On Mon, Jun 9, 2014 at 9:24 PM, Erik Moeller <e...@wikimedia.org> wrote:

> Hi all,
>
> We've got the first DRAFT (sorry for shouting, but can't hurt to
> emphasize :)) of the annual goals for the engineering/product
> department up on mediawiki.org. We're now mid-point in the process,
> and will finalize through June.
>
> https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Engineering/2014-15_Goals
>
> Note that at this point in the process, teams have flagged
> inter-dependencies, but they've not necessarily been taken into
> account across the board, i.e. team A may say "We depend on X from
> team B" and team B may not have sufficiently accounted for X in its
> goals. :P Identifying common themes, shared dependencies, and
> counteracting silo tendencies is the main focus of the coming weeks.
> We may also add whole new sections for cross-functional efforts not
> currently reflected (e.g. UX standardization). Site performance will
> likely get its own section as well.
>
> My own focus will be on fleshing out the overall narrative, aligning
> around organization-wide objectives, and helping to manage scope.
>
> As far as quantitative targets are concerned, we will aim to set them
> where we have solid baselines and some prior experience to work with
> (a good example is Wikipedia Zero, where we now have lots of data to
> build targets from). Otherwise, though, our goal should be to _obtain_
> metrics that we want to track and build targets from. This, in itself,
> is a goal that needs to be reflected, including expectations e.g. from
> Analytics.
>
> Like last year, these goals won't be set in stone. At least on a
> quarterly basis, we'll update them to reflect what we're learning.
> Some areas (e.g. scary new features like Flow) are more likely to be
> significantly revised than others.
>
> With this in mind: Please leave any comments/questions on the talk
> page (not here). Collectively we're smarter than on our own, so we do
> appreciate honest feedback:
>
> - What are our blind spots? Obvious, really high priority things we're
> not paying sufficient attention to?
>
> - Where are we taking on too much? Which projects/goals make no sense
> to you and require a stronger rationale, if they're to be undertaken at
> all?
>
> - Which projects are a Big Deal from a community perspective, or from
> an architecture perspective, and need to be carefully coordinated?
>
> These are all conversations we'll have in coming weeks, but public
> feedback is very helpful and may trigger conversations that otherwise
> wouldn't happen.
>
> Please also help to carry this conversation into the wikis in coming
> weeks. Again, this won't be the only opportunity to influence, and
> I'll be thinking more about how the quarterly review process can also
> account for community feedback.
>
> Warmly,
>
> Erik
>


Hi Erik,

Can you describe how specific engineering projects are helping to address
the gender gap? Do you typically review user-facing projects with the
gender gap specifically in mind? I notice that while there is a FOSS
outreach program for women, there is nothing specific in the Wikimania
Hackathon materials to suggest that an effort was made to attract women to
this event. There is another hackathon planned for early next year - will
engineering make the gender gap part of the goals of that event?

I also notice that the editor engagement projects don't specifically list
the gender gap or women users. I think that testing new features (such as
communication tools, notifications, teahouse-style innovations and others
that bear specifically on interactions) with female user/focus groups would
greatly improve our understanding of how these tools impact the gender gap.
For example:  If part of the plan for the growth team is to invite
anonymous editors to sign up, why not tailor some of those invitations
specifically to female anonymous editors? Then you could add a measure,
retention of female editors, to that particular growth project. The results
should be instructive.

Likewise, it would be nice to see gender-gap related goals within
VisualEditor and the user experience groups goals, and to see some focus
from the Analytics and Research teams on measuring and understanding the
gap better. Needless to say its a little disappointing that the FOSS
outreach program (which currently has 8 participants) is the only mention
of women in the entire goals document, and the gender gap is never
mentioned.

Nathan
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