Submissions/Transparency and collaboration in Wikimedia engineering

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This is an accepted submission for Wikimania 2013.

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Submission no. 
5042
Subject no. 
T1
Title of the submission
Transparency and collaboration in Wikimedia engineering
Type of submission
panel
Author of the submission
Sumana Harihareswara, Guillaume Paumier, Quim Gil, Andre Klapper
Country of origin
USA, France, Spain, and Germany, respectively
Affiliation
Wikimedia Foundation
E-mail address
sumanah@wikimedia.org
Username
Sharihareswara (WMF)
Personal homepage or blog
harihareswara.net
Abstract
The Wikimedia Foundation's Engineering Community Team works to reach out to Wikimedians to inform you of what's new in tech, and to bring you in to help shape the site. Here's how we want to do better at that, with your help.
Detailed proposal
The Wikimedia Foundation's Engineering Community Team works to reach out to Wikimedians to inform you of what's new in tech, and to bring you in to help shape the site. Here's how we want to do better at that, with your help.

Not all Wikipedia readers are developers, but all developers are Wikipedia readers. Our sites enjoy tremendous popularity, yet our heavy users have no clue that they can contribute their technical skills. In the meantime, mediawiki.org struggles to get any attention. The great majority of our site visitors don't know that we're built on open source software that they can contribute to, and don't read the Wikimedia blog, don't participate on Village Pumps, and don't subscribe to our mailing lists or our social media.

It is the interest of all Wikimedia projects to help channeling their users to our technical efforts. Currently we are better than we were, but we are still kind of stuck in an old editors vs. developers paradigm, where miscommunication and misunderstanding are almost expected.

Free knowledge editors and free software contributors share the same DNA, and there are plenty of activities where they can collaborate. Let's explore what we are doing so far and how can we improve, with an emphasis on what the Engineering Community Team is doing. Examples will include:

  • Wikitech-ambassadors, a cross-wiki mailing list that helps Wikimedians inform users of opportunities and upcoming changes and events.
  • Tight collaboration with English Wikipedia: we are both interested in turning some of those readers in technical contributors who can improve (among other things) the software running English Wikipedia.
  • Work on news and activities with an impact in mainstream tech media, thus raising the awareness among potential contributors at large.
  • Collaboration with established organizations: many active groups out there have an interest in making technical contributions to Wikipedia.
  • Partnership with movement bodies and information channels, such as the Signpost.
  • Helping you shape developers' priorities, with bug triage and product development opportunities.

This presentation follows up last year's presentation by our team in which we discussed the efforts the Wikimedia engineering team has made to facilitate collaboration with volunteers.

Track
Technology and Infrastructure
Length of presentation/talk
25 Minutes
Language of presentation/talk
English
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Yes
Slides or further information (optional)
Special requests


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  1. Multichill (talk) 14:52, 4 May 2013 (UTC)
  2. ChristophZ (talk) 21:27, 9 June 2013 (UTC)
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