January 1, 2020

Contributor Day 2019

I am Fahad Mahmood aka WordPress Mechanic on WordPress support forums and especially on fiverr during 2014-2015.

I was considered as WordCamp speaker on WordCamp Lahore 2019 and it was an honor to be in a panel discussion with Ijaz, Saad and another friend.

I was not sure that if speakers were invited on Contributor Day and Dinner as well? So I contacted WordPress meetup team and asked about the contributor day so they told me; yes all of you are invited on dinner and pleasure to see you on Contributor Day as well. It was a surprise for me as I was not ready for a sudden invitation. I was just preparing for the WordCamp as it that was a big day for us and before this we were used to join only meetups, some kind of presentations but it was really difficult to join mostly on Fridays in colleges like an event on freelancing or WordPress tech talks. WordPress learning workshops or mix of motivational lectures by various speakers. This was the first time that we were going to join some something planned and arranged for 2 days.


I was excited and called my friend Noman Ahmad to make sure that he will join me in the morning. Freelancers are mostly working in the nights so I was aware; he might will not be able to join me in morning. I kept reminding him a day before even in noon and evening but he especially worked that night and slept around sunrise. He didn’t pickup my call. I couldn’t sleep well because as I was aware that contributor Day was arranged a some reasonable kilometers away from my place and it was difficult for me to go alone. Especially those areas are less crowdy as compared to ours. For the first time I visited that place while driving I was trying my friends if they can wakeup and reach on time, I was also in contact with my family so I don’t feel bored. Me and other two guys reached at the same time at popcorn studio, we didn’t say even hello to each other as we were not sure that we are going to the same destination so didn’t bother to disturb each other as we were used to at ASTP. When we entered to popcorn studio, I felt, that was quite a small place as I was not expecting that kind of small place for such big event.

As I mentioned earlier; I was not used to join such a tech-day before. We were having sessions or events, most of the times, but this was a kind of collaboration in real. I really liked it so how it get started that was exceptional. Everybody was ready to start with their laptops/machines, I was not having mine because for me it was just a kind of get-together.

I thought that’s OK, so I met Abdullah and Farrukh there. I couldn’t recognize Abdullah because he was not looking that cute at that time, he was looking sleepless as he was really busy in arrangements. Gosh, I was looking for Kashif Arain, he was not there at that time and yeah I was specially I visited contributor day to meet him after a long time in fact after 4 years. I was meeting with Farrukh for the first time and many other guys. A few guys were from Nextbridge an WP Brigade and others were freelancers. Fahad Murtaza came from Dubai I believe, he was he was a really nice person and his topic was really different on Word Camp. Finally Abdullah announced that we are going to make some teams so we will sit together in groups. A few of us will learn and contribute in plugins area, a few will take care of themes, support, and polyglots. Core contributors are the champs, I would say. It was a really nice experience specially first time I was learning about WordPress from WordPress contributors. Earlier we were used to manage all of our work through Google and stackoverflow but this time we were sharing our knowledge with strangers and just in a few minutes we got comfortable with each-other. We shared our experience, our portfolio and our upcoming open-source project ideas. Open-source contributions are not easy, who understands he appreciates. Everybody really appreciated each-other and actually appreciation is the main thing which we miss in our job culture. Whoever is being appreciated appropriately, he never leaves his job but who is putting his best but not being appreciated so freelancing or open-source market is a perfect place for him. I would say that I really enjoyed the comments and the feedback from my clients. I have been working as a WordPress Mechanic since 2014 with this title but I was mostly working on fixes and handling difficult situations or disturbed projects, most of the times incomplete projects coming from Russia and India. It’s an honor for me that I have been in such great teams where I got a chance to work on a few big portals during my job.

Anyways so when contributor day was at its peak, Kashif visited and we had some photo session with all contributors. I was feeling tired around noon, we were served with some snacks and a cup of tea. Really nice lunch as well with Biryani and BBQ. It was being difficult for me to manage the whole day as I was not having proper sleep last night so it was nearly impossible for me to reach at home in afternoon and to pick my friend Kamran Shafi for the dinner, so i did just after sunset.



We left for Badshahi Mosque, the walled city where a dinner was offered in honor of WordPress WordCamp speakers.

It was really nice to meet with Fahad Shakeel for the first time, he didn’t recognize me and I know him since 2012.

The best thing about contributor day was, I learned about WordPress Themes development. And the reason I found, why WordPress Theme Development is a slow procedure and why theme developers are not in good numbers as compared to plug-in developers. I met with Asad Shahbaz and Abdul Wahab, both joined us on contributor day from WP Brigade Team.

A few days before WorldCamp, I was completing an Android Application WordPress Acrobatics in combination of a WordPress Plugin WP Mechanic.

Coincidently, it was the same thing which Fahad Murtaza was going to present on WorldCamp. I missed the chance to present the demo on WordCamp because of shortage of time on that big day. So I’ve just shared it on twitter.

Asad pointed out a few things which I tried to improve immediately because the application was already published. That application was about assigning admin or any role to anonymous developers while you were watching his computer screen through Skype or Google Hangouts or anydesk thing or however you want to monitor. He would be working but you would not assign or provide him any login or password. You would allow him by controlling your website through your smartphone as a remote control, and as soon as your connection was dropped through screen sharing or maybe you are done with your job or he had done his work for you and you think that his job is finished. And you didn’t want him to explore any other menu or pages or any section of your website, which you didn’t want to reveal. Even with the super admin role, so you would simply click one button and that user will be completely deleted from your WordPress. As he was not aware of any username or password so he was anonymously logged. He will be simply logged out even no records left. This application was useful for those guys who had some sensitive information of their clients like if somebody was saving credit card information or any unencrypted passwords or any kind of premium course-ware in their admin panel. And they didn’t want to reveal it to unauthorized persons. I thought, later I will talk about it on some meetup but then I postponed it because I personally love to attend and listen instead of talking about completely technical. Even on WordCamp what I observed, people were enjoying the stories and experiences, mostly non-technical stuff. And even the newbies, the youngsters, I met with, were not interested in technicalities. They were mostly interested in leaving their job starting freelancing or their online business. I gave them a clue about forming up a team instead of starting it alone if they have friends in University or in a software house. Be a team and try to work together. Because whenever we got a project in freelancing, due to time-zone difference or due to other priorities and expectations of a client, you alone, were unable to complete that project on time. It was always good to have your trustworthy friends in your team. This was a hope, just clicked me on contributor day. There was a purely technical gathering but everybody was sharing his knowledge generously. I didn’t see anybody hiding his knowledge from others even everybody was sitting with each-other and showing stuff what and how he had done. In the end, I shared my experience with Abdullah about the benefits I received from contributor day. I told him, I was interested in themes development because I was having almost 7 themes in review queue which are yet pending and not approved. Every time a new reviewer comes in and point-out something different. That’s why I was working on Guava Pattern, a theme development framework in 2015. Theme reviewers took long time for approval as compare to a plugin. A perfect plugin takes just a few hours or maximum 48 hours or maybe within that got approved.

Theme would take at least 7 days to get attention or maybe will take months to get approved. It was not about the theme every-time that theme was not perfect. It was about the scarcity of theme reviewers.

But I really enjoyed when Abdul Wahab started communication with WordPress support team on slack. He was messaging to “Poena” and they were promptly replying him. They assigned him a theme, we started reviewing that theme with him and I realized it was time taking activity. A developer cannot wait that long so I shared my idea of Guava Pattern with Abdul Wahab. My thoughts were, theme development process should be very simple so we could spend time on something creative, something related to clients requirement instead of all procedural stuff and other nitty gritty’s. One of my friend from Hong Kong told me that, Fahad, you are going to be really busy after this WordCamp. Although I was not a celebrity on WordCamp and I was not working for local market, and nobody contacted me for work after this Word Camp. But still don’t know how I really got busy afterwards. This article was supposed to be published in on the very next day but got delayed. Abdullah from PressTigers reminded me again that contributor day article was still pending so I tried to share that awesome experience. I would simply say that if you missed the WordCamp or any other meetup but never miss the contributor day next time. I had never seen such kind of workshop where experts are sitting with you selflessly. They were sharing knowledge with you without hesitation. Collaboration for something good is, when you are sharing your ideas and performing as a team to accomplish something big. Contributor day is a really good opportunity to form up a team, maybe you will find yourself compatible with someone who is having different skillset. You can join each other and you can be the robust combination for a new startup. Another funny memory I wanted to share earlier from December when I got the pictures of WordCamp Islamabad. I saw the same faces there WP Brigade, Abdullah and Farrukh. I got surprised that how was that possible, these guys were looking really energetic in Lahore and why were they looking down in Islamabad Word Camp. They were less in number but energy was missing in the photos. I was thinking, nobody even told me the date and may if I somebody could inform me, I could join them as well in Islamabad too. Later Farrukh told me, that meetup was back in November 2019 but they posted their pictures with a little delay. So it was a funny moment that I was thinking, they didn’t even inform me.
The very first WordPress meetup of 2020 was scheduled and announced on 25th January 2020. But it got delayed and now we will be meeting on 1st February 2020 and obviously after reading this article maybe some guys will agree with me regarding contributor day. As it would be a different tech-day from a normal meetup and tech-talk. Last contributor day was different and useful from a series of workshops I would say, it was a combination of motivational speaking even no motivational speaker was there.

We all developers, designers, SEO guys, polyglots and support team, core contributors, theme and plugin developers were in fact inspirations for each-other. We were super-charged and enough for each-other as a true inspiration.

I would say thank you to organizers especially Abdullah, Farrukh and Uzair.

We cannot forget our legends Kamran Shafi, Fahad Shakeel and of course Kashif. All these guys which we like when they speak and deliver. We wait for their appearance and in the end I’m really sorry to all of you whose name maybe I forgot or I couldn’t mention here. If I met somebody and I couldn’t add that memory here because a few memories were related to dinner and few were related to WordCamp. This article was related to the contributor day so I tried to keep it relevant. I hope on next contributor day we will see more faces. It would be a technical and inspirational experience to join something awesome connecting us around the world.
Thank you

Last updated: January 30, 2020