Volunteer coordination and outreach/ECT July 2013 quarterly review

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Agenda for the Engineering Community Team's review of Q2 (March through June 2013). Notes from the meeting are on the talk page.

What we've been doing[edit]

Nurturing volunteers[edit]

  • Mentorship and gardening
    • We got ~20 OPW/GSoC interns (compare to 9 last summer), ~30% of them women or genderqueer (compare to: 0)
    • We're up from 11 to 13 non-WMF maintainers of MediaWiki core; other stats are in flux
    • We've helped in shepherding & discussion around controversial contributors
    • We met with Analytics, Ops, and UX to lay groundwork for volunteer onramp in next year
    • We developed information architecture proposal re new tech contributors, decided to park it temporarily in favor of analytics + concentrating on mentorship efforts in the near future
    • We connected volunteers with grant opportunities (IEG/Participation Support)
  • QA
    • We ramped up training, mentorship, list, events
    • The current trainee is working on automated testing for VE, which is a good way to have an apprentice work on a high-priority project
  • Events
    • We moved from the consistency of "the wheel" to a more opportunistic & flexible approach
    • We co-organized the Amsterdam hackathon: 150 participants, great survey results

Tech communications[edit]

Bugzilla[edit]

  • Andre made incremental code improvements -- in the Bugzilla front page, weekly report email, etc.
  • Andre led social improvements: clarified admin policy, blogs BZ tips, runs office hours, meets with dev teams

Lessons learned[edit]

  • LevelUp was useful for helping people discover what they wanted
    • But without constant metamentorship from ECT, most people disengage because other things are more urgent
    • We'll stick to OPW/GSoC which is clearly under our remit, and leave professional development stuff to contributors & their managers
    • Code review backlog is less urgent than previously (Subversion era backlog blocked release)
  • Volunteer product management/advising
    • LCA is innovating with the Community Liaisons and showing very interesting results
    • It's easier to funnel product management volunteers into community liaising than into feature backlog work
    • ECT (Sumana) has not focused on metamentoring the product management volunteers who do show up, and will start feeding them to Maggie
  • Mentorship programs
    • More gatekeeping and task preparation and more frequent communication lead to better outcomes
    • Running OPW correlates to more women ending up applying for GSoC
  • Lack of awareness
    • Nearly no volunteers know about the grants
    • Key tech contributors don't read parts of the monthly report that affect them

Next[edit]

Key goals for the next quarter:

  • We teach several (6) volunteers how to contribute to and fix automated tests, and they do so regularly, improving our capacity for faster deployments.
  • To improve awareness of Wikimedia's engineering needs, we systematically reach out to FLOSS projects we rely on, and grow Tech Ambassadors membership.

Also in the next several months: Starting community metrics, and lending Guillaume to VE communications for July.

Plus our ongoing activities: summer mentorship, tech communications, bug management, and volunteer outreach & events.

Questions[edit]

We need your help to best serve the movement. Questions in bold are the most important; we need your answers for the coming quarter.

We want to work well with LCA/Community liaisons.

  • Which projects will be getting liaisons after VE push ends? Should ECT pick up the slack on others?
  • Are we duplicating effort at all?
  • Can we ask the liaisons to help us grow tech ambassadors membership by recommending it to likely community members?
    • A - Yes, and they are doing it (lightly) now. I will further emphasize it, however. - Philippe

We want to help increase our deployment frequency.

  • Is automated testing the best way to help?
  • Is targeting very popular gadgets & bots like HotCat, Twinkle, and SineBot a good idea? What about user scripts?

We're identifying which upstream open source projects we ought to be making closer relationships with.

  • What should we prioritize?
  • Is there already an inventory?

We aim to help more Toolserver tools move to Tool Labs (including a doc sprint in late July.)

  • What should the specific goal be for December? Proportion of bots/tools moved to Labs?
  • Are there WMF internal tools that we need to move ASAP?