I have been a WordPress developer for about 3 years, coming from a .NET background.
I run three different installations of (finally) WordPress 3.2.1 on three separate networks.
I converse on a daily basis with some of the best and brightest of WordPress developers, from the hobbyist to the WordPress core developers.
I have been repeatedly invited down to Washington D.C. to have dinner and/or beer and catch a Caps hockey game with one of the core devs who is also an Automattic employee.
I was asked to present at a potential WordPress conference in D.C. about how the Intelligence Community uses WordPress.
I have in my iPhone the number to the author of one of the biggest selling WordPress technical books available (Two editions!). I was interviewed for those books. In fact, he may or may not owe me money…need to look into that again.
I met Matt Mullenweg. I had a beer with him in San Francisco. I told him how I utilize WordPress in my professional career, and he said “WordPress is used in the Intelligence Community? COOL!” That’s pretty much one of the coolest things that could have been said to me.
With all of that said: None of that goes to my head. I am not trying to brag, just making a big point.
I am a newb, a functional WordPress idiot.
Compared to all of those folks above (and many more folks), I am pretty much a drunken silverback gorilla trying to create source code with one hand behind my back and my good thumb removed. I ask people questions about WordPress multiple times a day via Twitter. I’m like your best friend’s little brother tugging on your shirt sleeve asking “Hey, can I play too?!?!?” That’s how I see myself. I know we all start at the bottom, and I’ve received nothing but awesome help from everyone involved in the WordPress community.
I was mentioned by Jane Wells in a her blog post “In Praise of the Forums”. She makes really good points about how we, as a community, need to help each other, and the WordPress.org Support Forums are a great place to help out. Personally, if I post a question in the forums, I try to answer/comment on at least five threads. I may not be able to fix a person’s problem, but at the very least, I’ll steer that person in the right direction. The best case scenario is that I fix the person’s problem and learn something in the process. Win-Win.
Now, what’s with the title of this post? Well, don’t scare the newbs. When I first started going to the forums, it was to leach knowledge. I was scared and intimidated to provide help. I won’t rehash what Jane posted, but it all boiled down to “Holy crap, the mod’s know 109348 times more stuff than me, so I’ll let them handle it”.
I was way wrong.
We, as a community, need fresh blood helping out in the forums. Just because you haven’t had a slew of core edits added to trac doesn’t mean you can’t help out. There are a lot of simple fixes. You, as a WordPress dev, may be surprised at how much you could help. Please, take 5-10 minutes out of your day, scroll through the threads, and see if you have any ideas on how to help out someone else.
In the small amount of time that I’ve been on the forums I’ve been hit up on Twitter asking for help. That kind of blew my mind. Someone wanted my help.
I’m contributing, however I can. Contributing to a much bigger thing. It feels good, and it really made me smile.