I’m thrilled to welcome Sumana Harihareswara to WMF Engineering! Sumana will be filling the role of Volunteer Development Coordinator. We interviewed many great candidates for the role, but decided the role would be best served by WMF continuing to work with Sumana on a contract basis. She’ll be working from her home in New York.Sumana started in a part-time capacity back in March coordinating our participation in Google Summer of Code, as well as helping plan WMF’s participation in the Berlin Developer meeting happening later this month. Starting after the Berlin Developer meeting, she’ll be dedicating her working time to Foundation issues.
In addition to the specific initiative above, she’ll be recruiting and encouraging volunteers more generally. In the near term, she’ll be evangelizing movement priorities within the development community, and working toward matching interested volunteers and organizations to important movement work. She’ll be working with Bugmeister Mark Hershberger on bug triage and finding volunteers to test and fix MediaWiki. She’ll also gather some baseline metrics about our volunteer and corporate communities to measure our progress against. And she’ll be coordinating WMF development work in other open source communities as appropriate. Her Open Source Bridge talk last year (“ The Second Step: HOWTO encourage open source work at for-profits”) is particularly relevant to this last task.
Sumana is currently an active contributor in the GNOME community, as a writer and editor for GNOME Journal, and recently led the marketing effort for GNOME 3.0. She is also a blogger at GeekFeminism, and a longtime participant in open source communities. She has worked at the GNOME Foundation, QuestionCopyright.org, Collabora, Fog Creek Software, and Salon.com, and contributed to the AltLaw, Empathy, Miro, and Zeitgeist open source projects. She’s written a weekly newspaper column and has performed (and taught) stand-up comedy.
Sumana intends on communicating with the MediaWiki and Wikimedia communities in many ways: via IRC and mailing lists, conference calls, and frequent visits to WMF headquarters from New York City and to relevant conferences, both MediaWiki-related and not. For example, she’ll be speaking again this year at Open Source Bridge, giving a talk titled “Learn Tech Management in 45 Minutes”.
If you’re interested in learning more, or dropping a comment on her talk page, Sumana’s user page on MediaWiki.org has much more information.
–Rob Lanphier, Engineering Programs Manager for General Engineering