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WordPress Gears Up for 2nd Women and Nonbinary Release Squad

WordPress Executive Director Josepha Haden Chomphosy is coordinating a second women and nonbinary release squad for the 6.4 release, which is anticipated to land in November 2023. In 2020, WordPress 5.6 “Simone” was led by an all-women and non-binary identifying release squad, a first in WordPress’ history, and Haden Chomphosy is proposing the project go for it again.

“Having a release squad comprised of folx we don’t typically see in technology also has a goal of increasing the number of underrepresented people who have experience maintaining, managing, and shipping software in an open source project,” Haden Chomphosy said. “All contributions to the release and release process are welcome.”

WordPress 6.3, which is targeted for a mid-July release, will give prospective 6.4 squad members the opportunity to shadow more experienced contributors and gain new skills by working with mentors and assisting with the release. She is calling for mentors to join in preparing this new round of leaders. The process is a several-months long commitment that gives contributors a head start on understanding their roles in the squad, though it is not required for participation in the 6.4 release.

Haden Chomphosy emphasized that anyone will be able to contribute to the release but the leaders in the 6.4 squad will be limited to this specific group.

“I short-hand the release to ‘women and nonbinary’ for easy referencing in our day-to-day collaboration, but the release squad will be open to anyone who identifies as a woman, nonbinary, or gender-expansive,” she said. “All contributions are welcome as always, regardless of how you identify or what groups you feel part of.”

WordPress has gained valuable new contributors and leaders from this initiative in the past, including 6.2 Core Tech Co-Leads Tonya Mork.

“Before joining the 5.6 Release Squad, I had not contributed to the project,” Mork said. “I had no idea how the release cycle worked or where to start. Yup, I was a contributing noob. But with mentoring, I was well supported in my onboarding. And you will be too! The experience was and still is incredible!

Based on the response to Haden Chomphosy’s proposal, there should be no shortage of contributors and volunteers available to help with the women and nonbinary 6.4 release squad. She is requesting anyone who wants to be part of the squad or help as a mentor leading up to the release to leave a comment on the post.