Contributors/FY2016 Retrospectives/Language

AgendaEdit

  • review key events and results over the time period
    • Chronological review
    • Phabricator data analysis
  • identify things that went well and should be preserved
  • identify things that should be changed
  • Vote on the things to figure out which ones are most important
  • Discuss those, including identify followup actions (to be reviewed at the next retro)

EventsEdit

  • Content Translation Milestones
    • Expanded to many more languages and communities
    • Added a new machine translation service
    • Improved starting process with suggestions, and translation-related notifications.
    • AA: Growth from 1k articles per week in Content Translation to 2.5k articles per week.
    • AA: Growth of translation in some small barely-active languages: Somali, Sindhi, Bashkir, and others.
    • AA: Generally good community interaction about new features, like Yandex machine translation, suggestions.
    • New daily statistics collection routine - was helpful at identifying and handling issues.
    • 100k articles ;)
    • Defined next steps (design and research) for campaign support to involve communities more.
    • cxserver migrated to service-runner/node.js update - almost first among other services.
    • Awareness of the project inside the org (at least in terms of keynote appearances, not so in budget)
  • Got Compact Language Links out of beta (at least got started with it in the last part of it)
  • Translate: fixed longs-standing reliability issues with page translation
    • New volunteer Translate +2 person came out of this work (and focus on code review backlog in general)
  • Attending events:
    • Wikimania (two team members)
    • India offsite
    • Allstaff + devsummit
    • Santhosh presented at the International Unicode conference and also at the metrics meeting
  • Ran our first community consultation
  • (Niklas) Moving translatewiki.net to new server and upgrading software
    • Rewrite of repository handling scripts to better support new projects
  • Runa and Santhosh both had family emergencies that made us go slow on the work front for quite a few weeks.
  • The situation with the ED did not have a major impact on everyday work but there was uncertainty for a few days

Went wellEdit

(Legend: [xx] = vote to discuss; xx = original author of point)

  • Work methods and processes
    • 6 [RB, NL, AA, PG, ST, KM] Design and research teams as a core part of the process.
      • Language team is a good customer/user of design and research teams
    • RB: The quarter format worked well to align release goals and sprint work
    • 5 [AA, PG, ST, KM, RB] Focussed on analytics so that major impacts of projects are timely measured
    • RB: [4th quarter] Conscious attention to non-CX projects helped focus on them
    • 3 [NL, ST, RB] Focus on code review and reducing code review backlog and monthly report to highlight volunteer work
  • AA: Daily and weekly statistics routines are helpful.
  • Other departments
    • Good support from Legal in getting third party contracts on Machine translation done.
    • Good support from Services to organize the CX related service aligned with organizational practices.
  • 2 [AA, KM] AA: We are good at collecting feedback from editors who use Content Translation every day.
  • AA: Phabricator releases and boards organization is much better than a year ago, although there's still stuff to improve.
  • Good support from upstream like Apertium and Debian
  • Some of our regular events were held as planned, with no cancellation… e.g. the hangout office hour each quarter
  • Remote collaboration is quite good, including interacting with the community. Having video Hangouts improved the office hours (which used to be very silent in the past when only in IRC).
  • 4 [NL, AA, ST, NL] NL: Must keep translatewiki.net running
  • 3 [AA, ST, KM] PG: At a personal level working with these people is great. Personal interactions are easy and positive.

To be changedEdit

  • Work with other departments
    • 2 [KM, ST] AA: A lot of dependency on Ops team, who are already overloaded. Some feature deployments get delayed for weeks or months because of this.
    • 4 [AA, ST, RB, KM]: Reorg put Language team under Editing while we have projects across other departments and in core. Confusion on prioritising non-Editing related projects under Editing.
  • Staffing
    • AA: No new hires for over a year. Causes slower than desired pace and burnout.
    • RB: We need more Pau
      • PG: The reorg promised a designer per team, that never happened. I try to stretch to support other teams and designers in the department. But there is no clarity on which is the overall level of support for design at the Foundation level.
    • 9 [AA, ST, ST, RB, RB, NL, NL, PG, KM] RB: We need more clarity on resourcing. It is burning us out now and also increasing bus factor blockers.
      • PG: It’s not only that additional resources were cancelled, but also reqs the team had were gone [this happened in FY 2014-15]. Removing resources may give the impression the project is not considered as important as we believe it is.
  • Work methods and processes
    • Jenkins takes more time than actual patch itself.
    • AA: Quarterly review prep and new quarter transition is sometimes slow and late (my bad mostly).
    • 3 [RB, NL, PG] PG: We may have been relaxing/abandoning some good practices gradually: adding last minute tickets to sprint, work requests outside Phabricator, testing automation, etc.
      • RB: Also timeboxing and deadlines need more attention. We have been missing them often. Last minute work submissions seems to be creeping in.
      • NL: It feels every time I am away daily notes get forgotten
    • NL: (Just now changing for better) Lack of SWAT/Code review sessions in European/Indian time
    • 1 [ST]: Multiple communication methods -IRC/Google Hangout/Skype is not helping much adds separation to teams. As a whole rich text communication (screenshots, quote reply) that I am a fan of, not supported well in any of these platforms well.
    • 5 [ST, RB, PG, NL, KM]: More non-US hour based meetings (design/architecture/RFC/organizational) would help us to connect with organization and other departments.
      • NL: I almost always watch recordings/logs later than participating in realtime due to timezones
      • RB: I missed most of the manager and leadership meetings because they were very late in the night
    • 2 [AA, PG] PG: We tend to do some long term planning sessions and finally changing direction. Maybe spending less time on those (in the agile spirit) could be good.
      • General direction and next steps of tool - we have planned too far ahead and the effort wasn’t worth it/got invalidated
    • NL: The current state of some long-standing tasks becomes unclear.

DiscussionEdit

  • 6 [RB, NL, AA, PG, ST, KM] Keep: Design and research teams as a core part of the process.
    • When Pau gets us started on any work, we have a good blueprint, it’s well-resourced, and the developers just have to get started.  Everyone is clear on how to get started.
    • Because of both Pau-ness and because he’s serving in a Design role.
    • Amir: when anyone asks me why I’m doing something, why does a feature look or work a certain why, I have an answer based on reasoning, design, research.
      • Either I know this immediately or I can ask Pau and he knows.
    • Actions: keep Pau, more Pau.
      • Pau split between Language and Collab, mentoring other designers, and trying to cover part of the responsibilities after the Design director role was removed without further explanation.
  • 9 [AA, ST, ST, RB, RB, NL, NL, PG, KM] Change: We need more clarity on resourcing.
    • Know when we can get back to normal hiring practices.
  • 5 [ST, RB, PG, NL, KM]: More non-US hour based meetings
    • Runa: sending feedback to key meetings and getting some changes to times, like trainings that can have multiple sessions.
    • Solutions:
      • early-ish for SF, late-ish for india
      • Rotate the timezone of standing meetings
      • Recording all meetings is helpful
        • This is mostly happening
      • Ways to be heard when attending by recording?
        • For RFCs, comment on Phab ticket later
        • Some of the tools like Q&A Hangout extension could help remote people to add question in advance.
      • Announce meeting contents early enough
  • 4 [NL, AA, ST, NL] NL: Must keep translatewiki.net running
    • NL: I’ve been doing it; not clear how much I’m supposed to be doing it.
      • Need clearer mandate
      • ST: as long as it runs, people take it for granted.  Mostly volunteer effort but not clarity on how foundation can support
      • Shared understanding of expectations and roles, support plan

Next StepsEdit

  • Runa and Amir to attend Editing retro
    • Anyone else?  Santhosh
  • Joel to circulate notes to publish to WMF and to Meta after review
  • Add to agenda for next Retro