GSoC/GCI Archive
Google Code-in 2013 Wikimedia

Write a discovery essay about being a newcomer to Wikimedia's tech community

completed by: Ashwin Bhumbla

mentors: Guillaume Paumier

Every community member tends to forget how and why they came to join that community, and what hurdles they had to overcome.

Experienced users tend to forget the obstacles they first faced, the frustrations they encountered while going through the documentation, the confusion when faced with new tools and processes.

It's incredibly valuable for a community to be reminded of that newcomer experience. Not only does it help identify pain points of newcomers that the community can reduce, but it can also be an eye-opening experience that challenges long-established anti-patterns.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to:

  • explore MediaWiki's and Wikimedia's technical world;
  • write down your feelings / impressions / frustrations / pleasant and unpleasant surprises with the code / community / tools as you explore;
  • organize your notes into a short candid essay;
  • create an account on and post your essay on your user page.

Your exploration can focus on a specific area (e.g.: setting up a development environment, finding documentation about a specific part of the software, translating the software, etc.) or be more general.

The best essays will be featured on the official Wikimedia Tech blog and advertised on our official social media profiles (Wikipedia and Wikimedia accounts on twitter, facebook and Google+).

Note: This task is available multiple times in the Google Code-in interface, because each discovery report can be useful in its own way. Obviously, each student should only perform the task once, unless their essays are about very different topics.

Students are required to read Wikimedia's general instructions first.