Technical Decision Forum

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The Technical Forum serves as a body to connect teams to stakeholders with the WMF, affiliates and volunteer community in order to make sound technical decisions.

Updates[edit]

template

All updates from the Technical Decision Forum can be found on the updates page.

Published Proposals[edit]

Here are all the decision proposals that have gone through the Technical Decision Forum process.

Procedures[edit]

This is the guideline as how a proposal will flow through the Technical Decision Forum.

FAQs

Questions or Feedback are always welcome. Contact us at tech-decision-forum-support@wikimedia.org

Forum Chairs[edit]

The forum has two co-chairs which lead, facilitate and administer the Forum. One representing the Technology Department and the other representing the Product Department.

Department Chairs
Department Chair
Product Keegan Peterzell
Technology Corey Floyd

Forum Members[edit]

The Technical Forum is composed of representatives from different Wikimedia Teams, Affiliates, and Volunteer groups. Members can be engineers, Project Managers, Engineering Managers, Technical Writers, Product Managers, etc…. We actively encourage groups to not just select their most knowledgeable people in order to make space for new voices and gaining experience.

The primary responsibilities of Forum Members are:

  1. Review and provide decision documents.
  2. Circulate decision documents information to their teams and act as a point of contact for the Forum to interface with their team.

Note that Forum Members can provide feedback in 2 different ways: Give feedback themselves, Circulate documents within their own team and aggregate feedback, or delegate to other team members to provide feedback. Teams can decide amongst themselves how to best provide feedback.

Wikimedia Foundation Teams
Team Accountability for representative selection Department Forum representative
Abstract Wikipedia Adam Baso Product James Forrester
Anti-Harassment Aida Ramirez Product Thalia Chan
Better Use of Data Lani Goto Product Michael Holloway
Community Tech Aida Ramirez Product Dayllan Maza
Editing Max Binder Product Bartosz Dziewoński
Growth Max Binder Product Gergo Tisza
Mobile Apps Lani Goto Product Toni Sevener
Structured Data Carly Bogen Product Matthias Mullie
Web Lani Goto Product Sam Smith
Product Infrastructure Subbu Sastry Product Yiannis Giannelos
Language Chelsea Riley Product Niklas Laxstrom (Sub Abijeet Patro)
Inuka Chelsea Riley Product Stephane Bisson
Product Analytics Lani Goto Product Jennifer Wang
Parsing Subbu Sastry Product Arlo Breault
Library Aida Ramirez Product Susana Cárdenas Molinar
Analytics Engineering/Data Engineering Mat Nadrofsky Technology Andrew Otto
Platform Engineering Mat Nadrofsky Technology Cindy Cicalese
Architecture Kate Chapman Technology Moriel Schottlender
Performance Greg Grossmeier Technology Gilles Dubuc
Release Engineering Greg Grossmeier Technology Tyler Cipriani
Quality and Test Engineering Greg Grossmeier Technology Jean-Rene Branaa
Fundraising Tech Dylan Kozlowski Technology Dylan Kozlowski
Machine Learning Chris Albon Technology Chris Albon
Search Platform Carly Bogen Technology Zbyszko Papierski
Security John Bennett Technology Scott Bassett
Research Leila Zia Technology Martin Gerlach
Data Center Operations Faidon Liambotis Technology Chris Danis
Data Persistence Mark Bergsma Technology Manuel Arostegui
Infrastructure Foundations Faidon Liambotis Technology Chris Danis
Observability Faidon Liambotis Technology Cole White
Service Operations Mark Bergsma Technology Effie Mouzeli
Traffic Mark Bergsma Technology
Developer Advocacy Birgit Mueller Technology Bryan Davis
Wikimedia Cloud Services Birgit Mueller Technology Bryan Davis
Affiliates
Affiliate Accountability for representative selection Forum representative
WMDE Technical Wishes Tobi Gritschacher Tobi Gritschacher
WMDE Wikibase Conny Kawohl Conny Kawohl
WMDE Wikidata Kara Payne Kara Payne
Volunteer groups
Volunteer group Accountability for representative selection Forum representative
TBD

(Areas for representation TBD)

Logistics[edit]

Forum responsibilities[edit]

What the forum does What the forum doesn't do
Empower teams to make decisions that are informed by experts from around the organization Make decisions on behalf of teams or blocks teams from making decisions
Provides feedback to teams on their problem statements and solutions Develops technical designs or solutions
Creates a touch point for stakeholders, subject matter experts and development teams to discuss larger technical decisions Create an alternate process to approve technical decisions outside of existing development processes

Individual responsibilities and time commitments[edit]

Chairs[edit]

2-4 hours per week

Turnaround times: 24 hours for questions, 1 week for document review and feedback

  • Lead Technical Forum meetings
  • Provide advice and council on following the process, using templates, and good decision making practices, within 24 hours
  • Respond to questions from Decision Teams, within 24 hours
  • Escalate decisions to the CPO and CTO as appropriate
  • Run retrospectives and update processes, templates and documentation
  • Schedule meetings and office hours

Members[edit]

0-2 hours per week

Turnaround times: 48 hours for questions, 1 week for document review and feedback

  • Asynchronously review Decision Overview Statements from Decision Teams and provide feedback
  • Ensure Decision RACIs accurately reflect their team's participation in a decision
  • Connect Decision Teams to Subject matter experts (SMEs) on their teams/groups
  • Distribute Decision Records within their team for review
  • Respond to questions from Decision teams - on Slack or email

Selection and rotation[edit]

Chairs[edit]

Chairs are appointed by the Wikimedia Foundation CTO and CPO respectively and rotated on a quarterly basis.

Wikimedia Foundation Teams[edit]

  • Each team appoints a representative in the Technical Forum and teams can change their representative at any time. 
  • Teams do not need to have their own representative, but instead can share representatives with multiple teams. For example: SRE may decide to have less people represent their teams than the number of the individual teams. As teams change or as we grow, updates will be made accordingly.
  • Teams are expected to plan for coverage during vacations and other types of leave in the forum.

Affiliates[edit]

  • Each affiliate appoints a representative in the Technical Forum and teams can change their representative at any time. 
  • Teams do not need to have a representative, but instead can share representatives. For example SRE may decide to have less people represent their teams than all of the individual teams. As teams change or as we grow, updates will be made accordingly.
  • Affiliates are expected to plan for coverage during vacations and other types of leave in the forum.

Volunteer groups[edit]

TBD