Wikimedia Hackathon 2021/How to

"Logo for Wikimedia Hackathon"

On this page, you will find an overview on how to participate and contribute in the hackathon.

First time at a Wikimedia hackathon?[edit]

Wikimedia hackathons are remote or onsite collaborative events where people from the Wikimedia technical community get together to connect, work on projects together, prototype new ideas, and share skills and knowledge with each other in a productive, fun, and supportive environment.

It’s a great place to get to know or re-connect with other technical contributors (developers, data analysts, technical writers, designers, product managers, organizers …), and to learn more about the various technical areas, projects, and options to contribute.

Please feel welcome to join the newcomers Telegram group where you will find people who can help you onboard and connect with others.

See also:

Some technical documentation about popular tools of the ecosystem:


Ideas of things you can do

  • You can submit an open room session until May 19th (see "How to propose a session" section for more info).
  • You can propose a project idea and add your project to the board.
  • You can subscribe to an already created project and hack during the event.
  • You can help running the event, if you are interested please see the Help running the event session below.

How to join a project You can the subscribe to the project that you are interested from Phabricator. All projects can be found at the projects tab of the board.

How to find help for your project You can add your project to the board, try to specify your needs as open as possible and mention about your project in discussions channels.

How to communicate with other people Telegram, IRC and talk pages can be used for communication. Please see discussions page for channels.

Schedule a session[edit]

On top of the informal hacking, we would like to build a light, community powered program, with sessions and discussions about the technical environment in the Wikimedia movement. We will have two different “tracks”, each of them having its own setup:

  • The main track, a livestream of sessions that will be recorded and available in replay, using a fully open source set up. The schedule of the main track is now complete, you cannot submit sessions for the main track anymore.
  • The open hacking rooms: two Jitsi rooms will be available to schedule your sessions. The sessions won't be recorded. This is perfect for informal discussions, Q&As and workshops.

How to propose a session[edit]

  • First of all, please have a look at the schedule to see what already exists, and what are the remaining available slots in the hacking rooms (no space available in the main track)
  • Please create a task on the Phabricator board, using this template, filling in all the required information.
  • Once you get acknowledgement from the coordination team as a comment on your Phabricator task, feel free to add your session directly in the schedule
We are offering several formats and duration. If you would like something else (e.g. a longer slot), feel free to mention it on the Phabricator task, the coordination team will come back to you for scheduling. Presentations and lightning talks can be either live or pre-recorded.
  • Presentation (25min, including Q&A). This format is great if you have a project to present, some lessons learned, or would like the participants to get more information about something.
  • Discussion (55min, including Q&A). If you want to involve more people in a discussion, get feedback on something, feel free to submit a discussion in the open room.
  • Workshop (55min, including Q&A). This interactive format can be organized both in the main track (where you will get feedback from participants in the chat) or in the open room (where people can use their microphone, share their screen, etc.)
  • Lightning talk - 5 mins. If you have a project or tool to present quickly.
All topics are welcome, as long as they are connected to the technical environment of the Wikimedia projects. We are particularly interested in sessions that are useful for newcomers, and connected to the main topics of this year’s hackathon: open source tools for events, documentation and finding co-maintainers.

See also: list of ideas on Etherpad (attention: this is just for brainstorming, if you want your session to be scheduled, you need to add it on Phabricator)



For chatting via text, asking for help, or joining on public conversation, see Discussion venues (Telegram, IRC, etc.)

We also have an online venue! Feel free to have a look at WorkAdventure and join us on the map.

Watching and participating[edit]

If you want to learn and participate in the public sessions, first we recommend you check the Schedule to see what is happening at the current time and if it is of your interest.

Help running the event[edit]

We are looking for people to help us running an awesome and smooth event! If you're interested, here are a few steps to follow:

  • Have a look at the different roles described below, see if there's anything interesting for you, and sign up
  • If you're willing to facilitate the sessions, please sign up directly in the schedule with marking "facilitation: (your username)"
  • Join the Helpers Telegram Group to coordinate with other helpers
  • Mark the Helpers coordination meeting in your calendar: Friday 21st at 16:00 UTC (see in your time zone)
  • If you have any question, feel free to ping @Auregann in the Telegram group

Helpers roles[edit]

Here's an overview of the main helpers roles:

Facilitation during the sessions in the hacking rooms
You are present in one of the Jitsi rooms and make sure that the session runs smoothly. You will for example keep track of the time in the chat, take notes, make sure that the atmosphere stays nice and friendly. For this role, you don't necessarily need to appear on screen or introduce the speakers.

Facilitation on discussion channels and helping newcomers
You're watching the hackathon discussion channels and you're ready to answer questions or support people. Don't worry, you don't need to have all of the answers: most of the time, the answer will consist in indicating the right documentation page or connecting people with the people having specific knowledge or skills. You could also take part in the Q&A for newcomers to help answering questions and finding useful contacts and documentation, or help announcing the upcoming sessions on the discussion channels.
  • Interested in this role? Please sign up below, indicating your general availability.
  • EpicPupper (07:00 PM to 12:30 PM UTC)

Social blend (run social events)
If you have ideas for social events, feel free to suggest them in the program or reach out to the coordination team in the helpers group.

Other roles
FYI, here are the extra roles that are already filled and the people in charge you can contact if something happens.
  • Overview/firefighting: whole coordination team
  • Helpers coordination: Lea Lacroix (WMDE) (@Auregann on Telegram)
  • Director of the main track (Saturday): Joaquin
  • Technical support: Valerio, Nicholas
  • MC/facilitation for the main track (Saturday): Neslihan (10:00-14:00) and Pavithra (14:00-19:00)