We don't need to run any survey to be sure that:
- Plenty of potential technical contributors are regular users of English Wikipedia.
- The big majority of them are not aware that we have plenty of open source projects and activities welcoming developers as well as other technical contributors.
- The big majority of them don't follow mediawiki.org, the Wikimedia Blog, Village Pumps, our mailing lists or our social media.
- Therefore we are basically not talking to them, even if they visit "us" regularly.
Proposed drivers for a strategy:
- Tight collaboration with English Wikipedia: we are both interested in turning some of those readers in technical contributors improving (among other things) the software running English Wikipedia.
- Work on news and activities with an impact in mainstream tech media: raising the awareness among potential contributors at large.
- Collaboration with established organizations: many active groups out there have an interest in doing technical contributions to Wikipedia.
We are doing a bit of each, but through disconnected activities with more improvisation than common strategy. We are still patching away problems as they come. And we invest a lot of energy in many other activities that always struggle receiving enough attention and attendance.
This is also basically the strategy we are following for engaging editors: en.wiki first, take advantage of any media opportunities to pitch the need for more editors, and programs like GLAM or Education to work directly with organizations.
So what if we would focus our little resources in these three areas until we register a clear trend of growth in new contributors?