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Wikimedia Developer Summit 2017 Program committee debrief
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Program committee, let's meet to discuss how all our work went, the end results, lessons learned...

The meeting happened on 2017-02-09

Participants: Halfak, Bryan Davis, Greg, Chase, Quim. CScott was on vacation and could not attend.

A lot of the conversation went about what could have been done better, and how we should do it next time. This brought a discussion about the future of the Summit.

A reorganized collection of topics discussed:

  • The unclear purpose of the Summit continues to be an essential problem; from here the rest of the Program committee work becomes more difficult
    • At some point Tech management, Product, etc. ask "Why are you doing the summit?" If they don't know, that tells a story. E.g. chasing to participate and define topics. It's a lot of energy to do that. We can put that into Tech/Product's hands.
    • Aaron volunteers to make some arguments next time.
    • Essential problem: lack of drive from Technology and Product management
    • In general, the WMF has a difficulty for setting main topics and deadlines before.
  • We built process as needed (this is interpreted as good, but also bad)
    • About decision-making, next time we need to be more organized beforehand. Have a better idea of what needs to be decided, by when, how to make
    • At the beginning many people were invited with different affiliations, backgrounds, gender... however, a lot of that was lost on the way. A succession of coincidences, or did we do something that intrinsically drove away diversity in the Program committee?
  • The platform to organize the call for participation
    • Using phab for everything has its shortcomings.
    • We didn't have a nice portal to do this. Wikimania does it nice. Template, ect
    • IdeaLab is another good example.
    • is a tool for this.
    • We should partner with whoever has already an experience organizing this type of portal / call for proposals.
  • Scheduling sessions was a confusing process
    • There was a lot of confusion
    • Process for choosing which sessions would be scheduled was confusing
    • Some feedback about the pre-scheduled sessions, how they were decided. It might have made some people uncomfortable. A secondary problem?
  • Scholarships and program definitions (speakers, sessions) should be synced well.
    • It has been a recurrent problem.
    • Some volunteers that could have been good speakers for the topics defined were found when the deadline for scholarship requests was passed.
    • About scholarship budget limitations, we could pull scholarship needs from different WMF teams in the annual plan, reflecting that the budget in TC reflects the needs of many WMF teams.
    • Earlier deadlines will lead to scrabbling -- but maybe not more productive in the end. A lot of topics in-the-now. Organizationally, we just don't plan that far ahead.

Other topics mentioned:

  • The core of the conference was well curated and the unconference session filled in more recent stuff
  • 90 minute sessions were shockingly well conceived for our question format
  • Not having live streaming was hard

(Conversation about the future of the Summit)

  • bd808 rambled about 2014 Architecture summit vs 2017 Wikimedia Developer Summit focus at a broad level
  • Quim: audience of event and focus of event help define the time and structure
  • chase: thought this was the technical version of Wikimania
  • Quim: talking with Victoria and Wes to get their expectations

Event Timeline

Meeting scheduled for Feb 9.

Qgil updated the task description. (Show Details)
Qgil updated the task description. (Show Details)

@Rfarrand, all done. Thank you for this idea. It was a very interesting conversation.