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Notes from the TechConf 2019 welcome session (copied from etherpad)


Welcome, logistics,

Was at WCNA. Organizers did a great job, brought in volunteers but also big names like Google, Apple. Talking about problems with the internet we all care about. Good to hear Google say "we're not going to compete on 'integrity'". Want to bring that shared goals and responsibility to this conference.
Moved to design model, and flywheel model, and stabilized metrics. Couldn't have done that without everyone working together.
Without a good mobile editing experience 2/3 of the world could not participate. HHVM to PHP was a big deal. EventBus, SDoC big collaboration between product, tech, WMDE. Trafficfilter, AbuseFilter.
There's a lot that we are already doing together,
But we need to take that next step, and acknowledge that what we've done in the past is great, and Now we have a responsibability and ooporunity to work together. We need to pull in the same direction. This conference sets the stage for doing that. Devleoper productivity - FAWG, front-end architecure, QA - taking folks and moving them into a team, Core platoforms and APIs for iOS.
I don't want to leave the community out of this. The expectations have lagged. We need to update our developer experience to make it easier for new people to join the movement.
How we choose to bring our values into our work, has been really timely with progress in user privacy
We can continue to bring our shared value along with and use them as our base as we move forward.
Thank you, and thank you for having us.

Morning. I'm on week six at the foundation. Immediately sucked into conversations that matter. Drinking from the fire hydrant.
My perspective of where we're at: We've been doing our thing on the tech side, and product doing their thing.
If we're going to take this org in the next 10-15 years we have to work together. We have tons of smart people and a geat community. In many ways I see this conference as an opportunity to lay this framework. I tend to be an incrementalist. With software it's the only way to stay sane. How do we incrementaly get better aroudn questions like developer productivity?
In many ways the end goal for dev productivity, is to unlock others in terms of what they can do. E.g. not building QA systems just for the sake of having them,
Shipping products that your end users care about. The same about devleoper produtiveyt. How can we spend 20% of our time unlocking 80% for other people.
Encourage you to think about how we start to capture the right amount of data to help us understand how to measure impact.
Not a big fan of systems that require hourly timereports, but want to know Week over week, month over month, what we're all working on.. We are all really busy, but I don't know we have the data that supports that statement. So that we can make decisions around what our priorities are. Not beholden to data.
Data is by definition backwards looking.
How do we put in place the right amount of collections around eng productive to get a sense of where we are out to move forward.
It's interesting one of our MTP (medium term plan) goals is "reduce complexity", and one of my first observations when i came is "this is not going to get less complex".
The goal here is how do we make that less burden for ourselves, how do we bring in new people,
How do we isloate what people are doing in certain places,
Can we work more asynchronously, less overhead
I think about this as: we're making a comitment to our community, A committment to your future self. As a developer. These approaches are about moving forward intelligently, incremental gains, devleope plans and action that are solution-focused that allow us to get better. First is establishing a base line.
Some of our goals are very concrete, establishing baselines for dev productivity.
We need to be able to deliver that as an org to make sure know how ot measure that as an investment.
Love to meet you, getting to know the individuals is as important as any CI system we put in place.

Second year of TechConf. Specific commitments, goals,
Last year the theme was Platform Evolution. Here's Will Doran to give an update on that.

Core Platform Team updates:
Platform evolution has grown to include Dev Productiity.
We're approaching it from architecture point of view.
Easier to reason about.
Easier to change.
[Slide - pyramid]
4 main phases:

  • 1. data gathering and undrstnaing scope, stackholder identiication, and collaboration [...]
  • 2. Prepraing for changes - Stable Base. Rest API, clear docs, API for testing, ...
  • 3. larger project - impelemting some of the irst components
  • 4. Culumination of those outputs, general areas - executing on the vision


    • REST framework
    • Parsoid in PHP
    • ...
  1. Developer documentation Portal -- entryway for developers
    • Prototyping the UI
    • Developed content strategy and design
    • ...
  1. Frontend Architecture
    • Publish Frontend Recommendations
    • Began FAWG
    • ...
  1. Integration Testing
    • Evaluated frameworks - chose SuperTest and Mocha - building infrastructure around that - basic integration tests, investigating using for monitoring of existing services
    • ...
  1. Decoupling
    • Mediawiki as a monolith
    • make more modular
    • tracking and analysis for the health of the code base
    • Been doing some work with contractors which has been going well
    • ...
  1. Network Architecture deduplication
    • How our systems work and how we route data through
    • Planning for MW REST Parser cache
    • ...

Point of this work is to be the force multiplier - as an org, affiliates, community - as effective and efficient as possible. the more you can do without roadblock is more you can do for our users.
Making developers lives better
Look ahead, not getting stuck in the past. Acknowledge the past and how we got here, the size of what we are - org, affiliates, community, and How we built something so powerful.
Be nice to what people have built in the past, but understand we're all here to make it better. Really dig into the problems that we have and work through to find some ideas on how we can progress on our problems. We need that so we can move forward for the rest of the year.
New Team at the Foundation - Engineering Productivity [slide with organizational chart, showing teams and their responsibilities]
Make sure that you focus on action items and questions. This conference is helping to drive our plans for the next few years.

Themes overview of the event

  • Local development and onboarding - Josephine Lim
  • Testing - Greg
  • Deploying and hosting - Leszek
  • Standardization decisions - FAWG etc, - Kaldari
  • People and processes - Birgit


Ice-breaker. groups of 2, each person talks for 1min. Various questions.

Logistics: We listened to feedback! Here are things we changed based on previous comments. Please fill out this year's, for next time! Or T238031: WMTC19: Collect lessons as they come

65 Participants, 22 countries, 17% volunteer
Looking to move future events to more Visa frienly locations
~70% men, need more folks from other countries
Room logistics -
Social Events - <-- sign up for groups or to lead your own outing!
Drink vouchers - green for Wednesday, red for thursday
Friday at the Aquarium! - make sure you have your ticket!
Unconference -

  • Wednesday: proposals
  • Thurday morning: voting
  • Thursday lunch: Sched announced


  • expense reports
  • Telegram: https:/
  • office supplies avail.


  • Figure out next steps (post-event) to make your session productive.
  • Take part in the session, work on laptops/phones outside sessions
  • Main facilitators: Aubrey, Brooke, Deb


  • Most sessions have facilitators, note takers, time keepers
  • Meet at 9:30 am each morning
  • will be at the front, ask us if you have questions.
  • We may interrupt you to keep the flow going
  • Driving towards recommendations for nextsteps and action items - UPDATE the relevant phab tickets
  • Reality-checks when narrowing in on next-step recommendations. "Is there anyone in the room that sees a reason that this is not possible?"


  • Nick is lead note taker
  • note takers will need assistance, should be the only folks on their laptops
  • call out identifiers
  • meet at 9:15 each morning
  • Documentation sprint daily at 12:00 in Oak
    • clean up etherpad notes, take pictures of sticky notes and diagrams, upload to phabricator - and more!

Add photos to


  • logistics.
  • Friday will be our next re-group
  • Folks staying Saturday need to use their white ticket to get breakfast at the venue
  • Ask Greg if you need to communicate out.


  • unconference proposals - how will it work?
  • don't edit wiki
    • post-its and dot-voting
  • schedule will be updated Thursday at lunch time with most voted sessions slotted into rooms

Darren Walsh

  • NASA uses MediaWiki to train astronauts
  • building custom extensions and server admin tools
  • As of this morning we have our first edit from space to a wiki! [applause] Christina Cook made the first edit to one of our internal wikis.

Make sure to speak clearly and slowly and it's encouraged to speak up if you can't understand something! Please let facilitators know.

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