Technical Decision Forum

The Technical Forum serves as a body to connect teams to stakeholders with the WMF, affiliates and volunteer community in order to make sound technical decisions.

UpdatesEdit

template

All updates from the Technical Decision Forum can be found on the updates page.

Published Decision RecordsEdit

The final artifact of the process is the decision records and this subpage contains all the decision records that completed the Technical Decision Forum process.

ProceduresEdit

The Technical Decision Making Process guideline describes how a proposal will flow through the Technical Decision Forum.

Please check out the FAQs page for answers to commonly posed questions and sign up for an office hour appointment to meet with us.

Questions or Feedback are always welcome. Contact us at tech-decision-forum-support@wikimedia.org

Forum ChairsEdit

The forum has two co-chairs which lead, facilitate and administer the Forum. One representing the Technology Department and the other representing the Product Department.

Department Chairs
Department Chair
Product Leza Zaman
Technology Corey Floyd

Forum MembersEdit

The Technical Forum is composed of representatives from different Wikimedia Teams, Affiliates, and Volunteer groups. Members can be engineers, Project Managers, Engineering Managers, Technical Writers, Product Managers, etc…. We actively encourage groups to not just select their most knowledgeable people in order to make space for new voices and gaining experience.

The primary responsibilities of Forum Members are:

  1. Review and provide decision documents.
  2. Circulate decision documents information to their teams and act as a point of contact for the Forum to interface with their team.

Note that Forum Members can provide feedback in 2 different ways: Give feedback themselves, Circulate documents within their own team and aggregate feedback, or delegate to other team members to provide feedback. Teams can decide amongst themselves how to best provide feedback.

Wikimedia Foundation Teams
Team Responsibility for representative selection Department Forum representative
Abstract Wikipedia Adam Baso Product James Forrester
Anti-Harassment Aida Ramirez Product Sam Smith (filling in Thalia Chan)
Community Tech Lauren de Lench Product Leon Ziemba
Campaigns - Pilot Lauren de Lench Product TBH
Editing Leza Zaman Product Bartosz Dziewoński
Design Systems Team Leza Zaman Product Roan Kattouw
Growth Max Binder Product Gergo Tisza
Mobile Apps Lani Goto Product TBD
Structured Data Carly Bogen Product Matthias Mullie
Web Lani Goto Product Clare Ming
Content Transformers Subbu Sastry Product Yiannis Giannelos
Language Chelsea Riley TBD Product Niklas Laxstrom (Sub Abijeet Patro)
Inuka Chelsea Riley TBD Product Stephane Bisson
Product Analytics Lauren de Lench Product Jennifer Wang
Product Arlo Breault
Library Aida Ramirez Product Susana Cárdenas Molinar
Analytics Engineering/Data Engineering Mat Nadrofsky Technology Andrew Otto
Platform Engineering Mat Nadrofsky Technology/Platform Engineering Dr. Cindy Cicalese
Architecture Kate Chapman Technology Moriel Schottlender
Performance Dave Pifke Technology Gilles Dubuc
Release Engineering Greg Grossmeier Technology Tyler Cipriani
Quality and Test Engineering Greg Grossmeier Technology Jean-Rene Branaa
Fundraising Tech Dylan Kozlowski Technology Dylan Kozlowski
Machine Learning Chris Albon Technology Chris Albon
Search Platform Carly Bogen Technology Zbyszko Papierski
Security John Bennett Technology Scott Bassett
Research Leila Zia Technology Martin Gerlach
Data Center Operations Faidon Liambotis Technology Chris Danis
Data Persistence Mark Bergsma Technology Manuel Arostegui
Infrastructure Foundations Faidon Liambotis Technology Chris Danis
Observability Faidon Liambotis Technology Cole White
Service Operations Mark Bergsma Technology Giuseppe Lavagetto
Traffic Mark Bergsma Technology
Trust and Safety Tools Aida Ramirez Product Joaquin Oltra Hernandez
Developer Advocacy Birgit Mueller Technology Bryan Davis
Wikimedia Cloud Services Birgit Mueller Technology Bryan Davis
Affiliates
Affiliate Responsibility for representative selection Forum representative
WMDE Technical Wishes Tobi Gritschacher Thiemo Kreuz
WMDE Wikibase Conny Kawohl Conny Kawohl
WMDE Wikidata Kara Payne Kara Payne
Volunteer groups
Volunteer group Responsibility for representative selection Forum representative
TBD

(Areas for representation TBD)

LogisticsEdit

FORUM RESPONSIBILITIES
What the forum does What the forum doesn't do
Empower teams to make decisions that are informed by experts from around the organization Make decisions on behalf of teams or blocks teams from making decisions
Provides feedback to teams on their problem statements and solutions Develops technical designs or solutions
Creates a touch point for stakeholders, subject matter experts and development teams to discuss larger technical decisions Create an alternate process to approve technical decisions outside of existing development processes

Individual responsibilities and time commitmentsEdit

ChairsEdit

2-4 hours per week

Turnaround times: 24 hours for questions, 1 week for document review and feedback

  • Lead Technical Forum meetings
  • Provide advice and council on following the process, using templates, and good decision making practices, within 24 hours
  • Respond to questions from Decision Teams, within 24 hours
  • Escalate decisions to the CPO and CTO as appropriate
  • Run retrospectives and update processes, templates and documentation
  • Schedule meetings and office hours

MembersEdit

0-2 hours per week

Turnaround times: 48 hours for questions, 1 week for document review and feedback

  • Asynchronously review Problem Statements from teams and provide feedback
  • Connect Decision Teams to Subject matter experts (SMEs) on their teams/groups
  • Distribute Decision Records within their team for review
  • Respond to questions from Decision teams - on Slack or email

Selection and rotationEdit

ChairsEdit

Chairs are appointed by the Wikimedia Foundation CTO and CPO respectively and rotated on a quarterly basis.

Wikimedia Foundation TeamsEdit

  • Each team appoints a representative in the Technical Forum and teams can change their representative at any time. 
  • Teams do not need to have their own representative, but instead can share representatives with multiple teams. For example: SRE may decide to have less people represent their teams than the number of the individual teams. As teams change or as we grow, updates will be made accordingly.
  • Teams are expected to plan for coverage during vacations and other types of leave in the forum.

AffiliatesEdit

  • Each affiliate appoints a representative in the Technical Forum and teams can change their representative at any time. 
  • Teams do not need to have a representative, but instead can share representatives. For example SRE may decide to have less people represent their teams than all of the individual teams. As teams change or as we grow, updates will be made accordingly.
  • Affiliates are expected to plan for coverage during vacations and other types of leave in the forum.

Community RepresentationEdit

  • The Technical Decision Forum will include representatives from the Wikimedia community who will review the proposals brought to the forum.