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Submissions/Balancing Code and Community: A Liaison's Life

From Wikimania 2013 • Hong Kong

This is a withdrawn submission for Wikimania 2013.

Submission no.
Subject no.
E2 or T1

Title of the submission
Balancing Code and Community: A Liaison's Life
Type of submission
Author of the submission
Oliver Keyes
Country of origin
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Wikimedia Foundation
E-mail address
w:en:User:Okeyes (WMF)
Personal homepage or blog
For the last 18 months, I've been the Community Liaison for Product Development - the only Liaison in the WMF's Engineering department. My job is to ensure we bring the community into the process of making decisions about our software, and to communicate what we're doing to the editor community. I'd like to talk about what we've done so far, where we're falling down, and what we're doing to solve for that.
Detailed proposal
One of the major focus areas of the Wikimedia Foundation is software engineering - maintaining the code that allows our projects to function, and building new extensions to expand and improve upon what our users can do. Doing this requires deep knowledge of our users' needs and limits, which has traditionally not been a problem; the young Foundation was mostly dedicated towards preserving existing infrastructure, and drawn from the community. With increased professionalisation and growth, along with a shift in Engineering's focus to prioritise editor engagement, we live in a very different world: our efforts tend more towards building software that overlaps with existing, community workflows (such as page patrolling or anti-vandalism work) where each project has their own special way of doing things. The result is that now, more than ever, it is important for us to involve the community in software development. One of the efforts to bridge the gap between the Foundation and the community in that regard was the hiring of a Community Liaison for the Product Development team in November 2011. The Community Liaison is tasked with representing the community in discussions, reaching out to bring other editors into the discussions, and generally providing knowledge of how our projects function.
What I'd like to talk about, really, is several things:
  1. What it's like, as a long-standing editor, being inside the Foundation;
  2. What I've found that works well for bringing the Foundation and the Community better together;
  3. What we're bad at - and how we're hoping to improve, and how you can play a part in making any improvements work.
  • Technology and Infrastructure
Length of presentation/talk
25 minutes
Language of presentation/talk
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Slides or further information (optional)
Special requests
A pony? I'm generally approving of free ponies.

Interested attendees

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  1. Tom Morris
  2. អមីរ ឯ. អហរោណិ 06:47, 12 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Daniel Mietchen (talk) 09:02, 21 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  4. Sharihareswara (WMF) (talk) 00:43, 1 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  5. SarahStierch (talk) 03:06, 3 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  6. Lydia Pintscher (WMDE) (talk) 16:02, 3 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  7. Graham87 (talk) 10:18, 5 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  8. Ocaasi (talk) 21:48, 8 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  9. 04:37, 13 August 2013 (UTC) ;)[reply]