Anyone who knows me, in just about any capacity, knows that I love WordPress. I think its community is top-notch, and I enjoy using the software and writing code for it to build things for other people.
But if I had to pick on WordPress for anything, it would be the lack of a systematic way to recognize contributors to the project who don’t write code.
We tell others who aren’t contributors yet that they can contribute to WordPress without writing a line of code. I think that statement shows up in some form or other in just about every contribution pitch. And yet, we act like the coders are the only ones who deserve official recognition. We showcase the newest ones on the “About” page of every new WordPress install or major update. But we have no system for acknowledging all the people who volunteer in the support forums, test code for accessibility, design, or any of the myriad other tasks required to run a project of this size.
It’s not that I’m saying coders shouldn’t be recognized. They contribute in a huge way, and they deserve recognition for their efforts. But so do the support volunteers, the testers, the evangelists, the designers, and every other non-coder who helps with WordPress in any way.
I think WordPress does an excellent job on most things, even things that other open source projects struggle with. But I think we can do a lot better when it comes to acknowledging our contributors, and if we do, we would demonstrate in a concrete way that our non-coding contributors really do matter and are vital to the project.