Personal Details

  • Name: Stas Sușcov
  • Email: stas@nerd.ro
  • Personal Website: http://stas.nerd.ro/
  • Skype ID or GTalk: suscovs
  • IRC nick: stas
  • Phone number: 40765655963
  • School Name: Babes-Bolyai University – http://cs.ubbcluj.ro/
  • Years completed: 3rd year
  • PHP Experience Level: intermediate
  • WordPress Experience Level: WordPress developer (plugins/themes), BuddyPress developer, bbPress hacker
  • Work Experience: Freelancer
  • Anticipated Graduation: 2012

Project Description

http://wp.me/Papye-4f

Abstract

WordPress doesn’t have an official handbook or a tutorial resources website. Even though the platform is very popular and used by a lot of people, there will always be people who will find hard to read/understand Codex articles and will search for books on topics they couldn’t catch up. So the idea I would like to work on, is a new learning resource for WordPress community, that will offer courses, assignments and basic “certification” for everyone who wants to learn WordPress. Codename: learn.wordpress.org

The idea

Last year GSoC, I wrote a teaching tool based on BuddyPress called Courseware. The initial set of features and most of the feature reviews were coming from Jane. This year, when trying to propose Courseware for another GSoC, we came up with the learn.wordpress.org idea, from what all the sides should win:

  • the WordPress community
  • new WordPress users
  • the Courseware project

So the task would be to use Courseware and build learn.wordpress.org to offer:

  • training courses to help people catch up faster with WordPress
  • tests/quizzes to evaluate users/developers knowledge
  • some basic certification/on-line diploma verification service
  • offer tools for easier documentation/tests submission/import for community

The ideal workflow to achieve, would be:

  1. a user interested in learning WordPress registers
  2. joins a group with a topic he wants to learn (lets say “Publishers”, can be “Developers/Designers/etc…”)
  3. gets/reads the documentation pages
  4. does the tests/quizzes
  5. instantly gets a grade/coverage percentage
  6. later he can download as a diploma/certificate or get a private URL he can link in his resume

Right now Courseware has courses part with assignments and responses, along with a gradebook (bibliography and schedules might be cut off if there’s no need for that). Courses along with responses and other class activity is already integrated into BuddyPress profiles through activities and notifications. To complete the task for learn.wordpress.org, it will require writing a quizzes/tests system and adding a new component for creating class pages with static information.

A more challenging part of this idea would be the content. Initially to fill the “classes” with courses and tests, I can write a Codex pages importer or/and a Markdown file importer, so users can use these tools to fulfill the content requirements. Later, maybe we can place a call to the community book authors to donate some of their writings for the project.

The project will be built using latest BuddyPress and Courseware. All the learn.wordpress.org modifications, will represent a plugin and a theme.
A new, more user+information oriented template will be written. Some social utilities will be cut off.

Received Feedback

The project was not listed on Codex, nor on hackers list. It was discussed on IRC by me and Jane. The feedback was positive, more than that, we’re cooking this idea since last year, because one of the Courseware goals was at some point to see it powering a resource like learn.wordpress.org.

Challenges

If the project is accepted, the chances that Courseware contributors number will get bigger is more likely compared to if we keep it as another plugin in the directory with me the only developer and a couple of users, so I’m very motivated to finish this project in the best way it can only be. Also, not to forget that the final website will serve a lot of users, so problems like scaling will be very appropriate. Not the last, the number of code reviews will be bigger and more in detail, so It will require big commitment from my side not to screw things up!

Schedules

An in details proposed timeline is available here.
The working project version will be done by 12th of July, The rest of the period will be dedicated to improvements, documentation and UI/UX work.

  • May/25 – Improve course pages (internal linking, handbook like organization)
  • May/30 – Tests/Quizzes
  • June/6 – Tests/Quizzes hardening/testing, work on styling
  • June/13 – Write the diploma/certifications part
  • June/20 – Start building learn.wordpress.org, get a working theme, define the layout/UI/UX parts, maybe add revisions to class pages
  • June/27 – Integrate Courseware into it, start building classes
  • July/4 – Test, test, test it! Try a real deployment.
  • July/16 – MIDTERM
  • July/18 – Get the feedback, improve the system, work with UI/UX team
  • August/1 – Finish the content for all the required classes, work with documentation team, write the required content importers

Other commitments: none planned except a short exam period.

Development Experience

For a full resume, please download my CV. I also have a nice github profile 🙂

Why WordPress

WordPress is a project I’m using for long time (some parts of it I love, some of them I hate, but I always get back to it). I’m making some cash with it and I also do my best to contribute back in any form I find it useful for the community. Being a student, GSoC offers more than a simple chance to do both of the above mentioned, It can sponsor me to bring to life great ideas that WordPress community (and I) might find useful. I have also been a GSoC student last year for WordPress, a summer during which I met great people (my mentors and developers from community) and learned interesting stuff that just made me a better developer. All this, just because WordPress exists, for what I have to thank you guys.

After this GSoC nothing will change much, me only will become a more dedicated WordPress developer, with even more contributions and a bigger commitment to the code I will maintain.

Thank you in advance for reviewing my application.

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