Wikimedia Developer Summit/2017/Call for participation


The call for participation of the Wikimedia Developer Summit has two objectives:

  • Pre-schedule the most appropriate sessions related to the main topics, based on the quality and interest of the proposals.
  • Gather interest around other activities hosted in the Unconference.

If you have an interesting activity in mind, you are encouraged to propose it soon, gather interest around it inviting others to join, and update it often. The idea is to have a good conversation moving forward well beyond the Summit, allowing you to focus on the key discussions during the event. Your proposal might live after the event and until the problem you raised is solved, with further discussions and action points.

Propose an activity[edit]

By 2016-10-31, all proposals must have been submitted as public tasks following a common template in Wikimedia Phabricator. You will need a Phabricator account, which you can obtain simply by using your Wikimedia account. If needed, check Phabricator/Help.

Fill the form[edit]

Note: You can also reuse an existing Phabricator task. Just apply the template and associate the task with the #wikidev17 milestone.

  • Title: The catchy title that will appear verbatim in the schedule. No need to add context expressions like "Wikimedia Developer Summit session"
  • Assigned to: All sessions need an owner. If that person is you or someone you have agreed the ownership with, add the corresponding Phabricator username. Otherwise you can propose an activity and leave this field empty for now.
  • Tags: "Wikimedia-Developer-Summit (2017)" is automatically added. You should add other project(s) related with the topic of your proposal. Adding projects helps the people following those projects to know about your proposal. Again, avoid the risk of abusing this feature. If some project is missing, chances are that others will add it.
  • Subscribers: You can add here all the users you believe that should be aware of this proposal. Be respectful and avoid the risk of spamming people. In case of doubt, reach to the people you have in mind through other channels, inviting them to subscribe to this task themselves.


You will get a pre-filled template to help you structure your proposal:

  • Type of activity:
    • "Pre-scheduled session" (related to a main topic)
    • "Unconference session" (about anything)
    • "Social activity"
  • Main topic: Optional, only if your proposal is related to one of the main topics at Wikimedia Developer Summit/2017/Program.
  • The problem: A problem statement explaining why this is important and why it is appropriate for this event. Background information about previous discussions and attempts to solve this problems are crucial.
  • Expected outcome: What would be the ideal result after the Summit, the goal that anybody interested in this proposal should help pursuing.
  • Current status of the discussion: Explain where the discussion is at the moment of submitting the proposal. This field is expected to be updated as the discussion continues online before the event. When the event is finished, the conclusions should be added here.
  • Links: Connect this task to any related resources. If you want the discussion to happen in a place other than the Phabricator task itself, you have to link to the location for discussion prominently.

Promote your activity[edit]

As a submitter of a proposal, you are in a very good position to be the first one promoting it.

  • Invite the people, projects, fora that should be aware of your proposal and who should join the online discussion.
  • Encourage your peers to request an invitation to the event (there is an option to request travel sponsorship).
  • If your proposal is related to one of the main topics or another area emerging spontaneously, consider getting involved in their organization to assure that there is good participation and context around your proposal.

Selection process[edit]

The selection process is maintained by the Program committee. It consists of a sequence of deadlines that act as a funnel. The idea is that solid proposals with active promoters and proven interest are scheduled in advance, helping them to get more attention, bigger rooms, video coverage, and a smaller risk of colliding with similar sessions.

This selection process applies only to those sessions that aim to be pre-scheduled in advance. Unconference sessions are scheduled by their owners on the spot, unconference style.

Submission of new proposals[edit]

  • 2016-10-31: Deadline for submitting a new proposal. Work-in-progress drafts are OK.

Sessions aiming to be pre-scheduled must have been submitted by this date, and be visible at the Wikimedia Developer Summit 2017 board. This gives enough time to their promoters to fine tune their proposals, promote them, and gather interest.

Proposals submitted land in the Blacklog column of the Phabricator board, and begin their selection process. Proposals missing any of these deadlines are not pre-scheduled. Their promoters are still be able to reshape them as Unconference sessions or topics to be discussed online, out of the Summit scope.

Unconference sessions can be proposed at any time, and they can even be created during the event as long as there are rooms available. They are placed under the "Unconference" column in the Phabricator board.

Quality of proposals[edit]

  • 2016-11-14: Deadline for defining a good problem statement, expectations, links to relevant resources, assigned, and associated projects/tags.

Sessions aiming to be pre-scheduled must use the template described above. This helps all Summit participants understanding better what each session is about and how they can get involved. These proposals must have a promoter assigned to the task, and must be associated to other Phabricator projects or tags in addition to the one related to the event.

Proposals meeting these requirements move forward in the Phabricator board. The rest are placed under the "Missing basic information" column.

It is highly recommended that Unconference sessions follow these steps as well. This is likely to help your session receiving more interest beyond the usual suspects. Look at these requirements as a way to make the Summit participation more open to more audiences, on site and remotely.

Proven interest[edit]

  • 2016-11-28: Deadline for consolidating a discussion, regularly summarized in the proposal.

Sessions aiming to be pre-scheduled must prove that the topic has enough interest beyond the individual or small group proposing the session. Also, Summit sessions are intended to be discussions that start well before the event. This way we all can make the best use of our time during the sessions promoting progress, avoiding lengthy intros, basic questions, and repetition of discussions held before. This is why pre-scheduled sessions are supposed to have ongoing discussions (in their Phabricator task or somewhere else identified as the canonical location for the discussion). Also, a summary of the discussion should be kept in the description of the proposal, as background for new people interested in joining remotely or at the event.

Proposals meeting these requirements are placed under the "On track" or "To be pre-scheduled" columns in the Phabricator board. The rest are placed under the "Missing active discussion" column.

It is highly recommended that Unconference sessions follow these steps as well. You also want to make the best of your time during the event, and get as many new people interested as possible.

NOTE: The Program committee is considering the possibility of using Phabricator tokens as a way to register community interest around sessions, as a complement to active discussions. A formal proposal is expected to be posted soon.

Draft schedule[edit]

  • 2016-12-12: The Program committee publishes the draft schedule. All participants registered are requested to sign up for pre-scheduled sessions that they would like to attend, and to report possible conflicts in the schedule.

With all the information available, the Program committee will propose a schedule including all the proposals listed under "To be pre-scheduled". From that point, anyone can suggest improvements to the schedule.

Unconference sessions can only be scheduled at the Summit, following an equal process defined at Unconference.

Final schedule[edit]

  • 2016-12-23: The Program committee publishes the final schedule.

After the round of feedback, the Program committee decides on changes and publishes the final schedule.