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Outreachy 2016

Outreachy (formerly Gnome Outreach Program for Women) is an internship program modeled on Google Summer of Code and administered by the Software Freedom Conservancy that awards stipends to participants who successfully complete a requested free and open-source software project contribution under the guidance of project mentors. This program is intended to increase the participation of women in free software projects and increase the diversity of project contributor pools. In the US, participation is also open to people of color of any gender.

WordPress is a mentoring organization for Outreachy's Summer 2016 session.


From the Outreachy info pages:

Each participating organization, with the help of corporate sponsors, will sponsor several internships each from May 23 to August 23, 2016. The internships offered are not limited to coding, but include user experience design, graphic design, documentation, web development, marketing, translation and other types of tasks needed to sustain a FOSS project.

The internship is expected to be a full-time effort, meaning that the participants must be able to spend 40 hours a week on their project. Participants will work remotely from home. Because IRC (Internet Relay Chat) is one of the primary means of communication within FOSS projects, participants should be present on their project's IRC channel while working. You will also be expected to communicate electronically with other project members via other means, including bug tracker comments, mailing list discussion, blog posts, and personal e-mail. Participants will be expected to blog at least once every two weeks about their work and their blog posts will be included on the sites that aggregate blog posts of organization contributors, usually called Planets, and on the Planet Outreach.

Both interns and mentors will need to sign the contracts with Software Freedom Conservancy. Software Freedom Conservancy will be administering the payments of the $5,500 (USD) stipends in three installments. In addition, $500 (USD) travel allowance will be available to the interns.

Note: While Gnome asks for a blog post every 2 weeks, WordPress participants will be required to submit a blog post/progress report every week, not every two weeks. Also, the WordPress project currently uses Slack rather than IRC for synchronous communication.


February 9: participating organizations start being announced

February 9 - March 22: applicants need to get in touch with at least one project and make a contribution to it

February 16: participating organizations are finalized and application system opens

March 22: application deadline at 7pm UTC

March 22 - April 25: applicants are encouraged to continue making contributions for the project they applied for; submitted applications are open for editing

April 22: accepted participants announced on this page at 4pm UTC

May 23 - August 23: internship period

Software Freedom Conservancy will be administering the payments of the $5,500 (USD) stipends each participant will get. Best efforts will be made for the payments to be sent within seven days of the date listed, however Software Freedom Conservancy's standard policy is to send payments within 30 days. You will receive an e-mail from Software Freedom Conservancy when each payment is initiated. You will have a choice of requesting your payment to be sent as a check (in USD or your local currency), wire transfer, or via PayPal. Please note that it takes 1-2 weeks for a payment transfer to be received. The dates below are tentative.

May 31: after this date $500 will be sent to participants who have begun their internships

July 15: after this date $2250 will be sent to participants in good standing with their mentors

September 2: after this date $2750 will be sent to participants who have successfully completed their internships

Potential Projects

Projects are available in many areas of the WordPress project. You are also welcome to suggest your own project idea in one of these areas.

Community Management

Join our team of community organizers and help administer our event and outreach programs, which includes WordCamps, WordPress meetups, training events, charity hackathons, and more. Familiarity with the WordPress community and the GPL a plus, and experience organizing events or working as a project manager desired.


Comfortable with PHP, JavaScript, and or HTML/CSS? We will be working on several community tool development initiatives this year, and would love to have Outreachy interns working on some of them. Possible projects include a new community hub, a status tracking app for our community programs, an email plugin to manage our support queue, a learning management plugin, a survey/forms plugin, and/or site and plugin revamps. Projects will be assigned based on relevant experience levels. For code projects, we are most interested in working with people already comfortable writing code and familiar with WordPress, as our mentors will be available to help with project direction as needed but will not be teaching classes in how to code.

User Experience

UX professionals encouraged to apply, to work on a grab bag of projects over the summer including but not limited to (designing and/or improving) a community hub, a status tracking app for our community programs, an email plugin to manage our support queue, a learning management plugin, and/or site redesigns.

Graphic Design

Create beautiful site designs, collateral, signage, and anything else needed within the WordPress and WordCamp brands.


Looking for an intern with a background in instructional design who can help turn the knowledge of subject matter experts (in using/developing with WordPress) into live workshop curriculums and online courses.


Video Transcription. The WordPress community has produced hundreds of hours of WordCamp presentations, tutorials, and other video content that needs to be transcribed for accessibility purposes. This project would basically be transcribing a set number of hours of our video content per week using open source tools. Good spelling and grammar required.

Potential Mentors

Our mentors will come from the WordPress.org contributor teams, depending on which projects have successful applications. All mentors will have a minimum of 2 years experience working with the WordPress contributor teams. Each intern will be matched with a pair of mentors to ensure that there is enough support for both intern and mentors throughout the summer.

How to Apply

The application process involves not only filling in an application, but making a volunteer contribution to the project to show that you are familiar with it and capable of doing the work should an internship be awarded. See the list of potential contributions below for ideas, or contact a mentor to propose something that's not listed.

Because our available projects span a wide range, we will host several Q&A sessions in early March both in Slack an over video hangouts to allow potential applicants to ask questions and get a better idea of if WordPress would be a good fit.

The current schedule for Q&A sessions is:

Community Management:

Wednesday, March 9 at 23:00 UTC in https://make.wordpress.org/chat/ #outreach

Monday, March 14 at 17:00 UTC in https://make.wordpress.org/chat/ #outreach


Thursday, March 10 at 17:00 UTC in https://make.wordpress.org/chat/ #outreach

Wednesday, March 16 at 0:00 UTC in https://make.wordpress.org/chat/ #outreach


Thursday, March 10 at 18:00 UTC in https://make.wordpress.org/chat/ #outreach

Tuesday, March 15 at 18:00 UTC in https://make.wordpress.org/chat/ #outreach

If you are not already using it, please join the WordPress Slack instance so that you will be able to interact with the mentors/team during the application period.

Application Contributions

There are several different areas you can contribute to, based on your skills and interests.


For your contribution, please select a ticket from the list below, complete the task described in the ticket, and upload a patch to Trac.

Most of those contributions are primarily PHP-based, but the actual projects may include JavaScript development as well. If you have JavaScript experience, please link to some of your pull requests, plugins, etc on your application, so that we can get an idea of your experience.

Normally we encourage contributors to work together on tickets, but for Outreachy we need to evaluate each applicant on their own. So, once you've selected a ticket, please leave a comment on it to indicate that you're working on it. If another applicant is already working on a ticket, please choose a different one.

For information on setting up a local development environment, submitting a patch, etc, please read our Contributing to WordCamp.org guide. You can skip steps 1-3.

If you submit multiple contributions, please pick ones that are different from each other (e.g., pick a Site Cloner ticket and a Tagregator ticket, rather than two Site Cloner tickets).

Since the application deadline is approaching fast, please ping iandunn on Slack once you've submitted a contribution, so it can be reviewed quickly.

Community Management

Some ideas for small contributions that would be good for applicants in the community management focus are:

  • Create a FAQ page for the Meetup Organizer Handbook, including answers to the questions:
  • “How do I post my Meetup?”
  • “Do I need to have a speaker or can my Meetup just be a hangout / social?”
  • “Who is eligible to speak at my event?”
  • “Where should I hold my Meetup, how do I find a location?”
  • “Can I get sponsors for my Meetup?”
  • “How do I get people to attend my Meetup?”
  • “At what point should someone be given different admin levels of access to the group?”
  • “I run a separate meetup group. Can I organize a joint meetup?”
  • “As an organizer, can I send special offer emails to members, through the meetup system, from a business or another member?”

Graphic Design

  • create a template for a WordCamp attendee badge that organizers can customize
  • plugin icons and plugin banners for .org plugins (#596 and/or #194 meta)

User Experience


Currently, Automattic will be sponsoring 2 Outreachy interns. We are hoping to line up other companies in the WordPress community to fund additional interns. If your company is interested, please contact Jen Mylo using this form.