System Architect

Remote Technology

System Architect 


The Wikimedia Foundation is hiring a Systems Architect to join our new Architecture Team to collectively shape and design Wikimedia’s future systems to support sharing the world’s knowledge. This role will be part of a small new team, but will work remotely and collaboratively across the organization and movement ensuring our systems enable users to document, create, share and seek the knowledge contained in Wikimedia Projects while making sure our systems are resilient, secure and scalable. Our work is open-source and you can find the work of our engineering teams here. An example of the type of work this new team will facilitate is the output of the Frontend Architecture Working Group, a committee which recently chose a standard JavaScript framework and a plan to migrate there from our homegrown OOUI. This work we accomplish is strongly guided by our organizational values. We try to use the right tool for the job and we write code in a variety of languages: PHP, Python, Javascript and even the occasional Scala.

A strong candidate has a deep commitment to collective reasoning, strengthening the argumentation of others and asking questions. You have worked on multiple high scale data systems both in an engineering and design capacity. This experience includes building systems in modern architectures but also transitioning legacy monolithic systems to a more modular approach. You are excited about big end goals, but even more delighted about figuring out the path to get there.

You are responsible for:

  • Collaborate with engineers, product managers and other system owners within the Wikimedia Foundation and its partners to model and design a target architecture for Wikimedia and path to get there.  
  • Prototype and experiment in conjunction with software engineers to test assumptions and obtain feedback on potential system designs
  • Develop and lead internal workshops to gain insight into domains, workflows and other system needs. 
  • Contribute to implementation plans in conjunction with development teams
  • Socialize and communicate architecture designs across Wikimedia stakeholders

Skills and Experience:

  • Looking for 3 to 7 years working in an architecture role.
  • Ability to communicate and facilitate across cross functional groups. 
  • Portfolio of tools for modeling the domains and flows, especially interfaces and communications across system components
  • Experienced implementing and designing systems. Mostly recently you have worked in an architecture role. Whatever your title has been in the past most recently you have designed high traffic data focused systems. 
  • You have experience migrating legacy systems to modern architectures
  • You have worked on event driven, incremental and service oriented architectures
  • You are experienced implementing data technologies such as relational databases, NoSQL or event streaming. 
  • You have created a variety of architecture artifacts, choosing the right delivery for the audience
  • Deeply committed to collaborative work and strengthening ideas together
  • Know at least one programming language well, but have knowledge in a variety of languages. You are comfortable with compiled and scripting languages.
  • Able to stay motivated while working towards a long-term goal and celebrate successes along the way. 
  • B.S. or M.S. in Computer Science, related field or equivalent in related work experience. Do not feel you need a degree to apply; we value hands-on experience most of all.

Additionally, we’d love it if you have:

  • Experience using Domain Driven Design
  • Experience with open source technology and free culture, and have contributed to open source projects
  • Experience working remotely
  • You are a contributor to Wikipedia

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.

As an equal opportunity employer, the Wikimedia Foundation values having a diverse workforce and continuously strives to maintain an inclusive and equitable workplace. We encourage people with a diverse range of backgrounds to apply. We do not discriminate against any person based upon their race, traits historically associated with race, religion, color, national origin, sex, pregnancy or related medical conditions, parental status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability, genetic information, or any other legally protected characteristics.

If you are a qualified applicant requiring assistance or an accommodation to complete any step of the application process due to a disability, you may contact us at or (415) 839-6885.

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 Foundation
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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