Chuck Grimmett, who is on Automattic‘s Special Projects team for WordPress.com, “did some data exploration around WordPress core contributors and the companies they work for.” Chuck breaks down the data in detail with several tables on his blog.
Notably, the percentage of sponsored contributors has steadily increased to almost 20% for the 6.0 release. However, Chuck notes, “The data gets less accurate the further I go back in terms of release dates because I can only scrape their current profile, not their previous profiles. Some most likely switched employers.”
Core Contributor Marius Jensen noted in Post Status Slack how complicated it would be to get a totally accurate fix on sponsored contributors. Marius has contributed to all the releases in Chuck’s survey, but Marius was not with his current employer for that entire period. As well, some contributors may have been sponsored in the past but are no longer sponsored — or vice versa. Others’ sponsors may have changed.
Chuck’s research was inspired by a good question from David Bisset:
I’ve been an admirer of Chuck’s blog for a while — especially his use of Webmentions. We should all use them.