Hi Pine, thank you for your feedback. Some responses inline below: 

> On Apr 3, 2018, at 7:41 AM, Pine W <wiki.p...@gmail.com> wrote:
> 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,

Our aim is to keep the travel costs flat from year to year. For Wikimedia 
Foundation's engineering teams, other events to be taken into account in this 
equation are the Wikimedia Hackathon and separate team offsites. The extended 
AllHands in January 2019 will allow for more team offsites co-located, being 
both types of events Wikimedia Foundation internal. Participation in the 
Hackathon and the Tech Conference (both events open to Wikimedians and third 
parties) is expected to be more balanced. We believe that this combination will 
allow us to participate at the WMF & teams AllHands, the Tech Conference and 
the Hackathon in more focused and consistent ways, getting better results from 
each event.  

> and why remote collaboration options at much lower cost are inadequate for 
> extending the conversations from All Hands?

Remote collaboration is our default way of working. Most if not all engineering 
teams are partially or totally remote, and their day to day communications are 
based on chats, hangouts and asynchronous conversations. We believe that adding 
a few more days around these events for face to face interaction will result in 
much better understanding and decisions around the many complex problems that 
our current plans and our future strategy is demanding us to solve.

> Please ensure that the dates for this conference don't conflict with Wiki 
> Conference North America.

I believe there is overlap of one day between the two events. On the other 
hand, the participation in each of these events has almost no overlap, 
according to the data from past editions.

> 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?

Yes, and we discarded it. We are serious about keeping travel costs flat, and 
this is achieved through decisions like this one. In previous versions, the 
Developer Summit has increased online participation before, during, and after 
the event. This cap of 50 participants is necessary from a budget point of 
view, but it also contributes to tighter collaboration and results assuming 
that these participants represent a critical mass of stakeholders in the 
subjects discussed. We are planning to improve the dynamics and impact of 
online participation open to anyone prior to the event (see Outcome 4 and its 
related outputs in our International Developer Events program 

> Thanks,
> Pine
> ( 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 successful.
> 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 
> details. 
> Best wishes,
> Victoria Coleman
> Chief Technology Officer
> Wikimedia Foundation
> 1 Montgomery Street, Suite 1600
> San Francisco, CA 94104
> +1-650-703-8112
> vcole...@wikimedia.org
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