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Wikimedia Foundation is looking for a Vice President of Engineering

Developing and maintaining the code and infrastructure that enable the global Wikimedia volunteer community to contribute to Wikipedia and our other projects is at the heart of the Wikimedia Foundation’s work. In the past 2.5 years, I’ve led our combined Engineering and Product department. We’ve done lots of hiring and grown the department from roughly 35 to 100+ people during that time period. We have many projects underway which we hope will dramatically improve the experience of our contributors and our readers, including VisualEditor, Flow (a new discussion system), and new reader and contribution features for mobile users.

About a year ago, I announced that we needed to start thinking about dividing the responsibilities of the VP of Engineering and VP of Product into two separate leadership roles (closely collaborating on a day-to-day basis), at which point I’d focus on the VP Product part of my current role. The Director-level roles referenced in that announcement now exist—we’ve since hired a Director of User Experience and a Director of Analytics. Now it’s time for us to search for a VP of Engineering to complete the change. We’re partnering in this search with Julie Locke from Vantage Partners, an executive search firm.

We’re looking for someone who shares some fundamental beliefs with us:

  • that working in partnership with a global community of open source developers, and in close dialog with our users, is the best way to achieve lasting and positive changes to our technology;
  • that teams do their best work when they’re inspired and empowered to do good work, not because they’re “managed” to do it;
  • that it’s the job of management to create the conditions for teams and individuals to succeed, by equipping them with resources, mentoring and supporting them in their adoption of effective processes for self-organization;
  • that highly iterative development (“release early, release often”) delivers the most value to our readers and our community;
  • that hiring for diversity—of geography, gender, culture, skills, etc.—leads to more successful and effective teams.

Ideally, you’ve put these beliefs into practice in the real world, in a context where you’ve delivered open source technology to users with short delivery/deployment cycles, where you’ve supported operation of a high traffic site reaching millions of users, and where you’ve held leadership responsibilities in service of multiple, diverse, interdependent teams. You’re passionate about open source, and above all, you’re excited by the Wikimedia vision: a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge.

Wikimedia has great technical challenges ahead: continually modernizing our user experience, decoupling monolithic aspects of our architecture, and supporting the greatest innovations our community comes up with. We’re looking for a collaborative, brilliant and effective leader who can help us tackle these challenges. If that describes you, take a look at the full job description, and apply today.

Erik Moeller
Vice President of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation

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