IRC office hours/Office hours 2012-05-01

Philippe: ******** BEGIN LOGGING ********
[09:59am] Logan_ is now known as log.
[09:59am] foks: ok
[09:59am] Nemo_bis: gyoung_wmf, what about some instructions on how to create accounts?
[09:59am] Philippe: Hi everyone Let's get started, shall we?
[09:59am] Ironholds: I know Ian, one of our programmers, has some OKCupid contacts
[09:59am] Ironholds: poke him
[10:00am] Philippe: Thanks for coming
[10:00am] Nemo_bis: Philippe, I think mine above counts as first question
[10:00am] Philippe: You've all met gyoung_wmf - Gayle Young - the Foundation's chief talent and culture office.
[10:00am] Philippe: officer!
[10:00am] Philippe: She's been with us since January, and came to me the other week asking about "this office hours thing"
[10:00am] Philippe: Some of you met her in Berlin at the Chapters conference….
[10:01am] Philippe: And I'm going to ask her to just tell you about what she does and then we'll take questions for her.
[10:01am] Philippe: Casual and informal today
[10:01am] gyoung_wmf: (I'm trying not to make comments about OKCupid being the first thing to show up in my official log and failing…)
[10:01am] Philippe: lol
[10:01am] jvandavier joined the chat room.
[10:01am] gyoung_wmf: Okay - Nemo, I'll circle back around to your question if you can be so kind as to remind me…little bit about what I do
[10:02am] gyoung_wmf: CTCO is a bit of a nebulous title, as I'll readily admit, so a lot of the first bit of time
[10:02am] gyoung_wmf: was really figuring out what the role meant for the organization
[10:02am] gyoung_wmf: and what filling it well meant - so it meant learning about how we do recruiting, what practices and policies were in play,
[10:02am] gyoung_wmf: what infrastructure is here to manage and track our employees and contractors
[10:03am] gyoung_wmf: what the culture even IS, how to describe it, how to support the best parts of it and figure out if there are parts of it that don't work for us
[10:03am] gyoung_wmf: So I spent a large part of my first few months trying to get to know people like Philippe, Erik, Brion Vibber, Brandon, etc - and what they loved best about working here
[10:04am] Philippe: For a lot of us, the WMF is still a tiny little organization run out of the hole of an office on Stillman street. It's a little odd to see it growing up and getting recruiting practices and such. But I'm glad there's someone capturing the best of the culture before it changes.
[10:04am] gyoung_wmf: and what wasn't working - and the last bit is important because we're dealing with an organization here that is scaling, and there are inherent growth challenges having to deal with organizational lifecycle
[10:04am] jeremyb: org charts:
[10:04am] gyoung_wmf: exactly!
[10:04am] omtsh left the chat room. (Read error: Connection reset by peer)
[10:04am] gyoung_wmf: so for folks who were here when it was 30 people, there was a sense of new people coming in, people didn't know anymore who each other were, and I was/am worried about disconnect and silos if we don't build internal bridges
[10:05am] omtsh joined the chat room.
[10:05am] jeremyb: s/30/10/
[10:05am] gyoung_wmf: there are also huge opportunities to learn from one another, and if the practices aren't there and the culture doesn't support that, it doesn't work so well. We're still a small org, but sometimes it doesn't feel like that - in part, because we also have the great privilege of being part of this global network and organization
[10:06am] gyoung_wmf: Being in Berlin really brought that home to me - part of what I loved about Berlin was starting to feel connected to the broader community and realizing we're just a piece of it
[10:06am] gyoung_wmf: but a piece that it's partly my responsibility to care for
[10:06am] gyoung_wmf: so the things I think about are how can we put in place better practices and processes so that the people who work for us are freed up to do their best work for the movement
[10:06am] Pmlineditor joined the chat room.
[10:06am] Pharos left the chat room. (Ping timeout: 246 seconds)
[10:07am] gyoung_wmf: Any thoughts or questions so far? I'd love this to be more of a conversation
[10:07am] tommorris: gyoung_wmf: from your perspective, how important do you think connection to the community is for people that the WMF hires?
[10:07am] gyoung_wmf: I'll happily keep talking though I can talk about some of the project on my plates…Ooh. REALLY important. One of the upcoming things I'm working on is on boarding, and really trying to create that connection early on
[10:08am] Philippe: Gayle, does that hold true for "backstage" people - like HR and accounting - as well as community facing roles?
[10:08am] jorm left the chat room. (Quit: jorm)
[10:08am] • tommorris crosses "on boarding" off on his buzzword bingo sheet.
[10:08am] gyoung_wmf: I've thought about getting community mentorship for staffers, to help people like myself who don't come from the community originally, ramp up better and earlier and get more integrated sooner
[10:08am] Philippe: tommorris: we have new sheets? Where's mine? Synergy!
[10:08am] gyoung_wmf: Onboarding means the process of integrating a new employee into an org Would love if people called out when I use jargon. Helps me out
[10:08am] Ironholds: Philippe: new sheets? that's some blue-sky thinking right there. Altering the paradigm, you are.
[10:09am] tommorris: Philippe: I'm suprised nobody has on-passed you one.
[10:09am] Philippe: heh
[10:09am] jeremyb: are you involved with planning things like 20% time? does anyone have 20% time outside engineering?
[10:09am] mindspillage: tommorris: quiet, or I'll have to use the stake I'm holding.
[10:09am] Nemo_bis: Is it better to hire people who are already part of the community to have them integrated already or people who are not to avoid the feeling that only "friends"/members of the circle are hired? [To brutally simplify it.]
[10:09am] Philippe: mindspillage woke up....
[10:09am] gyoung_wmf: I think it absolutely does hold for the "backstage" people - we're invested in the projects whether or not it's as directly as say, a developer writing code. If we don't get community and its importance, shame on us
[10:09am] gyoung_wmf: Hi Nemo - I think it's not an either or.
[10:10am] mindspillage: Philippe: I can't behave and stay ontopic either.
[10:10am] gyoung_wmf: Jeremy - can you hold off a sec, while I finish answering Nemo? And hey folks, if I don't get to your question cause I may lose it in scroll, remind me. So...
[10:10am] Philippe: mindspillage: I believe it.
[10:11am] gyoung_wmf: back to Nemo, I think it is a wonderful thing to hire from the community whenever we can. It's a preference, and we're trying to make it more so. We actually had a focus group early on
[10:12am] Nemo_bis: I actually thought the trend was in the opposite direction, just because there are more people to hire.
[10:12am] gyoung_wmf: with community members who are now staff about how to make the recruiting pages more friendly and encourage more community members to join. The AND part of it is that sometimes, the skill set we're looking for isn't a fit for a community member and that's when we need to keep our search broad. I don't think we want to limit ourselves from a talent perspective by either saying "we only want community members" or "we want talent over community" -
[10:12am] gyoung_wmf: want to pick the best person for the job, knowing that in whatever job, they either need to have or learn to be mindful of community
[10:14am] Philippe: OK, 20% time is the next question
[10:14am] gyoung_wmf: Jeremy - I haven't yet put a lot of thought into that. I think it would depend on the role - it may make less sense for someone, in say, accounting…also, I have to say, some of our jobs are more-than-human-sized, so if I asked for our Office IT guys to put in 20% in community facing, they may not get other work done. It's something I can think about in relation to other organizational roles.
[10:14am] gyoung_wmf: Part of the reason we're trying to build out the community advocacy group next year is to have people give /more/ than 20% of their time to community
[10:14am] Pharos joined the chat room.
[10:14am] • jeremyb doesn't know if you were even involved in the decision at all; maybe it was before your time
[10:15am] Philippe: And then there are the folks who do 100% community facing work. (or at least 80%…. I'm thinking of Moonriddengirl…. 80% community facing, 20% me wrangling)
[10:15am] gyoung_wmf: And I'm personally happy to work after hours to support community
[10:15am] Moonriddengirl:
[10:15am] bodnotbod: QUESTION: gyoung_wmf - you mentioned "bridges" in terms of serving staff cohesion (no silos etc)... how is this done in practice? Whenever I hear of team-building I immediately think of a day spent paintballing. :O)
[10:15am] • tommorris showers Moonriddengirl with unsolicited but warranted praise.
[10:15am] gyoung_wmf: jeremyb: it was before my time, but worth thinking about. we're looking at almost all the current policies and practices, again, because some of them scale just fine in an org that goes from 30-150 and some of them really don't
[10:16am] Thehelpfulone: Philippe: and you're 20% community facing and 80% other people wrangling?
[10:16am] gyoung_wmf: <---Moonriddengirl fan
[10:16am] Philippe: Thehelpfulone: I think it's closer to 50/50, but yeah.
[10:16am] bodnotbod: 20% time for accountants would be bad. It's one of the few jobs where creativity lands you in prison. :O)
[10:16am] Moonriddengirl: Aw, away wit' yer <blushing>
[10:16am] mindspillage: (who *isn't* a Moonriddengirl fan?)
[10:16am] jeremyb: mindspillage: mdennis
[10:16am] tommorris: bodnotbod: eww, team-building exercises are like adult PE lessons.
[10:16am] jeremyb: idk much about the WMF 20% time besides that it exists. IMO it doesn't necessarily have to be used for community stuff
[10:16am] Ironholds: Moonriddengirl: you took my joke about being an old irish grandmother too close to heart, evidently
[10:17am] Nemo_bis: bodnotbod, how many accountants do you know?
[10:17am] gyoung_wmf: I like paint balling! botnotbod: I think, for instance, of our brown bags we had or bringing together focus groups on topics that are key to us, like the one about how to better tailor the recruiting site. Btw, as much as I have a history of consulting and touchy-feely, I really hate touchy-feely stuff when it's not in service of something. One of my basic design principles when I think of designing policy for WMF is how do I make it requisi
[10:17am] gyoung_wmf: but not anything more than that
[10:18am] Ironholds: Nemo_bis: 8, unless you're the taxman, in which case -3
[10:18am] gyoung_wmf: I never want to see us get more bureaucratic than what's requisite for some level of efficiency/effectiveness.
[10:18am] Nemo_bis: hmm
[10:18am] Ironholds: gyoung_wmf: you cut off after "ow do I make it requisi" for me
[10:18am] Odisha1 left the chat room. (Ping timeout: 252 seconds)
[10:18am] gyoung_wmf: Thanks - recapping, "One of my basic design principles when I think of designing policy for WMF is how do I make it requisite, but not anything more than that"
[10:18am] Odisha1 joined the chat room.
[10:18am] Philippe: So, no trust falls or Kumbayah?
[10:19am] bodnotbod: Nemo_bis My brother was in charge of accountancy for the entire... er... I'm sure he used to call it the "south east basin" but anyway; wherever Hong Kong is for a multinational bank.
[10:19am] gyoung_wmf: See - this is where another principle I'm trying to stick to comes in. "Must not design things for WMF staff strictly for my own entertainment." I'd love to see everyone singing kumbayah. (and here is where I work on my mastery of evil laughter)
[10:19am] Nemo_bis:
[10:19am] Jan-Bart left the chat room. (Remote host closed the connection)
[10:19am] Philippe: She really does have an evil laugh going.
[10:19am] mindspillage: Philippe: only for you. You get the very special session for people who need extra help...
[10:20am] • Philippe glares at mindspillage
[10:20am] Philippe: Other questions?
[10:20am] Philippe: Gayle, what's your background?
[10:21am] gyoung_wmf: Background! Geek first. I think folks may know this but I became a psychologist because I wanted to be a xenopsychologist like Counselor Troi in Star Trek: TNG
[10:21am] jeremyb: entertainment:
[10:21am] Philippe: (Gayle and I were laughing about our shared experiences on BBS in the early days of the interwebz. And getting in trouble for running up our long distance phone bills)
[10:21am] gyoung_wmf: and studying organizations is a little like studying aliens some days
[10:21am] alhen: gyoung_wmf, you just gained my full support
[10:21am] geniice joined the chat room.
[10:21am] • Philippe wonders who the Klingons are and looks pointedly at Ironholds
[10:21am] Jan-Bart joined the chat room.
[10:22am] gyoung_wmf: awesome. And somewhat like the CTCO role, no one could figure out what Counselor Troi did on the bridge either… I came to this in part because I worked at SF General Hosptial, the public hospital here in SF
[10:22am] gyoung_wmf: in the psych ward (That should say something about my tolerance for nuts)
[10:22am] jeremyb: klingon wikip is dead
[10:22am] Philippe: Heyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy
[10:22am] • Jan-Bart finds it amazing that JUST as he rejoins this channel, its all about Troi again
[10:22am] Ironholds: Philippe: I'm ugly enough, but...
[10:22am] Philippe: Jan-Bart:
[10:22am] gyoung_wmf: I worked specifically on doing depression research and looking at depression prevention strategies, and as I was IN that system, I was noticing what an impact great leaders had - and also the impact that bad leaders had
[10:22am] planemad_ left the chat room. (Ping timeout: 252 seconds)
[10:23am] gyoung_wmf: bad bosses SUCK.
[10:23am] Ironholds: gyoung_wmf: ahh, you've met Philippe
[10:23am] Philippe: LOL!
[10:23am] Thehelpfulone:
[10:23am] • Ironholds hides
[10:23am] tommorris: wait, you've gone from the San Francisco psych wards... and they haven't got you working over in the community dept?
[10:23am] Nemo_bis: does WMF have problems with depression?
[10:23am] gyoung_wmf: He displays one key leadership trait - the ability to learn
[10:23am] Philippe: tommorris: Seemed a little toooo much of the perfect fit
[10:24am] Philippe: Interesting question, Nemo_bis …. leads me to "Do organizations have moods?"
[10:24am] mindspillage: gyoung_wmf: the ability to learn... oh, is that why he ducks whenever I come by?
[10:24am] Philippe: yes.
[10:24am] gyoung_wmf: I think that people at WMF and everywhere I've met are human beings with our full range of moods, and helping systems be healthier places for people to be in is pretty key
[10:24am] • mindspillage pouts.
[10:24am] Nemo_bis: Philippe, if everyone looks at editors level graphs for all the day long, I think it's possible
[10:25am] Nemo_bis: gyoung_wmf, good to hear
[10:25am] gyoung_wmf: Organizations don't have moods per se, but they /can/ be toxic environments. Orgs where people are afraid to say things to power, where people feel like it's more about how many hours their butt is in a seat vs the work they get done, where people feel like they're just cogs in a wheel - those aren't /good/ for people to be in, and actually environments have a lot of impact on mental health
[10:25am] Philippe: Gayle, how do you measure success? At the end of the day, we'll know you've been successful if……… we fight back the Cardassians?
[10:25am] gyoung_wmf: I want a starbase!
[10:25am] • Philippe removes the phasers from mindspillage's reach
[10:26am] Thehelpfulone: mindspillage: I'm sure you duck whenever I come looking for you
[10:26am] gyoung_wmf: I think I'm successful if the people here feel like they are using the full reach of their talents in service of our mission without anything annoying in the way
[10:26am] Ironholds: Thehelpfulone: she ducks whenever I come looking for her, but that's mostly because we have an injoke that is comprised of me wacking her hard on the arm.
[10:26am] wctaiwan left the chat room. (Quit: wctaiwan)
[10:26am] gyoung_wmf: at least from a structure and systems perspective. People will invariably get on people's nerves.
[10:27am] • Philippe whacked Ironholds on the arm. The freshly tattood arm. Even *I* felt badly about that one.
[10:27am] Ironholds: I have no idea where this came from, but it confuses the hell out of my coworkers and so is wonderful
[10:27am] gyoung_wmf: confusion to coworkers is a wonderful thing for the right reasons
[10:27am] Ironholds: it's true. I've seen Philippe's contrite face and lived. Not many can say that.
[10:27am] Thehelpfulone: Philippe: +1 did you do it to Steven and Jorm too?
[10:27am] gyoung_wmf: (That's the kind of thing I wonder if I should say as CTCO...)
[10:27am] Philippe: I did not. Jorm could kick my ….. rear.
[10:27am] Ironholds: and swalling is too tall
[10:28am] Philippe: He's really very tall.
[10:28am] Philippe: So what are you doing on a day to day basis?
[10:28am] • Nemo_bis adds nonviolence to Values
[10:28am] • Philippe grumbles at Nemo_bis
[10:28am] lyzzy joined the chat room.
[10:28am] Thehelpfulone: gyoung_wmf: what's your stance on bullying within the foundation? </joke don't answer that>
[10:29am] StevenW joined the chat room.
[10:29am] Nemo_bis: – uh, of course Anthere wrote it
[10:29am] Thehelpfulone: speak of the devil! hi StevenW
[10:29am] gyoung_wmf: I'd say about 20% of my day goes to "Hey, Gayle, can I talk to you…?" conversations. These are usually confidential and they may have anything to do with a personal nature to a performance issue, someone is having trouble saying something to their boss that they don't know how to phrase or don't know how to raise a specific issue, or sometimes just doesn't know where to go or how to deal with a situation
[10:29am] gyoung_wmf: I love dealing with sticky situations
[10:29am] gyoung_wmf: (please don't take that out of context)
[10:29am] Philippe: lol!
[10:29am] StevenW: Hi Thehelpfulone
[10:29am] bodnotbod: QUESTION gyoung_wmf So would you see part of your role as being a counsellor for staff if they have low mood and they identify their work as part of that? Or would the role not get quite as personal as that?
[10:29am] • mindspillage tries and fails to suppress a giggle.
[10:30am] log: She'd be seeing Ironholds a lot in that role.
[10:30am] • Philippe giggles at the image of mindspillage giggling.
[10:30am] Ironholds: a wikipedian once said, in a perfectly legitimate context, "you know, I don't think I'd be able to penetrate Ironholds"
[10:30am] tommorris: gyoung_wmf: okay, I'll throw a nice controversial one out. given that Wikipedia now serves over 280 languages, and given the WMF has a policy on geographic non-discrimination, are there any plans in place for reducing jargon in job adverts?
[10:30am] Ironholds: I have yet to let them live that down
[10:31am] gyoung_wmf: bodnotbod: I do, actually. It's not a majority of my role - because I'd say other major blocks of time to go, for instance, figuring out legal employment terms in Brazil, etc. but I absolutely am here for the staff for any reason, and if I'm not the right resource, i'll darned well find someone who CAN be
[10:31am] gyoung_wmf: tommorris: Yes, we need to do that
[10:31am] jeremyb: gyoung_wmf: given that 20% of your day you just mentioned: how does having so many remote ppl effect your ability to do those things for them and how have you worked around the distance barrier?
[10:31am] tommorris: gyoung_wmf: have you considered, say, letting the job ads be checked over by the community? we have some rather good copyeditors who might be able to take time out from editing the encyclopedia.
[10:32am] gyoung_wmf: tommorris: There's a process that's in its infancy still about reducing the size of job descs because they're just too long and they read like laundry lists of criteria which may unintentionally discourage people.
[10:32am] Philippe: tommorris: should they have to though? They're here to write an encyclopedia, not job adverts.
[10:32am] jeremyb: Ironholds: with a spear?
[10:32am] Philippe: (just a thought - i acutally think some people would be more than willing to)
[10:32am] Ironholds: jeremyb: a knife. But close!
[10:32am] Nemo_bis: Is the community able to reduce jargon??
[10:32am] sgardner joined the chat room.
[10:32am] jeremyb: Ironholds: yay!
[10:32am] tommorris: Philippe: sure, but Wisdom of Crowds, man!
[10:32am] Nemo_bis: Which creates crowd-jargon
[10:33am] Philippe: Nemo_bis: Sure, cuz we're SO good at it on wiki…
[10:33am] gyoung_wmf: tommorris: I hadn't yet considered that, but I would if it could work. It's a matter of the right legal things (like certain job descs have to have an educational stipulation, etc.) balanced with descs that attract the right people (good fit, qualified, international)!
[10:33am] tommorris: gyoung_wmf: sure, I'm not suggesting the community should be deciding the content, but nudging them away from jargon and towards readability.
[10:33am] • Nemo_bis thinks jeremyb's question is a very important one
[10:33am] bodnotbod: "This job description I've just completely re-written... you know who would be perfect for this? Me!"
[10:34am] Philippe: Nemo_bis: she's typing an answer now
[10:34am] gyoung_wmf: jeremyb: I have to get better at the distance barrier. Just like I'm doing open office here, I'm trying to pull together regular office hours for remote employees. I also try to make a point of meeting them when they're in town. I'm conscious that Im not as good at this yet as I want to be, so any suggestions would be welcome!
[10:34am] Ironholds: bodnotbod: if it worked like that I would be God-Emperor of Nerf Warfare by now
[10:34am] gyoung_wmf: That'd make an awesome bus card title
[10:34am] Ironholds: I dunno, I'm a big fan of "Gentleman-Assassin and Professional Raconteur"
[10:35am] • Philippe was thinking this morning that I should count the total words from office hours sessions since we started them during the strategy.
[10:35am] Philippe: I bet we've written War and Peace a couple of times over now.
[10:35am] Nemo_bis: gyoung_wmf, I think it belongs to the broader question of how remote staff is integrated in the org so that everything works smoothly
[10:35am] Moonriddengirl: Cultural integration of remote workers has got a lot of challenges to it.
[10:35am] gyoung_wmf: I like the "Gentleman-Assassin etc." title. Has a very steampunk vibe to it.
[10:35am] Moonriddengirl: There are some advantages - we get more "round the clock" coverage. But keeping in tight communication can be hard!
[10:35am] Ironholds: exactly! It comes with an office-issue monocle
[10:36am] Philippe: yeah, we're not great at remote staff yet. We leave them sitting on the phone on hold while we start meetings late, sometimes, for instance. (my pet peeve)
[10:36am] Moonriddengirl: LOL!
[10:36am] Ironholds: Philippe: +1
[10:36am] Moonriddengirl: Some of us learn not to come early.
[10:36am] gyoung_wmf: It does - and one we /really/ need to get better with. I've started these roundtables with org managers and an upcoming topic (they chose a range and voted) is on how to better manage remote staff so they feel included
[10:36am] Ironholds: but other than that, speaking as a remote contractor, the SF team has been nothing but supportive and awesome. I have the tattoo to prove it.
[10:36am] tommorris: gyoung_wmf: I was talking to someone at Mozilla at the weekend, who have a similar volunteer/staff dichotomy, with a similarly international focus - have you learned anything from Mozilla Fdn?
[10:36am] Odisha1_ joined the chat room.
[10:37am] Moonriddengirl: Whereas I, Ironholds, am happy to say I do not. That would have been a very awkward moment. "We've all gotten together to buy you a tattoo!" "Erm, um, lovely!"
[10:37am] gyoung_wmf: I'm actually having a conversation with one of their folks next week! I wanted to see about sharing any best practices. So the answer is, not yet - but stay tuned. If you have any thoughts, would love to hear that.
[10:37am] log: tommorris: Which person?
[10:37am] gyoung_wmf: I've said I'd get a tattoo if Erik does.
[10:37am] gyoung_wmf: (This is logged, isn't it… )
[10:37am] Philippe: Jamesofur said he would if I would. He's safe.
[10:38am] Odisha1 left the chat room. (Ping timeout: 240 seconds)
[10:38am] tommorris: log: I've got his card in t'other room, can't remember his name off the top of my head. but I know a fair few Mozillans.
[10:38am] log: tommorris: One of my home bases is the Mozilla IRC network. Know quite a few people there.
[10:39am] • Philippe is disconcerted by logs that talk.
[10:39am] Philippe:
[10:39am] Moonriddengirl: So other than remote workers, what major challenges do we face, Gayle?
[10:39am] gyoung_wmf: tommorris: If you could put me in touch, I'd love that. I'm talking to someone in their recruiting dept but a few other contacts are always helpful. I really love learning and talking to people about their organizations and how they function, partly to see similarities but also in the huge differences.
[10:39am] jeremyb: Ironholds: what's the tattoo?
[10:39am] gyoung_wmf: I've consulted for years and most org SAY they're different, but we really are as different as we say we are.
[10:39am] • log will haunt Philippe in his sleep.
[10:39am] Philippe: like you're the first.
[10:40am] Odisha1 joined the chat room.
[10:40am] Odisha1 left the chat room. (Changing host)
[10:40am] Odisha1 joined the chat room.
[10:40am] gyoung_wmf: Other challenges! I think trying to figure out how people grow and develop with the organization is a big one. We don't have tons of layers of leadership, I hope we don't ever - flat is working for us, but that means we don't have promotion paths that are particularly obvious.
[10:41am] Odisha1_ left the chat room. (Ping timeout: 248 seconds)
[10:41am] gyoung_wmf: I think there are span of control issues where we're seeing some managers having 10+ direct reports, and that's really rough - so that's an org structure issue that's pretty common as things grow. How do you manage the balance between integration and fragmentation, to get academic for a second?
[10:41am] tommorris: gyoung_wmf: someone was telling me there's evidence that you should never manage more than 11 people. but [citation needed] etc.
[10:42am] gyoung_wmf: Professional development - we have young staff, which is awesome, and how do we support their career arc so that they do well here, but also do well wherever they may want to go
[10:42am] Ironholds: jeremyb: you haven't seen it?
[10:42am] jeremyb: Ironholds: i hasn't
[10:42am] Ironholds: jeremyb: - far right
[10:42am] gyoung_wmf: tommorris: I believe similarly! It's hard to put the personal investment with each of them. At the same time, we don't want to build in more management than we have to…
[10:42am] jeremyb: hah!
[10:42am] Nemo_bis: About promotion paths – The compensation practices document mentions periodic raises etc., is "promotion" necessarily more than that or can people with similar "titles"/positions have very different wages (if that's the point)?
[10:43am] Bence: gyoung_wmf: are there any structural tensions arising due to the organisation being a bit skewed towards the engineering department?
[10:43am] bryony joined the chat room.
[10:44am] gyoung_wmf: Nemo_bis: People with similar titles can have different wages, and raises aren't necessarily tied to a promotion. Ideally, we would eventually recognize increased experience and seniority with raises, that wouldn't equal a huge job change or titular promotion - I think. One of my projects this year is to look at our compensation philosophy. It's really complex, and actually ties a bit to what Bence raised about the skew towards engineering
[10:44am] Philippe: Gayle, someone was suggesting a game the other day… collect WMF staffers' rookie business cards… their first titles… I loved that.
[10:45am] Ironholds: Philippe: that's easy; go round their desks Saturday morning
[10:46am] gyoung_wmf: Bence: Structural tensions…I think there are, though subtle. We're a tech company at our core, and I think our staff gets that. The complexity arises, from one place, in that this area is really competitive for tech talent.
[10:46am] jeremyb: gyoung_wmf: is any of the philosophy public? or at least not secret? will any of that project you just mentioned be done in public?
[10:46am] tommorris: gyoung_wmf: on the recruitment front for engineering, are there steps in place to ensure it doesn't become too "brogrammer"-ish. see
[10:46am] brion joined the chat room.
[10:47am] Bence: gyoung_wmf: and another question out of observation, but a lot of people seem to be leaving the Foundation after 3-4 years in the job. Is it normal, my observational bias, or something you have to work on?
[10:47am] Philippe: So, three open questions: Jeremyb, tommorris and Bence
[10:47am] gyoung_wmf: jeremyb: Yes, I'd like to make my thinking public. The philosophy should be public and published!
[10:48am] jeremyb: gyoung_wmf: great! so, the first part was more about current state. is anything public now?
[10:48am] gyoung_wmf: tommorris: Moonriddengirl won't let us become brogrammerish. New term for me. Looking at that link!
[10:48am] Moonriddengirl: tommorris, I'd be pretty shocked to encounter anything like that at WMF!
[10:48am] gyoung_wmf: :looked at that link and thought "Oh heck no!!"
[10:48am] gyoung_wmf: No brogrammering. New CTCO philosophy in the making.
[10:49am] Philippe: Followup question from jeremyb, and also Bence still an open question
[10:49am] lyzzy: gyoung_wmf: how do you think the wmf can stay an attractive employer for the next years? what is the difference that make people work for wmf (thinking of not so obvious promotoin paths, xreative titles and more)
[10:49am] gyoung_wmf: jeremyb: Nothing public now, because I'm in the midst of annual planning, but I will make it public when I know things.
[10:49am] jeremyb: gyoung_wmf: you mean new buzzword for bingo?
[10:50am] geniice: gyoung_wmf I would suggest sticking to titles that the average Wikipedian isn't going to find funny.
[10:50am] Odisha1_ joined the chat room.
[10:50am] jeremyb: sockpuppet?
[10:50am] • Philippe totally wants "sockpuppet" on a business card.
[10:50am] jeremyb: there's already a server called sockpuppet
[10:50am] Odisha1 left the chat room. (Ping timeout: 244 seconds)
[10:51am] gyoung_wmf: Bence: There are a couple things underlying that. First, we're about 7 years old. I actually think we're at a phase in growth where we're likely to lose people because the same people who were attracted to it when we were in start-up aren't necessarily attracted to being here in adolescence/maturing. That's pretty normal. Second, I think that what I mentioned about a lack of career pathing is also an issue - there aren't a whole lot of places y
[10:51am] gyoung_wmf: articulated for people to grow /into/.
[10:51am] jeremyb: gyoung_wmf: there aren't a whole lot of places y<truncate>
[10:52am] • Philippe tries to teach 'em to hit "enter" frequently
[10:52am] jeremyb: Philippe: or just before they hit 490 bytes
[10:52am] gyoung_wmf: lyzzy: I think we continue to have a great benefits structure. Our pay isn't nearly as competitive on the FB/Google/Twitters, but we cover full medical and dental, and our people have wellness and development dollars. I think that people LOVE the people they work with here. It's been my very great privilege to work with some of the smartest people I know, and that creates a really enjoyable atmosphere to be a part of.
[10:53am] Jan-Bart left the chat room. (Remote host closed the connection)
[10:53am] Philippe: We're going to wrap up in about 2 -3 minutes....
[10:53am] gyoung_wmf: And I think if we support an org culture that is firmly grounded in our huge and wonderful mission, that's a great attractor for people
[10:53am] Philippe: any last questions?
[10:53am] Nemo_bis: "we cover full medical and dental" etc. – what about remote staffers
[10:53am] gyoung_wmf: To recap a sentence that cut off, "That's pretty normal. Second, I think that what I mentioned about a lack of career pathing is also an issue - there aren't a whole lot of places yet articulated for people to grow /into/."
[10:54am] gyoung_wmf: If remote staffers are employees, then yes, we cover medical and dental etc for them
[10:54am] gyoung_wmf: We don't cover that for contractors
[10:54am] Nemo_bis: Yes but what if they're covered by the state where they are.
[10:54am] jeremyb: gyoung_wmf: what if they're not in the US?
[10:54am] tommorris: "I think that people LOVE the people they work with here
[10:54am] tommorris: so when's the big fat gay/greek/gypsy WMF wedding?
[10:55am] bodnotbod: tommorris "my big fat *geek* wedding"
[10:55am] jeremyb: tommorris: is there some part of that that I'm missing because I didn't see the movie?
[10:55am] StevenW: There have been no interoffice marriages to date. We feel this reflects well on the Foundation's professional environment.
[10:55am] • Nemo_bis slaps tommorris
[10:55am] Philippe: LOL@StevenW
[10:56am] gyoung_wmf: If they're not in the US, we're looking to work with local vendors who can deliver a similar level of service. We're not scaled up to do some of that because we have the brand of a top 5 website, but not the infrastructure/systems. (That speaks to a question someone asked about challenges. For example, we're still tracking vacation on Excel spreadsheets which is painful.)
[10:56am] tommorris: StevenW: it's gonna happen at Wikimania. I know it.
[10:56am] Jan_eissfeldt joined the chat room.
[10:56am] tommorris:
[10:56am] Philippe: OK, on that note, folks, we have to take off. Gayle and I have another meeting in a couple of minutes.
[10:56am] Philippe: But as always, thanks for coming, and thanks, Gayle, for subjecting yourself to mindspillage this group.
[10:56am] Philippe:
[10:56am] gyoung_wmf: In some places there's a gap between what we'd ideally like to be doing and developing and evolving the infrastructure, and in some cases international vendors/partners, to be able to do that.
[10:56am] bodnotbod: Thanks for coming Gayle. Take care Philippe.
[10:56am] omtsh:
[10:56am] jeremyb: there have actually been weddings... i can think of 1 off the top of my head
[10:56am] gyoung_wmf: I've actually really loved this. Can I do this again?
[10:56am] jeremyb: just not WMF ppl
[10:56am] Philippe: It's like a drug....
[10:56am] jeremyb: gyoung_wmf: yes! thanks for coming!
[10:57am] Nemo_bis: jeremyb, well there are many weddings between wikimedians
[10:57am] gyoung_wmf: I should hang out on IRC more often…except with my tendency to gab, I wouldn't get much work done!
[10:57am] Philippe: Thanks everyone!
[10:57am] tommorris: thanks gyoung_wmf, Philippe, etc.!
[10:57am] gyoung_wmf: Thanks, all, for the thoughtful questions. - please let me know if you have other questions, etc.
[10:57am] gyoung_wmf: also feedback and suggestions
[10:57am] gyoung_wmf had voice removed by you.
[10:57am] gyoung_wmf: Take care, all!