Give props in abundance, not in restraint

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Giving props, for those who are unaware, is where someone who has contributed to open-source code is given acknowledgment. Typically you’ll find these props given within a specific ticket in which a person has contributed a fix for the open ticket. In the WordPress realm, you’ll also find these props at the bottom of a new release post as you can see here in the section called The Squad.

Those who contributed the actual fix are the ones receiving props. But … that’s not very inclusive. 

You Get Props, I Get Props, Everybody Gets Props!

Recently I came across a tweet from Jip Moors, who works at Yoast, that resonated with me:

Jip is stating that instead of giving props in restraint, we start turning that around by giving props in abundance. And when you think about it, that actually makes a lot of sense to all parties contributing. There are several elements of a ticket that are extremely valuable but are not “thanked for” as much as they could be.

The lifetime of a ticket starts with the first person reporting the problem, but often times a lot more happens after. In many cases there will be multiple people brainstorming possible solutions, coming up with proof of concepts, help out testing and more. It’s a shame that those who put in the time to find a solution hardly get any props at all. I believe it’s time to change this.

Getting More Involvement

I think it’s fair to say we all appreciate getting recognition for something we did. I also think it’s fair to say we’d feel more inclined to help out, even more, when we do. Help out with more issues in any way we can.

A good example of where the acknowledgment of contribution has worked very positively is with the WordPress Translations. Every single time WordPress is updated you’ll be pointed to the About screen which highlights the contributors in both code as well as translations. This has lead to more awareness to those who contribute in translating. More awareness here resulted in more people finding out they too could contribute.

Ultimately this led to many more people contributing to translations and it’s one of the reasons there are now more non-en_US WordPress installations out there than default en_US ones.

We Can Take It Even Further

The WordPress Project has many many ways to contribute to it. Take a look at the Make WordPress blogs and you can’t help but get inspired about wanting to contribute. There are a ton of ways to get involved with WordPress, but there are not many ways to receive recognition for it. At least not as easy as getting props and being mentioned with new releases. Sure, there are WordPress.org profiles where you can see how a person has contributed to the WordPress Project (here’s mine as an example), but they’re not very visible.

We want WordPress as a whole to grow, and to make that happen, we’ll need more people contributing to it. I propose one of the mechanisms to propel this growth is to start by giving props in abundance, not in restraint.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on how we can achieve that.

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