Abstract Wikipedia/Updates/2020-12-02

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We are very happy to welcome Genoveva Galarza Heredero who is joining the Abstract Wikipedia team as a software engineer.

Genoveva finished her Software Engineering degree in Madrid in 2009, and since then has worked in various places. She worked for some time in Argentina and then moved to India, where she stayed for five years, first working on the architecture of expert systems that leveraged NLP and Linked Open Data. Then she started her own social venture, an effort to move Indian IT hubs to more eco-friendly ways of commuting. She now lives in Madrid again, and after working for some years as a full-stack developer in projects on agriculture, green energy, and data privacy, has joined the Wikimedia Foundation.

She is passionate about art and free culture online, and has used her hobby as a comic artist to work along the Spanish and Latin American webcomic community to create faneo.es, a non-profit project led by its members that attempts to provide an open and free space to publish, read, and even create comics collaboratively.

Let’s share a few of her words:

“I got into IRC and Usenet when I was a kid: I discovered communities, became part of them and ultimately learned how to code with the help of others who shared their knowledge online. I can honestly say that everything that I am today ― a programmer, a comic creator, even a nature lover or a linguistics geek ― I owe it to the availability of free and open knowledge and culture online. I have seen in my own flesh how incredibly self-defining it is to have access to local and global knowledge, so I am really excited to join the Wikimedia movement and, as we say in Spanish, put my little grain of sand to make this possible for others.

Hopefully I’ll be learning a lot more about how language works, about bigger communities, and about defying the for-profit approach to progress and succeeding! I now have a lot of catching up to do, but I’m looking forward to working with all of you and hopefully making meaningful contributions soon.”

Genoveva will also expand the project’s timezones, so we can have discussions with volunteers from more global regions in real-time. Given that she is joining James Forrester as the second software engineer on the team, she will be working on all the parts of the system for now: storage, display, and editing on the wiki, the back-end evaluation engine service and related APIs, the general UX, etc.

As the team grows, we will also start to implement more structure and process in the development. We set up a new IRC channel at #wikipedia-abstract-techconnect that will (but does not yet) track changes to the source code and to the task boards. Other technical streams will also be reflected on that. You are all welcome to join this new IRC channel.

Please join me in welcoming Geno to the team as we are continuing our work on the new Wikimedia project.