About time

A couple of days ago someone on Twitter asked people how they got their last job and I answered.

Several replies and reactions later, I realised that even though I have expressed my gratitude to Tom and Noel many times, I’ve never taken the time to actually tell the world what I have been able to do because I got the opportunity to join Human Made in early 2015.

It’s one of those mornings where I’m feeling particularly sentimental and it feels right to sit down and post this long overdue recap as a thank you to the people who enable and support me but also to the people who volunteer their own time without a company backing them.

So here it goes…

Leading the Global WordPress Polyglots team

What started as a simple job translating WordPress to Bulgarian turned into a cause and mission for me – helping the WordPress translators to bring the platform to as many users as we can – beyond borders, beyond cultures. I’ve been organising chats, talking to people, creating new locales, learning about languages, pushing core changes, helping new editorial teams, rushing teams to get their locales to 100% around WordPress releases, creating strong ties with plugin and theme developers and the core team. 24/7, outside timezones, working hours, language barriers, my work with the Polyglots team taught me to be humble, patient, appreciative, accepting and respectful. And I believe it’s made a difference. The Polyglots team organises global events, has a team of mentors helping volunteers, grew more than 200% since 2014 and currently translates WordPress into 169 languages.

Organising Global WordPress Translation Days 1&2

The first two WordPress Translation Days were huge for the Polyglots team. I dedicated a huge amount of time coordinating the efforts of thousands of volunteers to put a 24/7 live streaming on complete with hundreds of local events across the globe. Together we organised the very first global WordPress contributor day which helped the team grow more than 100% in less than a year. Read the recaps of WP Translation Day 1 and WP Translation Day 2.

WordPress Translation Day 3 is happening on September 30th and I’m extremely happy that it’s organised by a team of WordPress Polyglots that only need my help occasionally. Being able to enable a successful Polyglots leadership team is what I consider one of my biggest achievements so far <3

Leading WordCamp Europe 2016

The beautiful madness that is WordCamp Europe was the true beginning of my WordPress story in 2013 in Leiden. The people, the energy, everything. I believe WCEU 2014 is what got me hired at HM (thank you, Noel!) and they supported me completely while I helped organise WCEU 2015 and led WordCamp Europe 2016. And I was not the only human involved with these events. Siobhan, Noel, Ana, Elodie, Franz, Jenny, and many other humans have been a part of this team and I’ve lost count of all the others who have volunteered at the event.

Organising WordCamp Sofia 2015, 2016, 2017 and WordCamp Varna 2017

As much as I’m in love with the idea of the global communities coming together at events like WordCamp Europe and Global contributor days, local events are important. They are the beating heart of WordPress. Sofia has one of the most vibrant, active WordPress communities in Europe and its local WordCamp has become a tradition. For the 7th time this November WordCamp Sofia will welcome more than 500 WordPressers in the fantastic Arena movie theater. Supporting the event and helping grow the organising team has been a core mission for me in the past couple of years.

What’s more, this year my little Bulgaria had its first WordCamp outside of the capital – WordCamp Varna gathered 250 people in the beautiful seaside for a weekend of WordPress and is also likely to become a tradition.

Speaking at WordCamps

I never thought I’d become a public speaker. But after 34 talks in three years at numerous FOSS events (mostly WordCamps) I have to admit that I probably am one. I speak about community, languages, localization, cross-cultural communication, the future of work, lessons learned as a part of a remote company, agency work, WordPress in the enterprise, building media sites with WordPress… anything I feel would be useful to communities around the world.

Exactly a year ago, at the #WordPress community summit in SF, I got trusted with a role on the Polyglots leadership team. I was there on a travel scholarship, feeling like an impostor among giants. I had never spoken at a WordPress event, didn't speak 4 languages like most of the real polyglots and I was not a technical person. The only thing I knew was that I really wanted to do it. So much that I decided to turn my life around contributing to WordPress. I got lucky to find the right people to support that decision. Today WordPress has almost 70 complete translations in languages across the globe that get automatically distributed thanks to language packs. The Polyglots team has more than 4000 contributors and growing by the dozen every day. Themes and plugins are now a part of translate.wordpress.org. I feel humbled and extremely proud to be a tiny part of all that. And lucky. So lucky for all the friendships on the way here. Exactly a year after the community summit, I spoke at #wcsof (shot by @noeltock above speaking about #i18n & #l10n). It was my 10th WordCamp talk for 2015, at the third WordCamp I'd organized in 14 months. It's been a hell of a ride. Thank you to all who shared it with me ‚̧ԳŹ

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Public speaking is a rewarding experience that helps me learn a lot and organise my thoughts on complicated subjects. Sharing what we do and how we do it is an integral part of our culture at Human Made and we are all constantly encouraged and supported to speak at events we think will benefit from what we’ve learned.

Organising contributor days and mentoring other orgsniers

As part of my work I’ve tried to encourage every WordCamp organiser I’ve spoken to to have a contributor day around their events and I helped organise a lot of these across the globe.¬†The contributor day decks Jenny prepared and I borrowed and modified have been used by many other organisers worldwide.

Organising WordPress workshops for kids

One of the things I appreciate the most about Human Made is the autonomy I have in making decisions about how to contribute. After four editions of WordCamp Europe, I decided to look for a new challenge and let other people get involved with the magic of the global event. Even though it’s on a completely different level, organising WordPress workshops for kids has given me a new purpose – and yet again – a new idea to spread across the globe. I’d love to see a workshop for kids around all WordCamps and I wrote an organiser kit for anyone who’d like to have one. So if you want to have one, let’s talk!

Thank you, Human Made ‚̧ԳŹ

I like to quote Daniel Pink and “Drive” often with his¬†“Autonomy, mastery, purpose” theory about people’s motivation. I believe the reason I am so happy working for Human Made is because it gives me all three. I am not micromanaged, I’m free to do things my way, trusted that I will do my absolute best without being checked or monitored. I work and learn from some of the most skilled, inspiring people in tech. And I am free to give back to WordPress.

If you are running a WordPress business, consider supporting contributors. You can support a developer, a translator, a documentation writer, a help forum volunteer, a designer, a marketing expert. We all make WordPress.org.

Thank you, Tom, Noel, Joe for your generosity and vision.

I am grateful every day.

WordPress workshop for kids – an organiser kit

Organising WordPress activities for kids had been on my mind for a long time and this February in Bangkok I gave the idea a go. Alongside the very enthusiastic team of WordCamp Bangkok and with the help of my good friends Jon Ang and Emanuel Blagonic, we organised two workshops – “Introduction to WordPress – build your own site” and “Introduction to creating themes for WordPress”

We didn’t get a huge amount of kids to come to the workshops for different reasons including language barrier (we had to organise the workshop in English), the holiday time for students in Bangkok and the kind of last minute announcement and no time for proper publicity. But we got enough kids to realise that the workshops are valuable for both us and the kids. The hours we spent together in Web Courses Bangkok (thank you for hosting us, Carl!) were great fun and every kid left the workshop with their own site on WordPress and a big smile on their face.

Kids Workshop in Belgrade

Since that first time in Bangkok, I had the chance to organise another workshop for the kids of the most enthusiastic WordPress community in Europe – Belgrade. This time we had enough time to prepare and we had a big room full of kids. We had swag, snacks, a screen, a show and tell session, and ultimately – a blast.

I now have two more workshops planned – next weekend in Varna and in November around WordCamp Sofia. Hopefully I’ll also get to do one in October in Cape Town.

The organiser kit

After the great outcome in Belgrade I received several invitations to organise workshops around different WordCamps in Europe. These made me really happy but since I’m trying to control my urges to be everywhere at the same time, and since organising a workshop for kids doesn’t really need any special kind of expertise, I put together an organiser kit so everyone can get a workshop going around their camp.

It’s already been picked up by other WordCamp organisers. When it turned out WordCamp Varna and WordCamp Zagreb were happening on the same day, Emanuel and I had to figure out a way for Zagreb to have a kids workshop without me there. We shared our knowledge and resources into the organiser kit and this weekend both Varna and Zagreb will be having workshops. Zagreb will even have one in English and one in Croatian. Which is ‚̧ԳŹ!

Take a look, organise your own, help us expand it

The WordPress workshops for kids – organiser kit is a living document that’s why I’m not publishing it here, but sharing a link to Dropbox paper. The idea is for the document to expand and evolve as more and more organisers put together these events.

If you’d like to get access to edit the document, please ping me on Twitter [@petyeah] or WordPress Slack [@petya]. I’ll be happy to give you a hand in organising your first workshop for kids. And I’ll be even happier to read your posts after the events with what you’ve learned and how you’d improve the workshops.

Good luck!

Love,
Petya

The photos in this post are kindly provided by Ivan Gatińá (Belgrade) and Jon Ang (Bangkok)¬†

WordCamp Sofia on October 22nd – let’s go!

I am happily not organising WordCamp Sofia 2016 this year but can’t be more excited about the event.

It’s been a wonderful experience watching the new team assemble and I’m looking forward to attending and volunteering this year instead of organising.

WordCamp Sofia exists since 2010 and has always had amazing content thanks to the many great local WordPress experts and the large number of guests we have each year. (Watch videos from 2012, 2013, 2014 (that was #WCEU, surprise!) and 2015 on WordPress.tv)

WordPress core developer and 4.1 release lead John Blackbourn at WordCamp Sofia 2015
WordPress core developer and 4.1 release lead John Blackbourn at WordCamp Sofia 2015. Photo by Margarit Ralev

The Sofia WordPress community is also one of the most welcoming and has a long standing reputation for taking excellent care of its guests. Remember the epic #WCEU 2014 after party? You probably don’t :) Enough said.

So if you’d like to join us on October 22nd, consider applying to speak or volunteering! It will be fun!

I’ll see you there!

Join us for Global WordPress Translation Day – April 24th, 2016

For the past four months the amazing WordPress Polyglots team  has been busy arranging Global WordPress Translation Day Рa WordPress contributor day solely focused on translating WordPress and understanding the processes behind software internationalization and localization.

The event has multiple layers and aims to entertain and educate. Its main objective is to bring more people on board to help WordPress get to more people around the world.

WordPress is available for translation in 162 languages and the core project is 100% translated to 54 of them and more than 50% translated to 36. Another 72 locales are in progress or early development.

 

True polyglot Wapuu refreshing his 162 language skills preparing for Sunday
Wapuu speaks 160 languages, currently refreshing his skills preparing for Sunday

Events

Thirty-seven contributor days have been planned in different cities around the world and 11 more are organised remotely. Countries like India, Japan, Italy, Germany and Greece have multiple events going on in several different cities.

Everyone willing to participate can tune in online in the #Polyglots Slack channel and get help translating their favorite plugins, themes or WordPress itself.

Wonder if there’s an event near you?¬†See the map and find¬†out. But if there isn’t one, don’t worry – the team will be available to help you get started on the Polyglots Slack channel and Online during live sessions thanks to Crowdcast.

gwtdglobe
Click on the image to open the map

Sharing knowledge: 24 hours of live streaming sessions on i18n & L10n

Starting at 0:00 UTC on April 24th, there will be 24 live sessions, one starting each hour, focused on translating WordPress or preparing your products for translation. Each session will be recorded and available to watch whenever you decide to join the streaming. The content is focused on helping translation contributors but also plugin and theme authors, who want to add their products to the official WordPress repository and have them available for translation at http://translate.wordpress.org.

Live sessions for translators

Learn about the tools and best practices when translating WordPress. Meet the Polyglots team and learn how to become a contributor. Meet some of the most experienced WordPress translation editors and attend online tutorials about translating WordPress in your own language.

Online instructions for translating will be available in English, Japanese, Hindi, Bulgarian, Slovak, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Lithuanian, Italian, Dutch, Swedish and Spanish as spoken in Venezuela.

What if your language is not available yet? You can request it and become a translation editor yourself.

Live sessions for developers

How to create a translation community around your plugins and themes? How to prepare them for translating and how to get them added to translate.wordpress.org, where 5000 people are already translating every day?

How do WordPress language packs work? What is the future of the translation management platform of WordPress and is WordPress core going multilingual?

You can find all these answers in the several i18n sessions we have in store for you from experienced plugin developers and WordPress core contributors – WordPress 4.6 release lead and Polyglots technical lead Dominik Schilling, WordPress core developer and 4.1 release lead John Blackbourn, Claudio Sanches, author of more than 40 plugins in the plugin repository.

Participants

More than 1200 people have signed up to take part in the event – whether by attending local events, remote events or watching live sessions. Attendees (so far) represent 105 countries all over the world.

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See you there!

P.S. The WordPress Global Translation Day Live Streaming is inspired by the amazing work of Scott Basgaard on WordSesh. Thank you for all your help, advice and support.

#WCEU 2014 Video & personal recap

In 2014 I had the privilege to help organise WordCamp Europe 2014 in my home city of Sofia alongside some of the most amazing people from the WordPress community.

I had the most wonderful, intense, fun & exhausting September.

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Hosting this event has been a life changing experience.¬†It’s given me a new perspective on things and pushed¬†me to grow – both professionally and personally.¬†It further opened my eyes about the level of awesome that is the community¬†behind¬†WordPress. In a couple of weeks it turned people I barely knew into friends for life. And it made me want to dedicate even¬†more time to¬†the project.

The spirit of WCEU is captured perfectly in this recap video by the wonderful Kaarel Veike:

I don’t remember much of my interview. It happened at the end of Contributor day on Monday, the third and final day of the event. I was already going on auto pilot after almost a month of sleeping less than three hours per night. I remember bits and pieces – talking about how easy it is to fall¬†in love with the WordPress community, the inspiration of Leiden and how Tina and I turned from volunteers to organisers. I remember failing to¬†think of a way to express my feelings¬†about WordPress in Bulgarian which so many other people did beautifully. And I remember talking about our amazing¬†volunteers a lot.

Tina and I. Volunteers in Leiden in 2013, organisers in Sofia in 2014.
Tina and I. Volunteers in Leiden in 2013, organisers in Sofia in 2014.

There’s one thing that didn’t make the final cut and I’d like to say it here.

If you are an event organiser, get to know your volunteers

No matter if you organise a local or a global, multinational event, your volunteers are your closest allies and your next co-organisers. And you should mentor them and encourage them to do more, to help¬†bring the community together and¬†share the knowledge and passion for Free Software. That’s the way¬†to keep the ecosystem healthy.

WCEU 2014 org team by Kaladan
WordCamp Europe 2014 organisers and volunteers. Photo by Vladimir Kaladan Petkov

WordCamp Europe 2015 will be announced in the next couple of weeks

If you want to host WordCamp Europe in your city in 2016, join the organising team for 2015 as volunteers. Let us know you are interested so we can give you bigger responsibilities and get you ready. Don’t be shy to talk to the WCEU team on Twitter or Facebook.

You will always get a reply.

See you at #WCEU 2015!

Love,
Petya

WordCamp Europe 2014 – save the cool places

I really love that all of you guys are coming to Sofia for WordCamp Europe.

(And those¬†of you who are not,¬†what’s wrong with you!)

And because you’re such a fantastic crowd, I’m gonna¬†make your lives a little better and introduce you to some of the coolest places in Sofia.

Foursquare lists!

Just save them and forget about browsing for a decent place to eat or hang out. All the places are in a 20 min walk radius from the event venue and have been personally tested multiple times. So you’re safe. Now go save!

List: WordCamp Europe 2014 places

First things first: The venue, contributor day venue, after party venue & other useful stuff

List: Coffee in Sofia

Coffee lovers, this list is for you. You’re in luck too – best coffee place in Sofia is 5 floors down from the conference halls.

List: Eat in Sofia

Hungry? Selected recommendations about great places to eat. Personally tested and approved.

List: Veggie Sofia

Vegetarian? Same thing as above, no meat.

List: Night out Sofia

Thirsty? This is where the cool kids hang out. Join in.

Enjoy!

 

P.S. If you have any questions about Sofia, ping the very cool dudes from DevriX

On Contributing to Open Source Projects

Nikolay writes about how he started contributing to Open Source projects and what¬†doing it for the last 10 years has taught¬†him. It’s a very inspiring and practical piece. Like the guy.

I have the beginning of my own story to tell. Seven years ago someone who came to the company I worked for¬†from the Open Source scene in Sofia found me¬†and taught me the basics of what I am today as a professional.¬†It’s the same soft skills Nikolay talks about, the same culture built around open source values.

Bottom line is:

You learn to be motivated for the right reasons

So today, thanks to three inspiring guys who all got their values from¬†Open Source, I’m neck deep into this, this, this and this. My job is building cool stuff with WordPress, I try to give back by translating it and spreading the love, I dedicate my free time to plan and develop open source solutions that can hopefully help change the publishing and media scene in Bulgaria.

And it’s for the right reasons.

How about you?