[Wikimedia-l] compromise?

Thomas Morton morton.thomas at googlemail.com
Sat Jan 5 13:13:23 UTC 2013

If you know nothing about surveys or statistics it is probably a good idea
not to describe a properly calculated metric (yes, I sat down and did the
math) as absurd, and then claim efficacy of your own informal survey.

Just sayin.

Incidentally I am not sure your point about the glassdoor reviews really
rebuts mine re the value of paying more money.

If we pay more to the current staff will they be a lot more productive
(hint; this doesn't often equate in the way you'd expect) or wil lthose
hard problems become easier?

And does increased wage offerings attract more competent staff? Again, this
does not always work out as you expect.

James, please don't take this the wrong way but all of your contribution so
far seems to be "Google educated", without any practical experience to
guide your words. I'm sorry if that is not the case, but you do appear to
be rolling out a lot of the "rookie" viewpoints on many different fronts.


On Saturday, January 5, 2013, James Salsman wrote:

> Again, I am not suggesting canceling anyone's health insurance or
> replacing it with increased salary. I am only trying to say that in
> the case of when a parent or sibling faces catastrophic medical
> expenses in the U.S., just over two years of the difference between
> typical junior software engineer pay at the Wikimedia and Mozilla
> foundations is the same amount that the average American who enters
> bankruptcy because of medical expenses has in debt.
> > On 5 January 2013 11:11, Thomas Morton <morton.thomas at googlemail.com<javascript:;>>
> wrote:
> >
> >> So the foundation should NOT throw money at staff without showing that
> >> paying extra would bring the charity significant increases in value.
> If the nine reviews added to
> http://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/Wikimedia-Foundation-Reviews-E38331.htm
> over the past two weeks does not establish that, then I can't imagine
> anything will.
> >>> A representative sample of 384 donors is sufficient to establish the
> >>> answer with 95% confidence. I am not suggesting asking all however
> >>> many million there have been.
> >>
> >> I call this number the magic 384, it's a common rookie mistake when
> >> designing surveys for a million people.
> >>
> >> With a sample size of 384 you do get 95% confidence, with a confidence
> >> interval of 5%. So the data is fairly meaningless (if 49% of your
> >> respondents say X then that could represent anything from 44 to 54
> percent
> >> of the population).
> If my preliminary informal survey of a much smaller number of donors
> is representative, then the results will be much closer to 100%
> agreeing that the Foundation should meet or exceed market pay than
> 50%.
> >> You need around 12000 for any solid degree of confidence. And I believe
> we
> >> have a lot more than a million donors across a wide variety of cultures.
> That is absurdly excessive. There has never been a Foundation donor
> survey of more than 3,760 donors, and that number was only chosen
> because of a requirement to measure fine grained demographics in
> categories for which few respondents were expected. 384 is plenty to
> resolve a yes/no or below/meet/exceed question at the 95% confidence
> level unless anyone has any actual evidence that the result is likely
> to be close.
> I am convinced that if asked, donors would think it is irresponsible
> to pay so little that Oracle employees are more satisfied.
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