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Engaging developer communities for the Wikimedia Hackathon 2016
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We need to start planning the activities of the Wikimedia-Hackathon-2016. These activities will depend on many factors, and one of them is the developer communities that we engage. This is an exercise of offer and demand:

  • Which established communities specializing in technologies relevant to Wikimedia can we potentially / realistically attract?
  • From these approachable communities, on which ones should we focus in order to get actual results at the hackathon and establish longer term relationships after the event?

If we have a good idea of the developer groups we can engage, then we can look for Wikimedia projects / groups that would fit well at the hackathon.

Lessons learned

In 2015 Lyon we did probably our best outreach to local groups, receiving the visit of 10-20 developers, most of them CS students. Different visitors had different levels of integration with ongoing activities, but most of them stuck together in an own project. The end reslt was a coupl of prototypes showcased (very good!) but apparently no continuity of the work at the hackathon, and no conversions to regular Wikimedia contributors. :( In this sense, the longer term local impact of the hackathon in Lyon was probably close to zero, same as in previous editions.

Can we do better in Jerusalem?

Event Timeline

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As I mentioned in our correspondence elsewhere - it might be a good idea to think of projects / challenges before the hackathon and trying to pre-assemble small groups prior to the hackathon to work on it, so they come to the hackathon prepared. I know it's not a bulletproof solution, but from my experience it sometimes helps.

@Alleycat80, this is a good idea that I have been thinking about as well, from another perspective: how to use our hackathons to complete tasks identified by our communities as important. See T119703: Goal: Connect the priorities of the Community Wishlist and other tech priorities with the Wikimedia Hackathon 2016.

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As far as I'm aware, WMIL tried, but we didn't have visible participation of any local developer groups in the hackathon. Resolved... without results.

I think Developer-Advocacy and previous organizers of hackathons should work with WMAT to figure out how to improve in this area in future events. It has been a traditional black spot, and it is time to fix it. Any volunteers for driving this work?