Outreach Program for Women Application
Name: Mariya Miteva
E-mail address: mariya.mitevagmail.com
IRC Nick: mitevam
Web Page / Blog / Microblog: http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/User:Mitevam
Location: I am in New York City until the end of the school semester on Dec 22 and will go home to Sofia, Bulgaria, for the year after that, which includes the internship period.
Education completed or in progress (i.e., university, major/concentration, degree level, and graduation year):
New York University, MS in Information Systems, I was supposed to graduate May 2013 but am taking an year off so May 2014
Washington and Lee University, BA in Computer Science, Economics, Minor in Latin American and Caribbean Studies, May 2009
study abroad programs at: John Cabot University in Rome, Italy; Universidad de Guanajuato in Guanajuato, Mexico; Universidad del Pacifico in Lima, Peru; and Universidad de Belgrano in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
How did you hear about this program?
I received an email from the Women in Computing organization at NYU. Also, several ladies on the [Systers] email list recommended the program.
Please describe your experience with the organization's product as a user and as a contributor (include the information about the contribution you made to the project you are interested in here):
As a user I have used Wikipedia on many occasions to look for information. Also, we actively used wikis as a communication tool in my previous job. I was responsible to post progress updates on what I do on the project wiki. My first exposure to MediaWiki as a contributor was the small contribution required for the application to the program. I am interested in the “Find the Vendors” project with the Wikimedia Foundation. My main job as an intern will be to research vendors and consultants who actively use and benefit from customizing and reselling MediaWiki, to find out what MediaWiki can do for them and to initiate an ongoing conversation and collaboration. For my first contribution I
- familiarized myself with the latest Wikipedia engineeringreport,
- created a MediaWiki user profile page about myself, and
- conducted some initial research on MediaWiki vendors and consultants and posted a list of 5-10 active and healthy ones on my profile page. I used information I was pointed to by my mentor as well as some research on the web and tried to create a diverse list with participants in a variety of countries and fields. I was lucky to be able to read Spanish and Russian as some of the information was not available in English.
Additionally, I met with my mentor Sumana Harihareswara in person and chatted on the MediaWiki IRC channel to learn more about the organization and discuss details of my internship.
Please describe your experience with any other FOSS projects as a user and as a contributor:
I have used a variety of FOSS products like Fedora, Apache, Tomcat, Putty and many more as a user. I generally prefer to use FOSS products when possible since I don't really see them as a compromise in quality in most cases. As a developer I have been more involved with refbase, an open-source online reference database in PHP, which I used when creating a website for a professor in college. I participated actively on the product community forums looking for and suggesting solutions to different problems I had to overcome.
Please describe any relevant projects that you have worked on previously and what knowledge you gained from working on them:
I have no previous experience in marketing and product management, but I believe I have multiple skills which will help me do a good job on the internship and in FOSS in general. My computer science education and software development experience will help my understanding of the product and ease my communication with both developers and consultants. Business classes in strategy and innovation I have recently taken should be handy in product management. Also, I have excellent research, communication, presentation and leadership skills. As I worked for an international company for two years before graduate school, I am used to being part of a multicultural team with geographically dispersed members and communication mostly over email, chat and through wikis.
What project(s) are you interested in (these can be in the same or different organizations)?
I am mostly interested in the “Find the Vendors” project with Wikimedia. I would not mind doing a software development project as well, but I am currently more interested in getting into product management and development, so I prefer to do something related.
Please describe the details and the timeline of the work you plan to accomplish on the project you are most interested in (discuss these first with the mentor of the project):
My mentor and I have agreed that the internship will require an initial 2-3 week learning period after which I will work full-time for at least 3 weeks on the tasks on the “Find the Vendors” project - research vendors and consultants who actively use and benefit from customizing and reselling MediaWiki. The aim is to build support communities and initiate a conversation with users so the MediaWiki team can receive feedback and learn about their needs and at the same time keep them updated on recent releases, upcoming events, etc. Provided that I have sufficient time I might also collaborate with the new release manager, which Wikimedia is about to hire, on the communication of recent updates to vendors.
My mentor and I don’t expect the “Find the Vendors” project to take the full time of the internship. After I have been dedicated to it full-time for three weeks, I will start to work on some product management tasks in parallel. My mentor and I are still in the process of discussing what task would be in the scope of the internship and would make the greatest impact. As of now I am mostly interested in the following project management task on the list of product management tasks as it seems most relevant to the rest of my internship work and will require the shortest learning period allowing me to do more.
- Data dumps. Wikimedia offers many ways to download Wikimedia data at dumps.wikimedia.org. Your help would improve tools related to import, or conversion to SQL for import, to make it easier for others to use these data sets.
During the final days of the internship I will double-check that all the work I have posted is well organized and easy to follow. I will bring it up to the attention of interested parties and ask them if they need any further information or clarification to make use of it. Finally, I will research specific pages on which I might need to post to make my work easy to find to anyone who needs it and will send a detailed summary of what I did to my mentor.
Will you have any other time commitments, such as school work, another job, planned vacation, etc., between January 2 and April 2?
I am expecting my first child due March 30, so I might have some doctors appointments I need to be at but I don’t expect it to require a lot of time. I will try to put in more work in the beginning of the internship in case I get busier towards the end of my pregnancy. I have informed my mentor about the circumstance from the moment I initiated the conversation about the internship.