[Wikimedia-l] [Wikitech-l] Fwd: [Tech/Product] Engineering/Product org structure

Tilman Bayer tbayer at wikimedia.org
Wed Nov 7 22:38:28 UTC 2012

On Wed, Nov 7, 2012 at 2:16 PM, Platonides <Platonides at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 07/11/12 22:21, Federico Leva (Nemo) wrote:
>> Terry Chay, 07/11/2012 21:04:
>>>>     You aren't the only one. It turns out we use a lot of industry
>>>> terminology, without realizing that we are poorly communicating what
>>>> that means to most people. [...]
>>>>     First of all, this will help greatly to the others (you already
>>>> read it): <http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Staff_and_contractors>.
>> Thanks for your explanation but personally I'm more confused than before
>> about the difference between Engineering and Product, also because the
>> terminology didn't appear internally consistent. :-)
> I feel like you, Nemo. I am glad by Terry explanation, but as I went on
> reading it, the less I felt I understood it. It would benefit from a
> more layman explanation. Maybe it's just complex to everybody.
>> So, to keep it simple, that page has:
>> 2 Engineering and Product Development
>>     2.1 Platform
>>     2.2 Features
>>     2.3 Technical Operations
>>     2.4 Mobile and Special Projects
>>     2.5 Language
>>     2.6 Product
>> and as first approximation "Product" would be something like 2.2+2.6 and
>> "Engineering" something like 2.1+2.3, with 2.4 and 2.5 aside?
> I thought that 2.4 (Mobile) would also be Product.
>>>>     [...] On the "Engineering" side, there exists an amalgam of
>>>> specific focused groups with their own directors. The focused groups
>>>> are: Language (formerly "i18n and Experimentation",
>>>> internationalization/localization/globalization is a cross-cutting
>>>> concern), and Mobile (formerly, "Mobile and Special Projects: the
>>>> mobile web, the mobile app, also including Wikipedia Zero). The
>>>> "area" focused ones are: Operations (keeping the lights on), Platform
>>>> (keeping the code working) and Features (ostensibly new features). [...]
>> What you call the Engineering side here, at a first glance, could seem
>> product development, and in fact those two "focused groups" currently
>> have some members which are under 2.6 (Product). Surely the same happens
>> for the other areas you mentioned.
> You can see several teams in that page, with members from multiple
> "sections". Which leads to the (naive?) question on what's the purpose
> of being splitted in those sections if then the work is done in teams
> with a completely different organization.
> After staring for a while to [[Staff and contractors]] and trying to
> match people with its work, my only conclusion is that I don't know what
> most employees do.
It often (not always) helps to click through to the employee's user
page and read the "My work" section there. Earlier this year, Gayle
harassed us all a lot to put something informative there ;)

Tilman Bayer
Senior Operations Analyst (Movement Communications)
Wikimedia Foundation
IRC (Freenode): HaeB

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