Wikimedia Discovery/Meetings/Interactive retrospective 2016-11-17


Previous action itemsEdit

What has happened since the last retroEdit

The last "retro" was 2016-08-31, but the team health check was 2016-10-08 (using as a starting point)

  • Team/vertical/foundation stuff
    • Deb has started integrating slowly into the Discovery Interactive Team as a quasi-Product Manager
    • Erika joined Discovery
    • New CTO
    • Yuri and Julien are attending State of the Map 2016 conference in Brussels
    • Defined KPIs and other interesting maps statistics about how we would like to gather to track and improve maps
    • Note: we had a code deployment freeze this week due to Ops having an offsite. Much of the work completed above will be released next week.
    • Worked on a draft roadmap
  • Community, RFCs, documentation
    • Migrated all map usage from "href" to "service" external data (about 50 pages)
    • Ensure Maps servers can be installed easily (automation + documentation)
    • Added a Request for Comment (RfC) on refactoring Kartotherian to use an established plugin system
    • Started the discussion on the roll out plan/path for Maps
    • Added a Request for Comment (RfC) on <maplink> support for link text vs fullscreen caption text
    • Document how to use maps directly from JavaScript
    • Request for Comment - All map location names should be shown in the user's language
    • Illegal and unheralded removal of MapSourcesHooks::wfgeoLink function hook on dewikivoyage
  • Code, features, fixes
    • There is now "geoshape" and "geoline" types of ExternalData - one is for polygons (e.g. cities, countries), and the other is for lines (roads, rivers). As always, make sure OpenStreetMap has WikidataID attached to be able to use them.
    • Many minor Kartographer bug fixes
    • Implement static kartotherian service with geojson layer
    • Merge Kartographer with commons-on-osm
    • Deprecate <slippymap> provided by MapSources in favor of Kartographer's <mapframe>
    • Implement first phase of map event logging
  • Ops
    • maps-test* hosts running low on space
    • Maps - move traffic to eqiad instead of codfw
    • Configure new maps servers in eqiad
    • reimage maps-test* servers
    • crash of maps2* servers due to resetting of Cassandra on wrong cluster
    • incident: bad tiles generation, fix, cache invalidation and lots of discussions (which should continue)

What has made you mad?Edit

  • map data (varnish(=) caching +
  • Documentation is hard and it's easy to get stuck trying to write
    • I feel your pain! (not that it helps)
    • so do i
  • Documentation and discussions are all over and everywhere - hard to keep track when something new pops up on a new page
  • Lots of discussion around our latest incident on a lot of different channels, but we have not touched the bottom of it yet
    • Much discussion right away, but quieted down after a couple days--seems to indicate a deeper issue within the team
    • testing infrastructure?
    • team positioning / perception by others

What has made you sad?Edit

  • non functional requirements are not getting as much attention as they should +
    • e.g. performance, testing,
    • Not enough shared responsibility across the team?
  • I'm not entirely sure what are the goals of our different meetings (powwow vs phab triage, vs...) **
    • powwow - check who is working on what, if there are any blockers  ( ~~ SoS )
    • phab triage - check what we actually have to do (short term plans)
    • Sharing responsibility for facilitating the meetings helped surface a lack of shared understanding
  • We don't seem to have a shared understanding of how we work (phab boards for example)
  • Too many boards for a very tiny team to keep track of
  • Quite a few discussion about speed / velocity / ... this is still opened and we don't have a clear shared understanding +

What has made you glad?Edit

  • we are finally getting precipitation for the first time in about 2 months - snow in Denver!
  • the weather is good in NC
  • Maps roadmap + link?
  • We are spending some time trying to understand how we work (some minor discussion about how we use our kanban(s), ...) +
  • Contributor help with depreciating <slippymap>. RolandUnger really stepped up to help address templates across Wikivoyage
  • We are getting closer to event logging giving us more in-depth usage picture
  • Tabular & Map data is getting closer to launch
  • Yuri is trying hard to share the presidency of our team
  • Number of pages with maps has increased thanks to Commons  (tens of thousands -> millions)

What didn't fit in one of the other categories?Edit

  • so many "gotchas" in creating simple maps (while trying to create a step-by-step guide)
  • Feedback from Legal
    • They have been busy so it has been difficult to get the information/approval in a timely manner
    • Norms not clear about how much to push other teams
  • Trust within the team needs to improve*****
  • Consolidated but more focused roles**
    • We might discuss creating more focused roles where a person is more concentrated in one product/team instead of being spread (e.g. Deb, Chris, GL, Kevin)
    • Roles within the team in general are not entirely clear (PM is shared, communication is shared)
    • GL: It is really difficult to be assigned to multiple teams (e.g. prioritization), but it's also really good (e.g. cross-team learning)
    • Perhaps long-term rotation (e.g. one month) would be better: less context switching
  • We have a lot of questions about how we work as a team. Should we take 10 minutes to figure out how to move forward on that *****


  • How can we move forward to improve trust and figure out how the team should work?
    • More communication within the team as there are issues--solve problems ourselves instead of bringing in "parents"
    • If there is a problem like the last crash, let's talk about it
    • Should the team get together to try to define roles, meetings, how the team should operate?
    • One idea is a "Team charter": Clear up expectations, build trust, define roles & responsibilities
      • Not just understand what you're supposed to do, but to commit to them. Commit to each other.
      • Not a set of rules, but a set of agreements
      • Quick poll about how people feel: 2 side thumbs
    • What would be the process to develop a charter?
      • Some team-building, trust-building.
      • For people who aren't spending 100% of their time with the team, clarify their time and responsibilities
      • Resolve gaps in expectations and understandings
      • 2-3 hour process; could be timeboxed
    • Need to bridge eng/non-eng divide--it's affecting our [ability to work effectively?]

Action itemsEdit

  • Erika will circulate a plan for team charter