[Wikimedia-l] About the concentration of resources in SF (it was: "Communication plans for community engagement"

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[Wikimedia-l] About the concentration of resources in SF (it was: "Communication plans for community engagement"

David Cuenca Tudela
On Wed, Jul 24, 2013 at 9:11 AM, Nathan <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I think your anti-Americanism is misplaced. Let's look at some of the
> key people involved in the VisualEditor project. Erik is German, James
> F is British, Roan Kattouw is Dutch, Timo Tijhof is Dutch. If you were
> to skim the list of the engineering staff, they are extremely diverse,
> with many remote employees throughout Europe and a number of relocated
> Europeans (and others) working in San Francisco. So I think your
> implication that the VE is some element of arrogant American
> imperialism is false, and you should retract it so that others will
> continue to take your feedback seriously.
>

I don't agree with Romaine's view that it is a cultural problem, but it is
true that the WMF management seems to prefer to have all development
concentrated in SF. As you say: "a number of relocated Europeans (and
others) working in San Francisco." This concentration of resources in only
one place is not healthy.

And it has additional problems like finding technical staff at a reasonable
price there and having to relocate people from all over the world, when
some development centers could be open at other locations too, which might
be cheaper:
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Wikimedia_budget#Development_centers_in_other_places_outside_US

Why is this not done? Wikidata is being developed that way, so it is
possible. Is there anything against repeating the experience?

Cheers,
Micru
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] About the concentration of resources in SF (it was: "Communication plans for community engagement"

Dimitar Parvanov Dimitrov
>
>
> And it has additional problems like finding technical staff at a reasonable
> price there and having to relocate people from all over the world, when
> some development centers could be open at other locations too, which might
> be cheaper:
>
> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Wikimedia_budget#Development_centers_in_other_places_outside_US
>
> Why is this not done? Wikidata is being developed that way, so it is
> possible. Is there anything against repeating the experience?
>
>
I am thinking the same thing every time I read that "it is hard to find
programmers in San Francisco for the offered salary" (a recurring statement
over the years). We are a global movement with global projects and global
goals. Secondly, in the IT industry having several locations on a global
scale is more than common. Thridly, in the software engineering field
employees are paid "good" salaries even in poor countries (albeit
comparatively cheaper than in the Silicon Valley). Therefore we wouldn't
have to worry about being accused of abusing underpaid labour.

Dimi
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] About the concentration of resources in SF (it was: "Communication plans for community engagement"

Richard Symonds-3
>
> *We are a global movement with global projects and global goals.*


Indeed we are! But allow me to play devil's advocate here:

   - How would you run HR meetings? Is it feasible to use videoconferencing?
   - What are the additional costs involved with this approach? Are there
   local taxes that would need administrating and paying? Would you need a HR
   team who can handle
   - Does it increase the WMF's liability if they have a permanent staff
   presence in another country (eg., EU data protection laws, or UK libel
   laws)?
   - What are the insurance implications of staff remote-working from (say)
   Ghana or India?
   - If employees from one country are entitled to certain privileges by
   law - eg paid paternity leave, or minimum break times - does that
   automatically get extended to others around the world? If not, will it
   create resentment between people who do the same job in different countries?

I'm not offering an opinion on this either way, but these are important
things to consider if there is going to be a change.

Richard Symonds
Wikimedia UK
0207 065 0992

Wikimedia UK is a Company Limited by Guarantee registered in England and
Wales, Registered No. 6741827. Registered Charity No.1144513. Registered
Office 4th Floor, Development House, 56-64 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4LT.
United Kingdom. Wikimedia UK is the UK chapter of a global Wikimedia
movement. The Wikimedia projects are run by the Wikimedia Foundation (who
operate Wikipedia, amongst other projects).

*Wikimedia UK is an independent non-profit charity with no legal control
over Wikipedia nor responsibility for its contents.*


On 24 July 2013 15:10, Dimitar Parvanov Dimitrov <
[hidden email]> wrote:

> >
> >
> > And it has additional problems like finding technical staff at a
> reasonable
> > price there and having to relocate people from all over the world, when
> > some development centers could be open at other locations too, which
> might
> > be cheaper:
> >
> >
> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Wikimedia_budget#Development_centers_in_other_places_outside_US
> >
> > Why is this not done? Wikidata is being developed that way, so it is
> > possible. Is there anything against repeating the experience?
> >
> >
> I am thinking the same thing every time I read that "it is hard to find
> programmers in San Francisco for the offered salary" (a recurring statement
> over the years). We are a global movement with global projects and global
> goals. Secondly, in the IT industry having several locations on a global
> scale is more than common. Thridly, in the software engineering field
> employees are paid "good" salaries even in poor countries (albeit
> comparatively cheaper than in the Silicon Valley). Therefore we wouldn't
> have to worry about being accused of abusing underpaid labour.
>
> Dimi
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] About the concentration of resources in SF (it was: "Communication plans for community engagement"

Brad Jorsch (Anomie)
(note this reply represents only my personal thoughts, and is in no
way at all anything official)

On Wed, Jul 24, 2013 at 11:44 AM, Richard Symonds
<[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> *We are a global movement with global projects and global goals.*
>
>
> Indeed we are! But allow me to play devil's advocate here:
>
>    - How would you run HR meetings? Is it feasible to use videoconferencing?

I don't know if HR meetings are specially problematic, but WMF has
plenty of meetings using videoconferencing. Although it is a bit
annoying sometimes, it mostly works.

>    - What are the additional costs involved with this approach? Are there
>    local taxes that would need administrating and paying? Would you need a HR
>    team who can handle

Don't forget the costs for office space, supplies, equipment,
utilities, support staff, and so on too. And I can't even guess
whether it might increase or decrease overall travel costs.

>    - Does it increase the WMF's liability if they have a permanent staff
>    presence in another country (eg., EU data protection laws, or UK libel
>    laws)?

Wouldn't surprise me.

>    - What are the insurance implications of staff remote-working from (say)
>    Ghana or India?
>    - If employees from one country are entitled to certain privileges by
>    law - eg paid paternity leave, or minimum break times - does that
>    automatically get extended to others around the world? If not, will it
>    create resentment between people who do the same job in different countries?

I imagine just having to be aware of all the different laws and
requirements in all those different countries and the extra work to
comply with them all would be an issue. Probably a bigger one than
just deciding whether Fooians should also get a benefit that must be
provided to Barrians.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] About the concentration of resources in SF (it was: "Communication plans for community engagement"

Erik Moeller-4
In reply to this post by David Cuenca Tudela
On Wed, Jul 24, 2013 at 6:44 AM, David Cuenca <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I don't agree with Romaine's view that it is a cultural problem, but it is
> true that the WMF management seems to prefer to have all development
> concentrated in SF.

Hardly. About half of WMF's engineering staff is distributed (both
inside and outside the US), and we've encouraged and supported
software engineering efforts by chapters. I'd actually love to see
much more of that happen, and see other chapters build engineering
capacity over time. It's legally challenging for WMF to have office
presence in multiple jurisdictions, but having independent orgs like
Wikimedia chapters build out development teams doesn't suffer from
that challenge.

We're an open source project; being able to decentralize effort is our
strength. The caveat I would add is that you actually need to ensure
that complex projects are resourced sufficiently. Wikidata is a
success in part because it's a well-resourced, well-managed team, and
the partnership in areas where WMF does need to help was carefully
negotiated.

So, which other chapters are up for building out serious software
engineering capacity?

Erik
--
Erik Möller
VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] About the concentration of resources in SF (it was: "Communication plans for community engagement"

Federico Leva (Nemo)
Erik Moeller, 24/07/2013 18:30:

> On Wed, Jul 24, 2013 at 6:44 AM, David Cuenca <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> I don't agree with Romaine's view that it is a cultural problem, but it is
>> true that the WMF management seems to prefer to have all development
>> concentrated in SF.
>
> Hardly. About half of WMF's engineering staff is distributed (both
> inside and outside the US), and we've encouraged and supported
> software engineering efforts by chapters. [...]
>
> So, which other chapters are up for building out serious software
> engineering capacity?
>
> Erik
>

Why should it be chapters?
Anyway, being able to disband the SF office as regards software
development (and perhaps more), and switch to remote work only, would
probably be the single most effective measure for enhancing
communication and cooperation in the movement.

Nemo

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] About the concentration of resources in SF (it was: "Communication plans for community engagement"

David Cuenca Tudela
In reply to this post by Erik Moeller-4
Erik, if the WMF is supposed to be a global organization there is no need
to concentrate all (physical) resources in SF, unless the WMF is acting as
the US chapter, then it could be understood that it has to restrict its
geographic presence. As I see it, for example there is no impedement to
have a WMF Asia in any chosen country of that region with an engineering
department dependent on the WMF.

I would like to hear from the legal team what are the challenges of having
a distributed presence. It is not a new problem, many international
organizations and companies have gone through the process, so there should
be no need to invent new solutions. As you say, there is international
staff already, the only thing missing would be a space to attract even more
talent while keeping the costs down. Not everyone wants to work from home.
Obviuously an external assessment would be necessary to establish what is
the size necessary for that to happen and if the benefits outweight the
costs.

As for chapters building engineering capacity I see it as something
positive, unfortunately only at the reach of the biggest chapters, and with
a very local (contry-level) organizational focus, which doesn't help in
creating an international work environement.

Micru


On Wed, Jul 24, 2013 at 12:30 PM, Erik Moeller <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Wed, Jul 24, 2013 at 6:44 AM, David Cuenca <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > I don't agree with Romaine's view that it is a cultural problem, but it
> is
> > true that the WMF management seems to prefer to have all development
> > concentrated in SF.
>
> Hardly. About half of WMF's engineering staff is distributed (both
> inside and outside the US), and we've encouraged and supported
> software engineering efforts by chapters. I'd actually love to see
> much more of that happen, and see other chapters build engineering
> capacity over time. It's legally challenging for WMF to have office
> presence in multiple jurisdictions, but having independent orgs like
> Wikimedia chapters build out development teams doesn't suffer from
> that challenge.
>
> We're an open source project; being able to decentralize effort is our
> strength. The caveat I would add is that you actually need to ensure
> that complex projects are resourced sufficiently. Wikidata is a
> success in part because it's a well-resourced, well-managed team, and
> the partnership in areas where WMF does need to help was carefully
> negotiated.
>
> So, which other chapters are up for building out serious software
> engineering capacity?
>
> Erik
> --
> Erik Möller
> VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>



--
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] About the concentration of resources in SF (it was: "Communication plans for community engagement"

Nathan Awrich
David, do you have experience managing a fully distributed
organization with offices and staff concentrations spread around the
world? If so, can you outline how you resolved the various challenges
(HR, coordination between teams and managers, effective oversight and
mission management, insurance and liability, language barriers, etc.)
such that you realized a major benefits in proportion with the costs
and headaches?

While the WMF may not have an easy time of hiring developers, I
haven't heard that many engineering slots are going unfilled because
of a complete inability to recruit. So while you are addressing the
challenges associated with your proposed model, could you outline the
specific benefits you think would accrue? Would engineering outcomes
be better with eng and product teams spread out around the world, in
different timezones and speaking different languages? Would the cost
of talent be drastically lower, and allow the WMF to hire many more
engineers and thus significantly increase the pace of development? If
you think these things are true, can you explain why?

If it sounds like I'm shifting the burden of justifying such a move
back to you, I am. It seems more reasonable than expecting WMF
leadership to rebut the proposition before anyone has truly outlined
its value.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] About the concentration of resources in SF (it was: "Communication plans for community engagement"

Steven Walling
In reply to this post by Federico Leva (Nemo)
On Wed, Jul 24, 2013 at 11:37 AM, Federico Leva (Nemo)
<[hidden email]>wrote:

> Anyway, being able to disband the SF office as regards software
> development (and perhaps more), and switch to remote work only, would
> probably be the single most effective measure for enhancing communication
> and cooperation in the movement.


As someone who moved to SF to work here, I could not disagree more. The
amount of time and energy I save being near many of the people I work with
closely in the same space is enormous. Not to mention the fact that many of
us work better together with people we are able to see socially and so on.
I could go on, but the truth is I think no one actually responsible for
making such a decision is crazy enough to get rid of a central office.
(Move the office? Maybe someday if we really are forced to. We've done it
before. But get rid of a central office? No.)
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] About the concentration of resources in SF (it was: "Communication plans for community engagement"

Matthew Roth
In reply to this post by David Cuenca Tudela
On Wed, Jul 24, 2013 at 11:38 AM, David Cuenca <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Erik, if the WMF is supposed to be a global organization there is no need
> to concentrate all (physical) resources in SF, unless the WMF is acting as
> the US chapter, then it could be understood that it has to restrict its
> geographic presence. As I see it, for example there is no impedement to
> have a WMF Asia in any chosen country of that region with an engineering
> department dependent on the WMF.
>
> I would like to hear from the legal team what are the challenges of having
> a distributed presence. It is not a new problem, many international
> organizations and companies have gone through the process, so there should
> be no need to invent new solutions.


I'm not a lawyer, so I won't pretend to speak expertly to the legal
situations, but in my time on the Communications team I've seen several
concrete examples of where it's very valuable to be far from a conflict
physically and situated in the U.S. There's the disputed Kashmir maps in
India issue (Google and other outfits with offices in those countries have
given in to demands<http://www.businessinsider.com/most-controversial-places-on-google-maps-2013-5?op=1>from
local authorities to alter maps in a number of cases). What kind of
pressure would we get for this file if we had offices in India?
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:India_disputed_areas_map.svg

The most recent example was with the DCRI in France. Had we had offices in
France, I'm not sure the outcome would have been the same; I imagine our
leverage would have been compromised.

Of course, there are significant challenges with U.S. laws around
copyright, so it's not a panacea, certainly. But I do think it's a very
complicated issue.



> As you say, there is international
> staff already, the only thing missing would be a space to attract even more
> talent while keeping the costs down. Not everyone wants to work from home.
> Obviuously an external assessment would be necessary to establish what is
> the size necessary for that to happen and if the benefits outweight the
> costs.
>
> As for chapters building engineering capacity I see it as something
> positive, unfortunately only at the reach of the biggest chapters, and with
> a very local (contry-level) organizational focus, which doesn't help in
> creating an international work environement.
>
> Micru
>
>
> On Wed, Jul 24, 2013 at 12:30 PM, Erik Moeller <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > On Wed, Jul 24, 2013 at 6:44 AM, David Cuenca <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > > I don't agree with Romaine's view that it is a cultural problem, but it
> > is
> > > true that the WMF management seems to prefer to have all development
> > > concentrated in SF.
> >
> > Hardly. About half of WMF's engineering staff is distributed (both
> > inside and outside the US), and we've encouraged and supported
> > software engineering efforts by chapters. I'd actually love to see
> > much more of that happen, and see other chapters build engineering
> > capacity over time. It's legally challenging for WMF to have office
> > presence in multiple jurisdictions, but having independent orgs like
> > Wikimedia chapters build out development teams doesn't suffer from
> > that challenge.
> >
> > We're an open source project; being able to decentralize effort is our
> > strength. The caveat I would add is that you actually need to ensure
> > that complex projects are resourced sufficiently. Wikidata is a
> > success in part because it's a well-resourced, well-managed team, and
> > the partnership in areas where WMF does need to help was carefully
> > negotiated.
> >
> > So, which other chapters are up for building out serious software
> > engineering capacity?
> >
> > Erik
> > --
> > Erik Möller
> > VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list
> > [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> >
>
>
>
> --
> Etiamsi omnes, ego non
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
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>



--

Matthew Roth
Global Communications Manager
Wikimedia Foundation
+1.415.839.6885 ext 6635
www.wikimediafoundation.org
*http://blog.wikimedia.org/*
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] About the concentration of resources in SF (it was: "Communication plans for community engagement"

David Cuenca Tudela
In reply to this post by Nathan Awrich
Nathan, you are wrong in shifting to me the burden of proof. The budget
states that there are rising costs associated with the current location.
That doesn't mean that the slots are going unfulfilled, it is always
possible to raise salaries or "import" workers. But is this the best
strategy? Have other strategies been considered?

The 2013-14 plan, page 26, says:
"Nearly half of the Wikimedia Foundation engineering/product team is not
based in the San Francisco Bay Area, so we're operating with
the flexibility to hire people where they are, supporting them in making
the shift to work at the central location if they're willing to do it and
it makes sense for a given position. This gives us increased flexibility in
recruiting and hiring."

Given that situation, would it make sense to look for answers to your
questions? Because what you are asking needs a degree of analysis that only
an external organisation could provide, not only a person, whatever
experience they claim to have.

Micru

On Wed, Jul 24, 2013 at 3:01 PM, Nathan <[hidden email]> wrote:

> David, do you have experience managing a fully distributed
> organization with offices and staff concentrations spread around the
> world? If so, can you outline how you resolved the various challenges
> (HR, coordination between teams and managers, effective oversight and
> mission management, insurance and liability, language barriers, etc.)
> such that you realized a major benefits in proportion with the costs
> and headaches?
>
> While the WMF may not have an easy time of hiring developers, I
> haven't heard that many engineering slots are going unfilled because
> of a complete inability to recruit. So while you are addressing the
> challenges associated with your proposed model, could you outline the
> specific benefits you think would accrue? Would engineering outcomes
> be better with eng and product teams spread out around the world, in
> different timezones and speaking different languages? Would the cost
> of talent be drastically lower, and allow the WMF to hire many more
> engineers and thus significantly increase the pace of development? If
> you think these things are true, can you explain why?
>
> If it sounds like I'm shifting the burden of justifying such a move
> back to you, I am. It seems more reasonable than expecting WMF
> leadership to rebut the proposition before anyone has truly outlined
> its value.
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>



--
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] About the concentration of resources in SF (it was: "Communication plans for community engagement"

Balázs Viczián
In reply to this post by Erik Moeller-4
Is WMF planning to outsource any of its engineering activities in the
future? Or are there enough projects in the queue that makes the effort
reasonable?

Otherwise I believe there is no point for any chapter to build out any
software engineering capacity above their local needs or at all.

Balázs



2013/7/24 Erik Moeller <[hidden email]>

> On Wed, Jul 24, 2013 at 6:44 AM, David Cuenca <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > I don't agree with Romaine's view that it is a cultural problem, but it
> is
> > true that the WMF management seems to prefer to have all development
> > concentrated in SF.
>
> Hardly. About half of WMF's engineering staff is distributed (both
> inside and outside the US), and we've encouraged and supported
> software engineering efforts by chapters. I'd actually love to see
> much more of that happen, and see other chapters build engineering
> capacity over time. It's legally challenging for WMF to have office
> presence in multiple jurisdictions, but having independent orgs like
> Wikimedia chapters build out development teams doesn't suffer from
> that challenge.
>
> We're an open source project; being able to decentralize effort is our
> strength. The caveat I would add is that you actually need to ensure
> that complex projects are resourced sufficiently. Wikidata is a
> success in part because it's a well-resourced, well-managed team, and
> the partnership in areas where WMF does need to help was carefully
> negotiated.
>
> So, which other chapters are up for building out serious software
> engineering capacity?
>
> Erik
> --
> Erik Möller
> VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] About the concentration of resources in SF (it was: "Communication plans for community engagement"

Strainu
2013/7/24 Balázs Viczián <[hidden email]>:
> Is WMF planning to outsource any of its engineering activities in the
> future? Or are there enough projects in the queue that makes the effort
> reasonable?

I'd say this has already happened de facto with Wikidata. And projects
are always a bunch - just not always aligned with the WMF priorities.
Perhaps outsourcing some resources to local developers would help
solve some of the long-opened bugs for projects related to a certain
project.

Strainu

>
> Otherwise I believe there is no point for any chapter to build out any
> software engineering capacity above their local needs or at all.
>
> Balázs
>
>
>
> 2013/7/24 Erik Moeller <[hidden email]>
>
>> On Wed, Jul 24, 2013 at 6:44 AM, David Cuenca <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> > I don't agree with Romaine's view that it is a cultural problem, but it
>> is
>> > true that the WMF management seems to prefer to have all development
>> > concentrated in SF.
>>
>> Hardly. About half of WMF's engineering staff is distributed (both
>> inside and outside the US), and we've encouraged and supported
>> software engineering efforts by chapters. I'd actually love to see
>> much more of that happen, and see other chapters build engineering
>> capacity over time. It's legally challenging for WMF to have office
>> presence in multiple jurisdictions, but having independent orgs like
>> Wikimedia chapters build out development teams doesn't suffer from
>> that challenge.
>>
>> We're an open source project; being able to decentralize effort is our
>> strength. The caveat I would add is that you actually need to ensure
>> that complex projects are resourced sufficiently. Wikidata is a
>> success in part because it's a well-resourced, well-managed team, and
>> the partnership in areas where WMF does need to help was carefully
>> negotiated.
>>
>> So, which other chapters are up for building out serious software
>> engineering capacity?
>>
>> Erik
>> --
>> Erik Möller
>> VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> Wikimedia-l mailing list
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>> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] About the concentration of resources in SF (it was: "Communication plans for community engagement"

rupert THURNER-2
In reply to this post by Balázs Viczián
If WMF is serious about letting development activities grow in other
countries this might be taken into account in FDCs allocation policy. Last
year Wmch offered to pay one additional developper for wikidata. It was
refused because of "too much growth". For wmch this would have been just
money flow while the person would have been managed by wmde's existing
project team. For donors in Switzerland such a contribution  would be easy
to communicate. Much easier to communicate than 400000 instead of 300000
went as contribution to WMFs 30 mio budget.

Rupert
Am 24.07.2013 22:56 schrieb "Balázs Viczián" <[hidden email]>:

> Is WMF planning to outsource any of its engineering activities in the
> future? Or are there enough projects in the queue that makes the effort
> reasonable?
>
> Otherwise I believe there is no point for any chapter to build out any
> software engineering capacity above their local needs or at all.
>
> Balázs
>
>
>
> 2013/7/24 Erik Moeller <[hidden email]>
>
> > On Wed, Jul 24, 2013 at 6:44 AM, David Cuenca <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > > I don't agree with Romaine's view that it is a cultural problem, but it
> > is
> > > true that the WMF management seems to prefer to have all development
> > > concentrated in SF.
> >
> > Hardly. About half of WMF's engineering staff is distributed (both
> > inside and outside the US), and we've encouraged and supported
> > software engineering efforts by chapters. I'd actually love to see
> > much more of that happen, and see other chapters build engineering
> > capacity over time. It's legally challenging for WMF to have office
> > presence in multiple jurisdictions, but having independent orgs like
> > Wikimedia chapters build out development teams doesn't suffer from
> > that challenge.
> >
> > We're an open source project; being able to decentralize effort is our
> > strength. The caveat I would add is that you actually need to ensure
> > that complex projects are resourced sufficiently. Wikidata is a
> > success in part because it's a well-resourced, well-managed team, and
> > the partnership in areas where WMF does need to help was carefully
> > negotiated.
> >
> > So, which other chapters are up for building out serious software
> > engineering capacity?
> >
> > Erik
> > --
> > Erik Möller
> > VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list
> > [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> >
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] About the concentration of resources in SF (it was: "Communication plans for community engagement"

Everton Zanella Alvarenga-4
Wikimedia Foundation planned a few years ago to open an office in
Brazil, one India and one in the Middle East, but it has given up of
this trial for several reasons.

I think before thinking about the idea of this thread, these cases
should be seriously studied, inclusing some possible problems and
challenges that can raise when you have far workers from different
culture doing a work led by an Americo-centric organization (that was,
at least, one thing pointed out by some consultants during the last
all staff meeting, if I undersstood well).

And I think there is a good point about WMF office being in SF for a
global organization. Its timezone is one example. What about the price
of the city? But that would be a long discussion and the actual
structure of the organization wouldn't allow this to change anytime
soon.

Now that we know that Internet in US is as safe as in Chinas (:D),
maybe an office there would be a good trial? :)

--
Everton Zanella Alvarenga (also Tom)
OKF Brasil - Rede pelo Conhecimento Livre
http://br.okfn.org

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] About the concentration of resources in SF (it was: "Communication plans for community engagement"

mathieu lovato stumpf guntz
Le 2013-07-26 04:23, Everton Zanella Alvarenga a écrit :

> Wikimedia Foundation planned a few years ago to open an office in
> Brazil, one India and one in the Middle East, but it has given up of
> this trial for several reasons.
>
> I think before thinking about the idea of this thread, these cases
> should be seriously studied, inclusing some possible problems and
> challenges that can raise when you have far workers from different
> culture doing a work led by an Americo-centric organization (that
> was,
> at least, one thing pointed out by some consultants during the last
> all staff meeting, if I undersstood well).

Can you provide some relevant links on this subject, please?

> And I think there is a good point about WMF office being in SF for a
> global organization. Its timezone is one example.

Could you be more explicit, please?

> What about the price
> of the city?

What do you mean?


--
Association Culture-Libre
http://www.culture-libre.org/

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] About the concentration of resources in SF (it was: "Communication plans for community engagement"

Chris Keating-2
In reply to this post by Erik Moeller-4
> So, which other chapters are up for building out serious software
> engineering capacity?
>
>
Actually we've been having this conversation a bit as part of our strategic
planning process - how much should Wikimedia UK be doing technology and
what place should it have in our long-term goals? After some debate we
decided it was important enough to merit a top-level point of its own;

http://uk.wikimedia.org/wiki/Towards_a_five_year_plan_2013-18/Draft_Goals_vs_2


That said it's not something we are likely to make any big strides on in
2014.

Chris
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] About the concentration of resources in SF (it was: "Communication plans for community engagement"

Ryan Lane-3
In reply to this post by Steven Walling
On Wed, Jul 24, 2013 at 12:02 PM, Steven Walling
<[hidden email]>wrote:

> On Wed, Jul 24, 2013 at 11:37 AM, Federico Leva (Nemo)
> <[hidden email]>wrote:
>
> > Anyway, being able to disband the SF office as regards software
> > development (and perhaps more), and switch to remote work only, would
> > probably be the single most effective measure for enhancing communication
> > and cooperation in the movement.
>
>
> As someone who moved to SF to work here, I could not disagree more. The
> amount of time and energy I save being near many of the people I work with
> closely in the same space is enormous. Not to mention the fact that many of
> us work better together with people we are able to see socially and so on.
> I could go on, but the truth is I think no one actually responsible for
> making such a decision is crazy enough to get rid of a central office.
> (Move the office? Maybe someday if we really are forced to. We've done it
> before. But get rid of a central office? No.)
>

I hear texas is wide open <http://www.texaswideopenforbusiness.com/ca.php>.

Detroit also has lots of cheap real estate and should be a major contender.

- Ryan
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] About the concentration of resources in SF (it was: "Communication plans for community engagement"

Erik Moeller-4
In reply to this post by rupert THURNER-2
On Wed, Jul 24, 2013 at 2:39 PM, rupert THURNER
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> If WMF is serious about letting development activities grow in other
> countries this might be taken into account in FDCs allocation policy.

For my part, I'm happy to offer feedback to the FDC on plans related
to the development of engineering capacity in FDC-funded
organizations. I'm sure Wikimedia Germany, too, would be happy to
share its experiences growing the Wikidata development team. I'd love
to find ways to bootstrap more engineering capacity across the
movement, as so many of our shared challenges have a software
engineering component. If any folks on-list want to touch base on
these questions at Wikimania, drop me a note. :)

Erik

--
Erik Möller
VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] About the concentration of resources in SF (it was: "Communication plans for community engagement"

Balázs Viczián
Well, both Hungary and Budapest aims to be the R&D center of the region.
There are multiple government and munipal funds and programmes plus a lot
of favouring policies on both administrative levels, including a full
dedicated neighbourhood on the bank of the Danube, named Infopark (since
1996 [1])

Setting up a formally for-profit company who's only contractor would be the
WMF (and/or other chapters) in BP can be funded well over 50% from non
movement funds (or low/no interest loans) during the first few years and
would be much much cheaper than any parts of Western Europe and most of the
CEE. Doing so though WMHU or a separate non-profit way - probaly also
doable.

However having one such department for the sake of having one is a total
waste of time, money and efforts everywhere in the World, so the main
question is: are there enough projects that could make establishing such a
department/spearate entity reasonable?

Balázs

[1] http://www.infopark.hu/lang/en/




> On Wed, Jul 24, 2013 at 2:39 PM, rupert THURNER
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > If WMF is serious about letting development activities grow in other
> > countries this might be taken into account in FDCs allocation policy.
>
> For my part, I'm happy to offer feedback to the FDC on plans related
> to the development of engineering capacity in FDC-funded
> organizations. I'm sure Wikimedia Germany, too, would be happy to
> share its experiences growing the Wikidata development team. I'd love
> to find ways to bootstrap more engineering capacity across the
> movement, as so many of our shared challenges have a software
> engineering component. If any folks on-list want to touch base on
> these questions at Wikimania, drop me a note. :)
>
> Erik
>
> --
> Erik Möller
> VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
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