Wikipedia is where the world turns to understand almost any topic — The Wikimedia Foundation is the nonprofit that operates Wikipedia and its sister projects with a small staff.  We are looking for a great engineer who wants to modernize the infrastructure underlying Wikipedia and make it scalable and sustainable. If this excites you we welcome you to join us.


  • Contribute to a dedicated team that develops and evolves the software infrastructure powering the Wikimedia projects
  • Gather requirements and architect software solutions supporting the Foundation’s strategic direction
  • Create modular, highly-scalable, distributed services
  • Assist and mentor other teams in integrating their projects with the core software platform
  • Build automated tests and thorough monitoring for the components being developed, and help package them for internal and third-party distribution.
  • Change the world for more than half a billion people every month 😉

Example Projects

Here are some of the projects you would be contributing to:

  • Distributed storage component. Our datasets include tens of terabytes of content spread across multiple data centres, which can be quite challenging and time-consuming when developing features and products. Our team is tasked with designing and implementing a PaaS-like robust, distributed storage component that can easily be leveraged to speed up new user-facing features and products.
  • Session management service. Privacy is of great concern to Wikipedia’s communities. By isolating session management into a separate service, we are minimising the attack surface and increasing the security of our systems.
  • Event propagation and dependency tracking. While the number of direct edits is rather small, they can cause updates to several million pages at once. Hence, our infrastructure must be able to reliably update the databases and HTML representations and purge content from the caches at large scale.


  • You have experience building large-scale server applications.
    • You think about clusters, caching and latencies
    • You are familiar with issues in large-scale systems and are eager to learn new technology
  • You are familiar with a diverse set of programming languages and have a solid understanding of core engineering concepts:
    • Unix process and concurrency models
    • Server application deployment and infrastructure automation
    • Relational & distributed databases (e.g. MySQL, Cassandra, Riak, HBase, DynamoDB)
    • Principles of fault tolerance and security
  • With freedom comes responsibility; you direct your own work and are proactive in seeking input
  • You have a scientific mindset and empirically test your hypotheses
  • BS, MS, or PhD in Computer Science or equivalent work experience


  • Familiarity with Node.js
  • Experience with contributing to open source software and free culture
  • Self-organised, with experience in working in a geographically-distributed environment
  • You know what it means to be a volunteer or to coordinate the work of volunteers
  • Big ups if you are a contributor to Wikipedia and/or its sister projects

Show us your stuff! If you have any existing open source software that you’ve developed (these could be your own software or patches to other packages), please share the URLs for the source. Links to GitHub, etc. are exceptionally useful.

About the Wikimedia Foundation

The Wikimedia Foundation is the non-profit organization that supports and hosts Wikipedia and several other Wikimedia free knowledge sites. Every month, the Wikimedia sites are accessed by more than a billion unique devices. Wikipedia consists of more than 40 million articles across hundreds of languages. Every month, more than 70,000 volunteer editors contribute to Wikipedia. Based in San Francisco, California, the Wikimedia Foundation is an audited, 501(c)(3) non-profit that is funded primarily through donations and grants. It currently employs over 240 staff members.

At the Foundation, we build technology to help people everywhere access Wikipedia, across devices and in nearly 300 languages. We engineer privacy for our readers and editors so they can safely and securely explore Wikipedia. We create programs and initiatives to make Wikipedia freely available to more people in more parts of the world. We build new tools for the community of editors so they can continue to improve and grow Wikipedia. Roughly a quarter of our budget goes to supporting the community that make the site possible, including through grantmaking programs that enable volunteers and enrich the information on the sites.

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

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, massages, cooking classes 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
  • Pre-tax savings plans for health care, child care, elder care, public transportation and parking expenses
  • For those emergency moments – long and short term disability, life insurance (2x salary) and an employee assistance program
  • 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

* for benefits eligible staff, benefits may vary by location

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