One of the conclusions after the Wikimedia Hackathon in Zürich and the Wikimania Hackathon in London last year was: we need focused attention on the newcomers. The ones we got were quite lost, and they integrated or not based on quasi-random circumstances.
From now on we need to actively reach out to newcomers, and to plan for welcoming them and integrate them to the event, with the goal of engaging them and retaining them in our community.
Note that there are different types of newcomers:How are we doing this:
* Junior developers interested in Wikimedia[[ https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Hackathons#Welcoming_newcomers | Welcoming newcomers ]] is now a basic principle of Wikimedia hackathons, or in free software projects with a global impact in general.and we have defined different types of newcomers expected.
* The registration form of the #Wikimedia-Hackathon-2015 (launched) and the #Wikimania-Hackathon-2015 (proposed) includes:
** a checkbox "This is my first Wikimedia Hackathon EU" to identify newcomers
* Not so junior developers interested in an international developer hackathon happening nearby* a single choice question "We plan to welcome new participants with an intro session based on 1:1 or small group chats. Are you in?" with options "I'd welcome a chat with an insider", "I could chat with a newcomer", "No, thanks", and Other.
* Local or international contributors of upstream projects used in the Wikimedia stack.We will schedule a "Welcoming newcomers" session after the opening and before lunchtime on the first day.
* The new [[ https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Hackathons#Pairing_buddies | Buddy system ]], also promoted in the registration form, aims to assure that all newcomers get a regular contact during the event. See the Buddies pages for [[ https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Hackathon_2015/Buddies | Lyon ]] and [[ https://wikimania2015.wikimedia.org/wiki/Hackathon/Buddies | Mexico City ]].
But of course, (T76325)this only works if we do outreach to newcomers.
* We are defining main themes that require training sessions and microtasks for newcomers.
* Tech-curious contributors, not necessarily developers, but experts in some related area (web publishing, open data,* We are planning at least one session focusing on local developers i.e. geolocationin their own language, etc)facilitated by local community members.
* ...* We are reaching out to local developer communities (universities, developer groups), ?and we encourage insiders to invite colleagues from upstream projects and neighbor communities to their first Wikimedia event.