Hi Victoria,
I hope that you are OK with discussing this announcement on Wikimedia-l, which 
seems to me to be the most applicable mailing list for my questions.
I have two questions and one comment.

I think that I understand the desires here. However, it is unfortunate that a 
likely side effect of this scheduling is an increase in total costs and time 
spent traveling for those who will attend this conference and WMF All Hands, 
and additional costs from the lengthening of the All Hands conference. Since 
there are so many options for remote collaboration for WMF staff for follow up 
to All Hands discussions, and the additional costs for these combined changes 
sound likely to be in the tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars, I am less 
than enthusiastic about this aspect. Can you explain the cost-benefit analysis 
further, and why remote collaboration options at much lower cost are inadequate 
for extending the conversations from All Hands?
Please ensure that the dates for this conference don't conflict with Wiki 
Conference North America.
The cap of 50 participants, as stated on the MediaWiki page, seems to me to be 
low given the stated goals of the conference. Have you considered a higher cap?
( https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Pine )
-------- Original message --------From: Victoria Coleman 
<vcole...@wikimedia.org> Date: 4/2/18  4:46 PM  (GMT-08:00) To: "Staff (All)" 
<wmf...@lists.wikimedia.org>, MediaWiki announcements and site admin list 
<mediawik...@lists.wikimedia.org> Subject: [MediaWiki-l] Announcing the 
Wikimedia Technical Conference 
Hi everyone. 

This is a time of important change for technology and the Wikimedia movement. 
We are evolving our platform to better support, grow, and prepare the movement 
for the future to realize our strategic goals of Knowledge as a Service and 
Knowledge Equity. 

Our vision is to host a different type of event in 2018 — to make informed 
decisions in the evolution of our platform while building our technical 
community engagement and enhancing our product vision. We want to be able to 
gather and discuss to determine our future direction and that of our shared 
platform; to communicate more broadly our product vision and to build a solid 
and stable base for our volunteer developer community. Future years will have 
have different focuses and themes. 

We also want to learn from our experiences during previous technically oriented 
events to improve our focus, enhance outcomes, and to give ourselves the time 
and space to have informed, substantive, and timely conversations — this all 
starts with the overall theme of the event. 

The January 2018 Developer Summit (in Berkeley, California) event had a broad 
goal to look at ways that technology can support our strategic direction. A 
concrete outcome of those discussions was acknowledging the need to evolve our 
core platform for the road ahead. In light of that outcome, we will hold future 
events with themes that reflect our evolving priorities and opportunities to 
support and enhance the Wikimedia movement with technology. Therefore, our next 
technical event will be focused on Platform Evolution.

We will hold a 4 day conference with topics that pertain to the Platform 
Evolution goals that we want to achieve in the next 3 to 5 years with a shared 
understanding of the product vision around those goals while also enhancing 
technical engagement within the Foundation and embracing and empowering our 
large community of volunteer developers. 

Day 1: Product driven discussions on the how’s and why’s of our shared goals. 
Day 2 & 3: A deep dive into specific technical ideas, concerns, and outcomes 
around the newly formed Platform Evolution cross-departmental program. 
Day 4: An unconference / ‘get stuff done’ format along with sessions on 
building and sustaining our developer community. 

We are also moving the time of year that we’ll hold this new event. The 
previously established timeframe had been in January, typically adjacent to the 
annual Foundation All Hands gathering, to allow for co-location of events. 
However, feedback from both the DevSummit and All Hands participants indicates 
that both events need more time to accomplish their goals. All Hands is a 
once-a-year event that many teams use to come together, face to face, for 
working meetings; as well as the entire Foundation getting together for 
meetings. Going forward, we will decouple the DevSummit from All Hands, to give 
both gatherings the time and space that all attendees need to be productive and 

This first of the event series will take place in Q2 of our fiscal year 
2018-2019, in October 2018, and will be held in Portland, OR, USA. This timing 
was chosen to give us the opportunity to formulate plans, proposals, and 
programs in time for the Foundation annual planning cycle which starts in 
January 2019.

Since we have a new focus and want to expand upon the successes of the 
Developer Summit events from years past — we will now call this gathering of 
like-minded technologists the Wikimedia Technical Conference (WM TechCon). Stay 
tuned for more information on the formation of the program committee and the 
participant’s selection process, as we are making quite a few changes based on 
the feedback collected from previous events. 

Make sure to follow the event’s mediawiki page 
<https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Technical_Conference/2018> for more 

Best wishes,

Victoria Coleman

Chief Technology Officer
Wikimedia Foundation
1 Montgomery Street, Suite 1600
San Francisco, CA 94104



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