Wikimedia Hackathon 2018/Mentoring Program

Welcome to the Wikimedia Hackathon 2018 mentoring program page! Below you will find some details about this year's program as well as information about how to join and and tips on how to succeed!

"Logo for Wikimedia Hackathon"

18 – 20 May 2018 | Barcelona

Program Details edit

In Barcelona, 45 newcomers and 46 mentors indicated during registration that they are planning to take part in this year's program! Not to worry, if you did not register, you are still welcome to join us!

Make sure to join in on hackathon day 1 for sessions on the main hackathon program labeled "SESSION FOR NEWCOMERS" if you don't know where to start.

On the Friday of the hackathon, all participants of the hackathon will come together for the Hackathon Opening Ceremony and afterwards we start the mentoring program. Newcomers can join in for a session that gives an overview of Wikimedia Technology and also gives newcomers a chance to ask questions while mentors meet separately to discuss mentoring best practices and create posters.

Next, mentors and newcomers join together. We will make sure everybody finds a project or something to learn about!

Each morning we will have a space where people who are looking for new projects can come and find some help and inspiration.

We like to create a relaxed atmosphere were newcomers are welcome to switch projects or mentors at any point during the hackathon. If you don't like your project or feel like a different mentor would be more helpful there is no pressure to stay where you are! :)

Your points of contact for the mentoring program: Aaron Halfaker, Rachel Farrand, Srishti Sethi, Chris Koerner, Laia (Amical), Nick Wilson, Benoit Evellin

Follow this link to see email's sent to newcomers and mentors one week before the hackathon

Details for newcomers edit


How to find mentors to team up with? How do I find newcomers who want to learn sometihng?

  • Mentoring Area is in room XXXXXX - everyone welcome!

>> Take these Three Steps to Prepare for the Wikimedia Hackathon << edit

Make sure to show up at the following sessions on Friday! edit

  • SESSION FOR NEWCOMERS: Wikimedia Tech overview
    • 14:00 - 15:00 in room Sessions flaix
    • Join this session if you would like a quick overview on the Wikimedia Technology including quick introductions to many different areas!
  • SESSION FOR NEWCOMERS: Mentors and Mentees matching session
    • 15:00 - 16:00 in room Sessions principals
    • Join this session if you need help finding a project, finding a mentor to talk with you about different ways to get involved, or finding someone to help train you on a specific tool
  • Phabricator introduction + Q&A
    • 17:00 - 18:00 in room Sessions flaix
    • Join this session if you would like an overview of the Wikimedia bug and task tracking tool. You can ask questions and get hands-on help as well.

Look for people with a green band, they are willing to help you any time during the event

Mentors edit

Your Mentors in Barcelona 2018 edit

In the registration for the hackathon, everyone was asked if they wanted to volunteer as a mentor. Everyone who answered positively got an email where details and responsibilities of this year's mentoring program were explained. If you did not sign up to be a mentor or did not get the first email please let us know and we will add you to the program. Everyone is welcome!

Matching Mentors and Newcomers edit

Introduction Session: edit

Mentors and newcomers will match themselves, in person at the first day of the hackathon, after everyone gets to know each other.

Mentoring Program starts with a introductory & poster creating session on Friday 14:00 - 15:00 (just after the opening) in XXXXXXXX.

Newcomers will join from 15:00 - 16:00 to read your posters and get matched with a project or person.

During the hackathon: edit

We will offer optional check-ins each morning where you can join if you can take on another mentee or would like to discuss the program. There is plenty of support available to you throughout the entire hackathon in case your mentee needs additional help, you need a break or you have questions of your own.

Mentors and organizers will help to facilitate the matching process, so that newcomers find projects that match their skills and interests, and that everyone has something to do.

Please be prepared for a certain level of flexibility! We encourage mentors to team up with each other, share ideas, maybe have joined projects.

Newcomers are welcome to switch projects or mentors as they like throughout the event. You can check in with your mentee during the event and see if they are intersted in doing something else for a while.


How to find mentors to team up with? How do I find newcomers who want to learn sometihng?

  • Mentoring Area is in room XXXXXX - everyone welcome!

Point of contact edit

Photo / Avatar Name About me (incl. contact information & comments) During the hackathon, we could work on...
Aaron Halfaker

Halfak & EpochFail

I'm a research scientist who builds stuff and manages a small team at the Wikimedia Foundation. Specifically, I work on building machine learning models to help Wikipedians do their work -- and then run studies to see if they are helpful or not. I can help you with:
  • Finding sciency engineering projects to work on
  • Research and data analysis of wikis and tool usage
  • Setting up a python/flask tool
  • Learning SQL
  • Implementing a tool that uses ORES (our machine prediction service)
  • Getting ORES to make predictions for your wiki
Srishti Sethi I work in the Developer Relations team at the Wikimedia Foundation. I can help you:
Bryan Davis I manage the Cloud Services team at the Wikimedia Foundation. I can help you with:
Chris Koerner I'm a Community Liaison at the Wikimedia Foundation. Ask me anything. I can help you with:
  • Meeting people
  • Learning about Wikimedia history
  • Finding interesting projects at the hackathon (and beyond)
  • Strategies for using the Super Horn to block Blue shells
Tpt I'm a volunteer contributing on Wikisource and Wikidata. I can help you with:
  • Everything around Wikisource (ProofreadPage, ePub export tool...).
  • Tools and bots to contribute to Wikidata and reuse its content
Adam Wight mw:User:Adamw, IRC @awight, #wikimedia-ai

Currently employed by the Wikimedia Foundation Scoring Platform team, where I help maintain our AIs for automatically classifying edits. Six years of drinking the Kool-Aid.

I can help you with:
  • Basic PHP, Python, MediaWiki API usage
  • Finding and connecting with people in your specific interest areas.
  • ORES API usage and overview.
  • Implementing new ORES features.
  • Fundraising technology and CentralNotice (previous hat).
Tony Thomas I contribute code to MediaWiki extensions mostly. I used to be active a lot, but in the recent months a bit slowed down due to academic works etc. I work as a research student working on distributed and peer-to-peer computing (and in free time as a python developer). My contributions to MediaWiki are mostly in PHP. I also work on unit testing, so this is something to meet and talk about! IRC: tonythomas, or 01tonythomas[at] Also on telegram at tonythomas01 I can help you with:
  1. Some python scripts (concurrency, threading etc).
  2. Setting up MediaWiki development environment.
  3. Writing unit tests for MediaWiki extensions.
  4. Maybe if you are interested - the Newsletter extension ?
  5. Thinking of running a hackathon in your place ? Lets talk.
User:Tobias1984 At the moment I am working on a Rust client for Wikidata ( I know my way around many web technologies but not so much about Mediawiki and its extensions. I can help you with:
  1. Wikidata & its APIs & the SPARQL query service
  2. Pywikibot
  3. General web programming
Benoît Evellin / Trizek I'm a Community Liaison at the Wikimedia Foundation. I can help you with:
  • Meeting people
  • Learning about Wikimedia history
  • i18n
  • user documentation
  • explain complicated things to an average audience
Cindy Cicalese (WMF) and Cindy Cicalese (volunteer) I'm the Product Manager for the MediaWiki Platform. I'm also a volunteer MediaWiki extension developer. I can help you with:
  • Meeting people
  • Learning about the many uses of MediaWiki
  • Learning about developing extensions
  • Learning about installing and managing a MediaWiki instance or wiki farm
Neslihan Turan I am from Wikimedia Commons Android Applicationdeveloper team.

Telegram: @NeslihanTuran

IRC: @nes

I can help you with:
  • Getting familiar with Wikimedia Commons Android Application
  • Contributing to the app as developer, designer, tester or user
Pawel Marynowski
Recently I mostly do JavaScript apps reusing Wikidata info via MediaWiki API/SPARQL endpoint (Monumental,, batch uploading tools for photographers and GLAM institutions (Pattypan). I can help you with:
  • JavaScript apps – MediaWiki API connection
  • GitHub fundamentials
  • SPARQL queries
Christoph Jauera (WMDE) I work for WMDE as software developer mainly on the Technical Wishes Project dealing with extensions and core features there.

WMDE-Fisch @ Phab/Gerrit
CFisch_WMDE @ #wmhack connect

I can help you with:
  • creating your developer account
  • getting familiar with working on MediaWiki core or extension code in general
  • contributing code to one of these projects
  • your setup for tests and code style checks
Antonin Delpeuch User:Pintoch I work on Wikidata, OpenRefine, WikiCite and various open access projects such as OAbot.

I am pintoch on the #wmhack IRC channel.

I can help you with:
  • anything about OpenRefine
  • running services on Cloud Services (especially python-based tools)
  • writing Wikidata bots with Wikidata-Toolkit
  • getting started with git and github, setting up continuous integration tools there
John Samuel I work on Wikidata, Wdprop. I can help you with:
  • anything about Wikidata
  • MediaWiki API
User:Physikerwelt I am a researcher at University of Constance and volunteer developer with focus on the Math Extension. You can contact me via:

physikerwelt elsewhere (IRC, phabricator, git, twitter...)

I can help you with:
  • MediaWiki development
  • Node services development
  • general topics regarding configuration and testing
User:CristianCantoro I am a PhD student at the University of Trento (Italy), a former member of the board of Wikimedia Italia and I have written bots for and other tools. You can contact me via Telegram: @CristianCantoro, Twitter: @CristianCantoro, E-mail:cristian.consonni

I'm CristianCantoro also on Phabricator, on GitHub, etc.

I can help you with:
  • Python and Flask application
  • Spark/Hadoop
  • Bash
  • General Linux questions
  Moriel Schottlender


I work in the Collaboration team at the Foundation, dealing with front end interfaces and languages! I can help you with:
  • Front end development
  • OOUI
  • Gadgets / user scripts
  • General Javscript / jQuery / CSS
  Tilman Bayer I work as a data analyst in the Wikimedia Foundation's Audiences department and am also a volunteer editor (User:HaeB). IRC: HaeB, Phabricator: Tbayer I can help you with:
  • Finding publicly available data sources
  • Data analysis, including writing SQL queries
  • One-time data questions that require access to private data (e.g. webrequest logs )
  • Finding people who have expertise about specific topics or who are working in specific areas
  Bartosz Dziewoński (User:Matma Rex) Started out with writing gadgets, then was a MediaWiki volunteer developer, now I work at the WMF on the Editing team (mostly working on VisualEditor and wikitext editors).

"MatmaRex" on IRC

I can help you with:
  • Core MediaWiki
  • VisualEditor
  • Writing gadets, user scripts, etc.

Check here for mentoring tips and guide

Thank you for being a mentor at the Wikimedia Hackathon!

More thoughts on mentoring! edit

For this year’s Hackathon we will be implementing a mentoring program for newcomers to our movement, building on successful model of last year's event, done by our friends from Wikimedia Österreich.


What does it mean to be a mentor? edit

Being a mentor means one of two things:

1) Full time mentor! You will create projects that are newbie-friendly and you will work on them together with the newcomers throughout the weekend. You may not get as much done as you would on your own, but you will contribute an incredible amount of value to the community by sharing your knowledge and helping the movement grow.

Before the hackathon, many of the mentors will come up with newcomer friendly projects, broken into small and large, easy to accomplish tasks. Mentors, like all other participants, can contribute their ideas for sessions, skill share and projects in advance on Phabricator (see: "Contribute to the Program Before the Hackathon" on the Program-page). Additionally, mentors will present their projects in newcomer-friendly language here on this page down below.

2) You will be an available point of contact who is knowledgable about a specific subject that mentors and newcomers can approach when they need help throughout the hackathon. You do not need to commit to mentoring for the entire event and you can work on your own projects.

Before the hackathon you should add your name and subject area(s) to the list below and hackathon organizers will be in touch to help coordinate, understand how you can help and set expectations.

  • Information for all types of mentors
  • Before the hackathon, we will send an email to the mentors with details on the mentoring program, suggestions are very welcome as we will adapt the program together.
  • At the opening ceremony, the mentoring program and the mentoring team (as a group, not personally) will be introduced and greeted with a round of applause.
  • After the opening ceremony, newcomers will have a chance to get to know a little bit about Wikimedia technology in an overview session. During this time mentors and event organizers can meet, talk about the program in person, and get ready to welcome the newcomers to projects.
  • Mentors and newcomers will meet in person and get to know each other, and both mentors as well as newcomers can decide with whom, and on which project they want to work together for the weekend.
  • Mentors will work with newcomers throughout the three days, but they will not be left alone. Whatever you need during the weekend, you can count on the hackathon staff team to help you out as best as we possibly can!

Welcoming newcomers into the movement is our goal... edit

This program will give newcomers the chance to dive into the Wikimedia movement and try out projects that are designed in a way that will give them the chance to hack on something that can be accomplished on that weekend, with the support of experienced Wikimedians as their mentors. While hacking, the newcomers can get to know the Wikimedia movement and see what impact they can have. We would like to create an event which will offer newcomers the opportunity to engage closely with Wikimedia projects. Pre-assigned hacking groups for newcomers will be kept small, with only four to six participants per project. It will be a unique chance for newcomers to get to know some of the coolest projects and coders out there and become part of the Wikimedia community!

... and the mentoring program is just one of many ways to do it. edit

While we are especially thankful for everyone who signed up to be a mentor exclusively, we also need people who do not want to take up this pre-defined role, but instead want to keep the flexibility that makes up such a great part of Wikimedia Hackathons. Everyone can give sessions tailored to newcomers and share their skills in whichever way they choose during the hackathon. (See Wikimedia Hackathon 2018 Program for details on how to do this.) It is very important to us, to provide the space and flexibility for others to help and get involved in a less formalized way.

Resources for Newcomers edit

If you want to dive deeper into the world of MediaWiki, see Hackathons/Participants#Where can I find more information?