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Announcing Developer Office Hours

Howdy everybody! 👋

As I mentioned in my previous post, fostering engagement and connection within our developer community is an important priority for us. We currently hold a monthly developer community chat on Slack where we share engineering updates and field questions about current and upcoming initiatives. The response to these events has been a positive one overall. Now we’d like to build upon that a bit more.

Starting Wednesday, August 12 at 14:00 UTC, we’ll be piloting a three-month program for weekly office hours in the #developers channel of the WooCommerce Community Slack.

What are office hours for?

These office hours are an opportunity for developers to ask questions they need answered or share challenges they need help navigating. This is something that is already happening organically in our Slack channels, which is great! We’re creating dedicated blocks of time to make sure there is someone from our team who can help answer questions and facilitate the conversations around challenges.

How is this different from the monthly community chat?

Our monthly community chats have proven to be a great tool for sharing news and stimulating bidirectional communication between WooCommerce and our external community of developers. Office hours are a more informal setting where developers drive the focus of the conversation. The goal is to make sure that communication flows not only between WooCommerce and external developers, but also between everyone in our community.

Why a pilot program?

It’s important to us to be transparent with developers and to do what we say we’re going to do. With that in mind, we’re running office hours as a three-month trial program because we want to find the most impactful ways to support the developer community. If there is something that will work better, we want to make that pivot without pulling the rug out from under anyone. At the end of the three-month trial, we’ll evaluate things and make a decision about whether to keep the program going or adjust our efforts to better support developers.

Will there be more than one time slot available to accommodate multiple timezones?

We’re starting with one 60-minute time slot per week that begins at 14:00 UTC each Wednesday. If office hours prove to have a positive impact for developers, we can schedule additional time slots to accommodate more timezones. For developers who aren’t able to be at their keyboards during office hours, you can send questions ahead of time; we’ll try to address what we can during office hours, and you can catch up asynchronously. And you’re always welcome to ping me (@Allen Smith) directly with questions when it’s convenient for you. The office hours are just a dedicated block of time for developers to virtually congregate.

I’m looking forward to chatting with everyone. Bring your questions and challenges, and we’ll see what kinds of answers and solutions we can come up with together.

By Allen Smith

I'm a dad who loves telling stories, connecting people, and making the world a better place.

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