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Wikimedia Hackathon 2019 Mentoring Program
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This year we are adding even more ways for newcomers to find mentorship and projects.
Please look at our flowchart to help you figure out where to go!:

Friday during the opening session you will get an overview of how the event will work, we will also have a short open mic session where anyone at the event can make announcements related to newcomer specific activities. If you know what you want to work on by the end of the opening session you can join a project right away.

If you still don't know what you want to do join us in Computer Room 02 3NP for the morning and we will help direct you.
Agenda for newcomers:

  • 11 - 11:30, Wikimedia Technology Overview - Srishti will give you a quick overview of Wikimedia Technology
  • 11:30 - 12:00, Mentor matching session - we will match people with people (not projects) if you want to learn something specific or would like and experienced helper to guide you through the event you can meet them at this session.
  • 12:00 - 12:30, Project matching session - now we will spend some time matching people with projects. We can match you directly with a project or you and your mentor can decide on a project together.

If you do not have a project to share please stay in Computer Room 02 3NP between 11:00 - 12:30 on Friday with the newcomers. You can help answer questions and will be there when newcomers are ready to match with people.

Mentors with projects and project leaders:
Please join us in room Computer Room 01 3NP at 11 on Friday where you will work with Aaron to create a poster. You will join the newcomers at 11:30 to help us match them to people and projects.

If you have any questions, please ask on this task!
Also see the program for times / locations:,_17_May:_Hackathon_starts

follow our progress here on this etherpad:

If you would like to be involved in further developing this plan we welcome your help, please comment on this task.

General Hackathon day 1 Overview:

All participants attend the hackathon opening which will include a newcomer / mentoring briefing.

Rm 1 - technical overview NEXT mentor matching NEXT nothing
Rm 2 - poster creation NEXT skill share overview NEXT project matching

During the first session: newcomers will join the technical overview session, project leaders will create their posters, and mentors will add themselves to the mentoring page

Changes from previous years

  • Separating mentor matching and project matching
  • Physical skill share board incorporated into newcomer program
  • Shorter "open mic" in opening, see the flow chart for more details
  • We will have a dedicated "helpers" telegram group where folks from the technical help desk ( @debt ) and mentors will all join together to enable quick responses and help for newcomers / mentor related needs.

Event Timeline

Note from our first meeting are here:

  • changes to opening session / ideas from this group

Wikimedia Czech -- Starting off the event with 1.5 hours of (this, this, * 1000), this is only helping the people taking notes. There aren't so many people... We're trying to find a way to have an open mic session, but to have a threshold for who can be speaking at that time. We can still have an etherpad of other types of projects/announcements. The written notes form the opening are valuable. Ideas to bring back to WMCZ:
Guilds: groups of designers, groups of researchers, etc. Setting threasholds for types of announcements during the opening.
How can guilds announce what they are doing.
Newcomer friendly projects - if you meet that threashold .
"I'm looking for a specific type of help" - possibly move this over to the skill share program. Dedicated skill-share moment. People look at the board and mingle.
In parallel to the mentor matching session.
Threshhold and some kind of guidelines - speak on behalf of group and project / one person per project.

A flow chart, "so you want to do x" then do "y" / we can have the new designer from CommRel work on visualizing this :) +1 (talk to CR designer)

Open mic is meant to be for and by volunteers - its hard to say lets forbid specific things.

Plan: We want to have some open mic. Participants should have some ownership over what happens in the opening. But having more than 50% of people in tha audience line up -- almost no one finds all of that time valuable. Want to still have people use the mic, but make the process shorter. Specific, Direct, but maybe not join the poster session.
We should have an open-open mic / we see problems with having a long term open mic. Reduce duration and increase quality.
Project and skill matching sessions - use the flow chart -

Next steps for flowchart

  • TODO: rachel to connect Aaron to the designer
  • loop everyone into the flowchart / design process
    • more involvement and ownership for volunteers around this program / organizing the program
  • Add in steps for review for mentors
  • Sonja / affrican developers group / other people running mentoring programs / women tech storm
  • focus groups / a few newcomers who volunteer to talk with us regularaly, a few mentors who we can talk to regularaly, checking in both before and after the event to see how this is going.
  • Invite people to take on an
  • Create a session - mentoring program and hackathon organization
  • Needs of mentoring program organizers from main event organizers
    • room blocked off for the entire morning for newcomers. Mentors create posters in a different location and come join the mentors.
  • Participant demographics

**Options were:

This is my first wikimedia hackathon!, 
I don't know what I will work on at the hackathon and I would like to be matched with a project or mentor, 
I would like to be paired with an experienced Wikimedian in advance of the hackathon to help introduce me to people and show me around the event
I am not new, I know what I will work on, and/or I do not need any help in this area.
  • 3 want only a mentor
  • 5 only a buddy
  • 29 just say "this is my first wikimedia hackathon"
  • 6 are at their first hackathon and want to be paired with a project and a mentor
  • 9 are at their first hackathon, want a buddy in advance, and want a mentor
  • 17 are at their first hackathon & want a buddy
  • There was also an option to say "this is my first hackathon but I don't need support." Not including those numbers here


  • Want Mentors: 18
  • First Hack: 61
  • Want a Buddy: 31
  • A few more local participants and students are expected

23 volunteer to be a buddy to a newcomer
29 can help match newcomers to projects but can not be a mentor during the whole event
23 can mentor during the entire event
50 can mentor but will also be working on their own projects

The flow chart is being worked on here in case anyone has any comments:

I am starting to also think through the logistics of the skill-share board.
Should it be physical or virtual? Both have pros and cons. If it is both virtual and physical than we will need a way to sync the two up regularly.

Any ideas?

Here is an image from the skill share wall I made in 2017.
A lot of people added skills to it, I am not sure how many people were actually found or consulted based on the skills they added.

The flow chart is being worked on here in case anyone has any comments:

I am starting to also think through the logistics of the skill-share board.
Should it be physical or virtual? Both have pros and cons. If it is both virtual and physical than we will need a way to sync the two up regularly.

Any ideas?

I somehow have the feeling that physical works slightly better. Just from my experience with the "easy volunteer tasks to pick" physical wall we did with the German technical wish list ( although I think we had it also in digital there ). - It would probably be good to have some kind of template so at least people do not forget to add contact information.

It might also be useful to establish "I'm interested post-its" so people can leave their contact information if they're interested and first contact can happen from both sides. ( would work for digital as well )

If there's a dedicated place / room for the physical skill share board it might also be an idea to have a daily "skill share matching time slot" where people offering and people interested can meet in front of the board.

Yes! Agree about it being physical - but maybe we can commit to transferring some from the skills column on the event's phab board.
In the past we have had a template posted to the board.

For now we could possibly have different colored papers meaning different things? For now it should all be hand-written.
In the future after a few events and adjustments we could finalize a working design for the cards and print them in advance of the event.

+1 to keeping the skill-share board physical. In the past, I remember that we've tried to maintain an etherpad as well with a list of folks and the skills they can offer. From what I remember that was mostly an extra effort and not quite helpful.

As you all have discussed above, it would be good to have the board in one place, though we can encourage people to ask for or receive help in Telegram, something that already happens.

What do you all think about "WikiNovice" instead of Newcomer?

What do you all think about "WikiNovice" instead of Newcomer?

I'm not sure. WikiNovice is a bit misleading imo. You might be a "Wiki-uber-crack" but totally new to programming. So you still want to identify as someone how wants/needs help

But we could think of replacing "Newcomer" with "Novice".... hmmm not sure about that ^^'

@WMDE-Fisch makes sense to me, I guess its the same problem that we have with the term "newcomer" - so at least for the technical spaces we should continue to use Newcomer so as not to confuse thing more and keep thinking about this. Any thoughts @srishakatux and @Halfak ?

I'm inspired by how the Teahouse uses "Guest" and "Host" instead of "Newcomer" and "Mentor". I'm not sure if "Guest" fits our context perfectly. Maybe "Seeker" as in a "Help seeker" or a "Project seeker".

@Halfak & @WMDE-Fisch how long do you think the wikimedia technology overview / poster creation session phase should be? Would 30 min be enough? @srishakatux do you need a specific amount of time for that session or have any changes to propose to it this year?

Generally how much time do we estimate for mentor matching @Halfak?

Also, Srishti, can you read over our notes from this weeks meeting and see if you have any comments or questions?

Also! tagging some other folks who have been super involved in previous years mentoring programs. Do any of you have interested in getting involved in final stages of the planning process or have comments on our etherpad notes / general plan? Otherwise hang tight and we will be sending an email to mentors a week or two before the hackathon with a clear overview and request for feedback / change suggestions. @Reedy
@Ragesoss @01tonythomas @Tgr @Mooeypoo @Niharika @Catrope @Florian

Also, do we need an introduction to phabricator session? Or will mentors teach that skillset?
It seems to have been pretty popular in the past / when would be a good time to hold this?

30 minutes for the Wikimedia tech overview session is fine! I think the format can be same like the previous year, maybe in the future, we can consider sharing the talk material in a pdf/video format a couple of weeks ahead of the hackathon and then the in-person session can be all about a Q&A follow-up. I will share more thoughts on this after the Prague hackathon.

I have read the notes from the mentoring sync-up meeting, and everything looks good to me! I have a question and a comment:

  • On the mentoring program page on event's wiki, are we encouraging folks who are going to participate in the mentor or project matching ceremony to add their information?
  • During the mentor-matching ceremony, the icebreaker activity could take place in two parts: the first part involves mentors sharing 1-by-1 what they can help with, and the second part is where organizers help match mentors and attendees and encourage them to have a further discussion in small groups.

Also, do we need an introduction to phabricator session? Or will mentors teach that skillset?
It seems to have been pretty popular in the past / when would be a good time to hold this?

As per T193758#4214118, definitely worth doing it like we did last year on first day sometime in the evening but @Aklapper might have some more thoughts :) But, if we have a sense that local participants might attend from the second day onwards, then it might make sense to conduct this on the second day in the early afternoon right after all the mentoring program sessions.

Also, do we need an introduction to phabricator session? Or will mentors teach that skillset?
It seems to have been pretty popular in the past / when would be a good time to hold this?


I think mentor matching needs at least half an hour. I'd like to have a bit of buffer time, so an hour would be better if we can swing it.

Poster creation can be brief. I think we just want mentors to be able to highlight their skills, so I'd imagine it would take as long as getting on the skill share board would take. I'm not sure if we can bring the skill share board into the mentor matching space or not. But maybe we can get clever with the use of an etherpad or taking photos with a phone and then presenting them on a projector.

Hey @WMDE-Fisch @Halfak @srishakatux @Harej :
I made a few changes.....

  1. please read this task's description and edit it for clarity
  2. please read the Friday morning program and edit for clarity:,_17_May:_Hackathon_starts
  3. I decided it might make sense to simplify things and remove the "skill share overview" session. we can briefly cover this in the opening and I am already having enough trouble clearly verbalizing the plan for Friday morning that this is just adding some complexity. Is this OK?

When do you all arrive? Is is possible for you all to come to NKT (the hackathon venue) on Thursday afternoon so we can talk about this all together in person.

Also - can we really do mentor matching and project matching each in 30 min?

Re. the "skill share overview", I agree @Rfarrand. I'll arrive around 1:30PM on Thursday, but I have meetings with some WMDE folks that afternoon and a remote keynote to give. I might be able to meet up with y'all after 9PM if anyone is still awake. I'm adjusting my sleep schedule in advance, so I expect to be *mostly* awake and competent.

Oh! Forgot to respond to the other concern:

Also - can we really do mentor matching and project matching each in 30 min?

Yes. I think so. My plan for Project Matching is to let people walk around the room and examine posters. There will be no open mic at project matching so I think that will save a ton of time.

In Barcelona, mentor matching was relatively quick once we got through the open-mic poster presentation. I think that given that we're splitting out project matching, this will make mentor matching a lot faster too.