. For anyone who has heard about my story and coming back to me, hey, what’s the right place? I always refer them to the Core channel for Making WordPress Slack. However, if you are not someone who wants to go through every single message on Slack, you’re not alone.

You can just go through. Check the weekly article. There is a dev chat, that is being published each week after the meeting that happens on Slack. You can simply check that article. And staying up to date with what’s happening, weekly basis. The Core channel, or the p2 blog for making WordPress is more than enough. Because anything important to the release itself, or any important track ticket is always circulated back to the Core channel blog as well. So I think that’s enough.

But then again, if you don’t want to do that either, I feel like just attending online events such as online WordCamps. There’s WordFest. Whichever event that you can find. WordPress Accessibility Day. I’m also going to be part of the organizing team for this year as well.

We’re going to announce the dates very soon. It’s going to be in September. That’s also another event that you should look into. It’s a 24 hour event about WordPress and accessibility. So these are events that are options out there. And you just need to find the option that speak for you, that’s most fulfilling and giving back to you. And also consider yourself important too, when you are giving back.

[00:39:28] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. It’s interesting you described a period of what you might describe as lurking at the beginning. In other words, you dropped into certain channels and just observed. And I guess that’s probably some good advice. If you’re not sure where to go. Just go there. Hang out. Read the messages. Engage if you wish to. But if you don’t wish to, just watch and see what happens.

And if a certain channel or aspect of WordPress doesn’t seem to be clicking with you, there’s always the opportunity to go and start that process of lurking again in another channel. And I would imagine that at some point you will stumble across something which is the best fit for you.

[00:40:09] Ahmed Kabir Chaion: Of course, and I keep on repeating these to folks who I collaborate to that, remember your skills, or strength, or things that gives you satisfaction. And just keep your eyes and ears open. If you see something that clicks with you, just raise your hand. I’ve had 10 people coming back to me saying that, hey, don’t worry, we are here. I received private messages. The first step is to raise your hand, and that’s the bravest step you need to take. I did that, and I’m not regretting that.

[00:40:44] Nathan Wrigley: Nice, that’s great. Ahmed, time is precious, and so we’ll start to wrap it up. But before we do that, I want everybody to be fully aware of where they can find you. If there’s people listening to this who have been inspired and would like to use your expertise, maybe talk to you one-to-one, email you or whatever it may be. I’ve got this feeling that you are going to be able to persuade quite a few people who are erring on the side of caution to dive into WordPress. So with that in mind, I wonder if you wouldn’t mind just sharing some of the places where you hang out online, where you are most likely to be found.

[00:41:21] Ahmed Kabir Chaion: Absolutely. I’ve got my Twitter handle, which is c h a i o n zero seven. My last name. But that’s pretty much the handle you need to remember. LinkedIn, it’s Twitter. Everywhere I’m available using that handle. Also, I attend the Polyglots weekly meeting. So if you are a polyglot, if you want to translate WordPress into your own language, which you can always do, you can come to the Polyglots channel and I’m pretty much active there, since I’m the current team rep, or one of the current team reps.

[00:41:55] Nathan Wrigley: That’s absolutely fabulous. Hopefully Armed, we’ll get some people coming in your direction. I really appreciate you coming on the podcast today. It’s been a real pleasure talking to you about your experience in your part of the world, and more broadly with WordPress. Thank you so much for joining us today.

[00:42:12] Ahmed Kabir Chaion: Thank you so much, Nathan, and I think, what you’re doing can inspire hundreds and hundreds of more contributors. I hope to hear from you in the future and hopefully meet you in person in one of the WordCamps.

[00:42:24] Nathan Wrigley: That would be indeed very lovely. Thank you so much for joining us.

On the podcast today we have Ahmed Kabir Chaion.

As you’ll hear in the podcast, Ahmed has a genuine love of the WordPress community. He’s been an organiser at multiple WordPress events, including WordCamp Asia, the WordPress Accessibility Day, WordFest Live, WordCamp Santa Clarita, and the WordPress Translation Day. As if that were not enough, he’s also served as co-organiser of the Dhaka WordPress Meetup Chapter, is a former Design Team Rep and a current Polyglots Team Rep.

So, Ahmed’s really engaged in the WordPress community, but how did this all happen? The podcast today focuses on Ahmed’s journey into WordPress.

Given Ahmed’s involvement in the recent WordCamp Asia, we start the discussion there, talking about how the event went and what plans there are for next year.

We then get into what the WordPress community is like in the city of Dhaka, and Bangladesh as a whole. Technology has become a popular career option, and WordPress is playing a crucial role in that. We talk about how the community is growing, particularly through local meetups.

The rest of the podcast is all about how you can find a place in the WordPress community no matter what your strengths are. Maybe you’re into writing code, or SEO. Perhaps marketing or translations are more your thing.

Ahmed lays out the multitude of paths that you can take to engage and give back to the project. You don’t need to feel you’ve got to be an expert. The project needs people working at every level, and maybe there’s work to be done which you did not know about. That’s certainly Ahmed’s experience.

He tells us how he got started just by showing up repeatedly, slowly working out areas where he thought his contributions would be most valuable.

We talk about some of the places Ahmed has frequented online, and some people he’s been most influenced by.

It’s a lovely tale of a community member who is truly inspired to make the project better.

In places, the quality of Ahmed’s audio is a little poor, but it’s more than listenable, especially given how enthusiastic Ahmed is.

Useful links.


Make WordPress

WordCamp Asia

WordPress Accessibility Day

WordFest Live

BdOSN, Bangladesh Open Source Network

WordCamp Dhaka

Learn WordPress

WordPress Slack

No-Code WordPress Contributions Matter

Ahmed’s Twitter