Today marks my 1 year anniversary with the WMF. What a ride it's been!

A little clarification, or a timeline if you will.

Work on Interactive was led by very energetic and talented technical folks
for a good chunk of time with out a lot structure around the work. Then,
about a quarter ago, the team tried to start with more planning - a
roadmap, team roles, checklists for deployment - the usual stuff. It didn't
go well. The structure was too burdensome for some team members and lacking
for others. It caused a bit of stress to all members of the team, myself
included. But, to be good stewards of our resources we need some structure.

Lacking that structure it was decided to put a pause on things, rethink the
approach, and figure out how this all fits into planning and strategy for
the comping months/years. In the middle of this was the holiday, dev summit
and WMF all-hands (a solid week away from the office for the WMF), then
Yuri's departure, and Katie's scheduled (and deserved) vacation. Looking
back at it, a mess of bad timing.

So, Dan posted the message on discovery-l. I can't speak for him, but my
interpretation was, "Hey, just a head's up. We're going to pause things
while we work some stuff out and we'll let you know more in the future". An
honest attempt to do what so many of us ask for - quick communication in
the open. Personal note, I really didn't expect so many people would
care/notice! I'm happy to see that I was wrong.

It's hard to talk about these things. It's a sign of vulnerability to do so
and this information puts you at risk for criticism and embarrassment
(deserved or otherwise!). We're professionals, we never make mistakes,
right? Nope. We do, and it's hard to talk about. It's also hard with
professional and legal reasons when talking about individual staff. Heck,
even writing this reply I'm worried I'm going to say something wrong. :)

Now a few of the folks in Discovery are coming up with a plan, to be
discussed with our director upon their return from vacation. I personally
believe it would be wrong to make a decision without their involvement. I,
like many of you, personally hope we figure out a good way to keep the work
the interactive team has done moving forward. Once we have a plan, we'll
let you all know.

At this point I feel like I'm repeating what others have already said. :) I
don't expect this will put all minds at ease, but I too ask for your
patience and assume good faith.

I’ve always respected Derk-Jan's perspective and thoughts in the community.
I appreciate his concerns and I hope he continues bring them forth.


Yours,
Chris Koerner
Community Liaison - Discovery
Wikimedia Foundation
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