Wikimedia Developer Summit/2018/Purpose and Results

This document describes the scope and desired outcomes of the summit. It is intended to provide guidance for session organizers and attendees regarding the kinds of questions that could be discussed during a session, and the kinds of answers that could be given. If you have any questions or comments, please discuss on the talk page!

The desired outcome of each DevSummit session is to provide input to Phase 2 of our strategy process. While Phase 1 was about collecting and synthesizing input to determine our direction, Phase 2 is about planning the implementation of the direction. The Dev Summit this year is dedicated to identifying technological priority areas to support the strategic direction.

Guiding Questions edit

The following questions should be answered at the beginning of each session; session experts and facilitators should develop a good idea of what the answer to these questions could be beforehand:

  • How does the session’s topic relate to the broad strategic goals, namely knowledge equity and knowledge as a service?
  • Within the session’s topic, which capabilities (features, services, processes, commitments, products, etc) do we already have that further these goals? Which are planned? Which are or should be considered?

When discussing future capabilities, it should not be the goal here to determine product strategy. Instead, make an educated guess at the future product strategy, state that assumption clearly, and continue working based on that assumption.

The result should be a small set of the most relevant capabilities (priority areas) to assess further.

The following questions should be answered by the session participants by the end of the session, for each of the capabilities identified as relevant at the beginning of the session:

  • What major risks do you see to our ability to provide these capabilities from the technical side, and how can they be mitigated? For existing capabilities, this includes risks to sustaining and scaling it.
  • What technological needs do you see (beyond addressing the risks) for providing the respective capabilities?
  • Which technological opportunities do you see for providing the respective capabilities? Which methods or technologies should we explore?
  • What should we avoid doing with respect to the relevant capabilities?
  • What should we stop doing with respect to the relevant capabilities?
  • What amount of resources should be committed to providing each of the capabilities? Consider horizons of 1 year, 3 years, and 5 years.

The answers to these questions are intended to inform the development of the product strategy by providing information about cost and benefits from a technical perspective. Ideally, these answers also provide information helpful to short and mid-term planning, by identifying risks and opportunities and providing suggestions with respect to what should or should not be done.

Example outcome edit

  • Topic: Future of Languages
  • Current Capabilities: Per-language sites, UI internationalization,, content translation, Extension:Translate, multi-variant sites (Chinese, Serbian)
  • Capabilities to consider: cross-lingual discussions with the help of machine translation.
  • Risk: Wiki Syntax for multi-variant pages is complicated and brittle
  • Need: Investigate improved parsoid support
  • Opportunity: collaborate with DeeL for automated translation.
  • Avoid: we shouldn’t try to build our own translation tech. Remember what happened to KnowledgeEngine.

This is just an example, the outcome for “Future of Languages” may be completely different!