Wikimedia Internship – First Week

I started my OPW internship at Wikimedia on Wednesday January 2nd. I didn’t have any set plans to start, so I started triaging ‘stale’ bugs. First, what is bug triaging? I didn’t know what it was a month ago, and I’m still figuring it out. MediaWiki’s Bug Management page on Triaging says:

Bug triage refers to assuring quality of bug reports in Wikimedia Bugzilla…. The main job of triagers and the Bugsquad is to help users and developers in Bugzilla. Triaging a bug report involves making sure that the bug report

  • has enough information for developers and makes sense
  • has not already been reported before (checking for duplicates)
  • is filed in the correct place (product and component)
  • has sensible “Severity” and “Priority” fields
  • is versioned correctly

For me, that means asking bug reporters questions to get the information developers need, testing reports to see if I can confirm them or if they’re still viable in newer versions, and judging the a  bug’s priority. Currently I have not had much experience in finding duplicate reports. 

I mentioned earlier that I have been going through ‘stale’ reports. Stale reports are bug reports that are were filed over so many months ago. For example I’ve been looking at reports that are 1 year old. I’ve been looking at old reports because Andre, Wikiemedia’s Bug Wrangler and my mentor, is busy triaging new reports. When I was applying, I offered to work on something that “would be nice to have, but [he] doesn’t have the time to do.” And I’m sticking with that philosophy. I work on the old bug reports because very few people are, and the more I can get people to look at them, or even close them, the better.

Besides triaging bug reports I’ve been reading wiki pages. Lots and lots of wiki pages. I knew next to nothing about the extensions MediaWiki has and almost every time I open a bug report, I have to open up a wiki page to learn about something new. i feel like I’m spending too much time reading about extensions or bug histories (or a number of other things), so I don’t get to work on as many bug reports as I would like. I mentioned this to Andre and my other mentor Quim (he’s also the administrator for Wikimedia’s Outreach Program for Women). Andre said that he sometime’s feels that way, too. I’m glad it isn’t just me. Quim’s advice was to have a concrete goal for any tasks that I undertake. Instead of “triage old bugs,” which is unfocused and difficult to call complete, I could traige 1 year old+ bugs of the Drafts extension. I’m working on implementing that advice.

Overall I’m very excited to be participating in this internship. It’s very engaging, and I’m learning so much about Wikimedia’s numerous projects, MediaWiki (especially MediaWiki) and working on an open source projects. My next post will talk about how I will Be Bold.


New Internship and Finishing Up with Partners

I’m so excited to be accepted as an intern in Gnome’s Outreach Program for Women! I will be working with the Wikimedia Foundation! I’ll be keeping up with my project on this blog.

With my acceptance into the program comes the end of my current job. For the past year, I have been a Technology Specialist in Partners Resource Network (PRN). PRN helps parents of children with disabilities advocate for themselves and their children within the education system through education and trainings. One project I ended up being assigned was the creation of an Annual Report video put on our website. Now, I had no experience with video editing, but I was willing to learn, so I took on the assignment.

I looked at a few videos other projects have done, and I began by reading information on what equipment was needed for recording interviews. Our project has a camera, but it is an SD camera. After taking a few test videos, I knew the quality would not be good enough to upload. Thankfully, I have a Flip camera. It’s an HD camera, but it has its drawbacks. One is that video taken in poor lighting conditions can turn out grainy. Another drawback is that an external microphone cannot be connected to the camera. However, it was better than the other option.

I was working with a project director within Partners, and she wanted parent testimonials in the video, so we attempted to set up a time in the Houston office to interview parents. Later she decided interviewing parents at a conference they were having would be better.

The conference was at a hotel. They didn’t book a separate space for recording, so I had to set up on the far side of the break/lunch area. This presented a couple of problems related to the Flip camera’s drawbacks — lighting and sound. Thankfully, the hotel staff brought me a couple of lamps to help with the lighting. Cue me moving chairs and lamps and recording myself multiple times to make sure the video turned out alright. I felt silly, but everyone was attending sessions, so I was by myself most of the time.

How I conducted the parent interviews.

How I conducted the parent interviews.

I could not do anything about the sound, however. You can hear people talking during breaks or dishes being moved in some of the videos. It doesn’t ruin the videos, but they could definitely do without it.

Using Adobe Premiere 10, I ended up cutting each interview into its own video. You can view them here (I’ve only uploaded a few as of 12-17-2012, but as I upload more, I’ll add them to this playlist):

Anyway, this is one of the projects I’m finishing up before I leave Partners. It’s nice to see how the organization that I worked for helped these parents and their children.