Wikimedia Discovery/Meetings/Analysis retrospective 2016-04-20
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Discovery Analysis Retrospective
Covering whatever has happened related to the team since the last retro (2016-03-16)
- Life without Oliver
- Quarter ended; new quarter started
- Posted J.D.
- Met with recruiters, went through some candidates
- Analyzed A/B test for search team (needs to be re-analyzed)
- First draft of Portal A/B test report done
Review action items from before
- Chris: We should consider publicizing the data access guidelines more widely
- Was mentioned in a weekly status update. (and reading, wikitech-l, and discovery-l) )New action item created below.
- Chris: We should probably create an outward-facing analysis page
- Mikhail: A task was already created to try to answer the portal clickthrough rate discrepancy (https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T130235)
- Kevin: Discuss legal responsiveness w/TPG to see if there are wider org issues
- Did discuss. No clear pattern of non-responsiveness.
- Seems to be high variability
- Done Dan thinks we can consider this resolved.
What went well?
- New backlog Phab board works pretty well, really liking the "Up Next" column
- More detailed zero results rate (now query types rather than two broad categories that are hard to explain) +1
- People frequently asked the difference between fulltext and prefix; it happened in the quarterly review for example.
- Externally referred traffic now broken up into greater detail
- Being able to deploy changes without waiting for CR has actually been kind of really nice???
- Pros and cons of self-merging without review
- Kevin: Code review can a) detect bugs, b) encourage cleaner code, c) spread knowledge in both directions
- Dan thinks we're handling the velocity hit from Oliver's departure pretty well (see related point in "What could've gone better?")
- Assembling quarterly review decks continue to be a total breeze because of our investment in analysis
- Mikhail's involvement in hiring; not only for his technical chops, but also his attention to diversity and reasonableness
- He also ran the JD past other people at the foundation to get more input
What could have gone better?
- We're definitely feeling a velocity hit from Oliver's departure (see related point in "What went well?")
- It's bad that we were incorrectly calculating the zero results rate for so long (how long?) (very long)
- Detected when we noticed some odd trends in the graphs and unexpected effects from search code changes
- Erik and David helped solve it and improve things
- Root cause not exactly clear: Maybe poor communication between teams? Or dirty data (complexity)?
What else should be noted?
- Editing team is now using our task for their analyst candidates; Mikhail will be grading their candidates' submissions
- As expected, many candidates are applying for both positions
- Dan: Publicize the data guidelines more widely