How to move forward
- What was this session about?
Birgit presented lessons learnt and best practices on collaborative approaches from WMDE’s software engineering. The main idea of the session was to see how / where these approaches can be transferred to other kind of partnerships, beyond the software engineering.
- What are the next steps to be taken?
A follow-up session is planned for Wikimania 2017.
see the Commons category
- Affiliates with interest in collaborative approaches and partnership building. No technical knowledge required.
- Session Format
- Presentation + discussion
- 60 min
- Collaborative approaches and partnership building are key in software development for the Wikimedia projects. In this session, Birgit will present best practises around the wishlist approach, user-centered workshops and partnerships with users of other language-projects, other Wikimedia teams or external organisations (e.g. in the project Ladies that FOSS). Birgit will distill the lessons learned, so you can also apply them to your own projects in other fields. Participants are invited to share their own experiences with partnership building as well as ideas for future projects in the discussion!
- Desired Outcome
- Participants have an overview of best collaborative practices not only in Software Development, typical obstacles and how to overcome them.
- Next Steps and Milestones
- A follow-up session is planned for Wikimania 2017. Furthermore, we will test new or improved formats in 2017 and share the lessions learned again with the wider movement :-)
- Birgit Müller (WMDE)
You can see here a short summary of Birgit’s presentation, as the slides are pretty self explanatory.
Birgit started by introducing WMDE’s Community Tech team and its work. Birgit presented three areas/projects for collaborative approaches: Technial Wishes, Specific Workshops and the “Ladies that FOSS” event.
Birgit highlighted the experiences made with the “Technical Wishlist” approach and its dual prioritisation method by the community and WMDE.
What are the challenges?
- Mainly people who are usually involved in Meta discussions, but outreach was improved by a central notice.
- Too technical for editors possibly? Offer other formats like workshops where less confident volunteers can learn without feeling that they don’t know enough.
- International communities are involved so you have to work on translation, multilingual announcements, project descriptions that are in the right language.
- Trade off between speed and improving MediaWiki.
- Other teams might also be working on something similar
To get better results and feedback, WMDE’s Community Tech team developed a format of specific workshops. One of the first ones was on the idea of creating a better (advanced) search for Wikipedia. The team created a search mapping, the the follow up created a prototype.
Wishlist + workshop + events + clear contacts + regular feedback.
Multi year approach, 4 years, 3 surveys. Started sharing lessons with other teams and movement later.
Ladies that Foss
Women only hackathon: Collaboration w/Mozilla and other Open Source orgs. Not many women contributing, to MediaWiki/Wikidata so the focus is on female coders. Good feedback, attendees enjoyed the event. Followed up with a meetup in March.
Questions & Answers:
- Q. Any advice for people interacting with wishlists?
- Birgit: Expectation management. Avoid things that are beyond remit and make people aware of other teams/projects. From a user perspective, state what is the problem and the impact that we can have solving it. Explain the problem in detail.
- Q. Have you looked back at the winning proposals to see if there are patterns and volunteers who are regularly submitting winning ideas. Is there any harassment?
- Birgit: We haven’t checked it. Use fairness bot to make sure it’s more random and we don’t just get the same people repeatedly. There’s no harassment in the process, but there’s alienating language with too much tech-talk sometimes.
- Q. In Brazil we organised a hackathon, and people only wanted to focus on PHP. How do you try and get people to do more different languages? Can anyone organise these workshops?
- Birgit: People might bring different languages with them, maybe Python for bots. This approach we developed just for ourselves, but we would have to use international events (to promote them to a wider international community) like Wikimania.
- Q. Are you translating from German to English or German to other languages? It’s hard to use the current translate system for translations from non-English languages to non-English languages.
- Birgit: We work in German but translate into English.
- Q. Deploying an extension in Chinese Wikisource which needs a code review from WMF, footnotes in good English are a challenge. How are you doing this (German to English)?
- Birgit: We use mainly English in the team, so we have an advantage there. But we do need to translate/update meta/other places. But we don’t face the same challenges.
- Q. We’d like to have an all-women hackathon, but we lack the mentors.
- Birgit: I need to provide these by myself.
- Comment: Brazil we have a lot of men that harass girls they mentor. So we all go through tutorials at the same time. Step by step. So no mentoring. Tutorials and Dojos are better.
- Q. How did you select the participants?
- Birgit Started at WikiCon, that was an initial group which was expanded out to more people over Germany to ensure regional representation.