Software Engineer (Community Tech)

San Francisco, CA or Remote Product


The Community Tech Team at Wikimedia Foundation is looking for a Software Engineer to work with us to build features and tools requested by the Wikimedia community.

Each year, the Community Tech team runs a global survey in which our volunteer community proposes and votes on “wishes” for technical projects. These vary from small enhancements to  MediaWiki, the software that powers Wikipedia, to entirely new tools or applications. Community Tech commits to addressing the top ten vote-getting proposals in each calendar year.  We are seeking a software engineer to join Community Tech to help us address these wishes and provide solutions to the community.

This is an ideal opportunity for a member of the community to leverage their skills and experience and help the Foundation support the community better. While we are able and willing to coach and train engineers new to MediaWiki or the free knowledge movement, this role requires existing knowledge and experience developing modern web applications.

We use open source tools as much as possible, and always open source our own work ( PHP and Javascript make up most of our code, but we value using the right tool for the job. Developers at the Foundation have autonomy and responsibility, and can have a large and immediate impact on the future of the site and the movement. Our world is vast and can be complicated, so we value communication, enthusiasm, and eagerness to learn as much as certificates or degrees.

You are responsible for:

  • Architect, develop, test, and deploy new features, improvements and upgrades to various systems and tools used by the Wikimedia community
  • Partner with Foundation staff and volunteers on software design, development, testing and evaluation of potential technical solutions
  • Help identify and implement best practices in engineering processes across the team
  • Ensure positive and constructive discussions with the community and the Foundation
  • Work and communicate effectively within a small team distributed across multiple time zones

Skills and Experience:

  • Education and/or experience with Object-Oriented development using a scripting language (such as PHP, Python, Ruby, or JavaScript)
  • Interest in front-end web application development skills
  • Experience with collaborative open source communities
  • Openness to working with a diverse and geographically distributed team
  • Strong written communication skills as our collaboration largely happens online
  • Bachelor’s degree in CS or related field or the equivalent in work related experience

Qualities that are important to us:

  • Adaptable - This team works on many different features and codebases. Be able to adapt your skills to the task and learn quickly is important.
  • User-focused - Our primary goal is to provide our users with tools and features that cannot get without our help.
  • Open-minded - The team is comprised of people from several different countries and cultures. Be open to new ways of communicating and working.

Additionally, we’d love it if you have:

In addition to the basic skills needed for being successful, these skills could set you apart from the pack!

  • Experience with MediaWiki development or or as a contributor to Wikimedia projects
  • Experience with Test-Driven Development and agile methodologies
  • Any other free/open source software development experience is highly welcome
  • Understanding of the free culture movement
  • Experience with online community moderation or anti-harassment tools

The Wikimedia Foundation is... 

...the nonprofit organization that hosts and operates Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia free knowledge projects. Our vision is a world in which every single human can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. We believe that everyone has the potential to contribute something to our shared knowledge, and that everyone should be able to access that knowledge, free of interference. We host the Wikimedia projects, build software experiences for reading, contributing, and sharing Wikimedia content, support the volunteer communities and partners who make Wikimedia possible, and advocate for policies that enable Wikimedia and free knowledge to thrive. The Wikimedia Foundation is a charitable, not-for-profit organization that relies on donations. We receive financial support from millions of individuals around the world, with an average donation of about $15. We also receive donations through institutional grants and gifts. The Wikimedia Foundation is a United States 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization with offices in San Francisco, California, USA.

The Wikimedia Foundation is an equal opportunity employer, and we encourage people with a diverse range of backgrounds to apply.

U.S. Benefits & Perks*

  • Fully paid medical, dental and vision coverage for employees and their eligible families (yes, fully paid premiums!)
  • The Wellness Program provides reimbursement for mind, body and soul activities such as fitness memberships, baby sitting, continuing education and much more
  • The 401(k) retirement plan offers matched contributions at 4% of annual salary
  • Flexible and generous time off - vacation, sick and volunteer days, plus 19 paid holidays - including the last week of the year.
  • Family friendly! 100% paid new parent leave for seven weeks plus an additional five weeks for pregnancy, flexible options to phase back in after leave, fully equipped lactation room.
  • For those emergency moments - long and short term disability, life insurance (2x salary) and an employee assistance program
  • Pre-tax savings plans for health care, child care, elder care, public transportation and parking expenses
  • Telecommuting and flexible work schedules available
  • Appropriate fuel for thinking and coding (aka, a pantry full of treats) and monthly massages to help staff relax
  • Great colleagues - diverse staff and contractors speaking dozens of languages from around the world, fantastic intellectual discourse, mission-driven and intensely passionate people

*Eligible international workers' benefits are specific to their location and dependent on their employer of record

More information

Wikimedia 2030
Wikimedia Medium Term Plan
Diversity and inclusion information for Wikimedia workers, by the numbers
Wikimania 2019
Annual Report - 2017 

This is Wikimedia Foundation 
Facts Matter
Our Projects
Fundraising Report


Wikimedia is a global movement whose mission is to bring free educational content to the world.

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