Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.

Software Engineer - Wikipedia Library

Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. published 9 months ago


Mid-Level, Full-time

– No office location

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Posted 12 hours ago

About this job

Job type: Full-time
Experience level: Mid-Level
Industry: Education Technology, eLearning, Non-Profit
Company size: 201–500 people


Job description

Location: Remote


The Wikipedia Library Team at Wikimedia Foundation is looking for a Software Engineer to work with us to add features and capabilities to the Wikipedia Library project as part of a new team.

The Wikipedia Library project allows approved users to freely access paywalled research databases to use as reference and background when editing articles on Wikipedia. The tool is primarily written in Django with several other Python libraries included.

The Community Programs team has envisioned and built the current version of the Wikipedia Library. We are seeking a Software Engineer to help maintain and expand the tool as part of a strategy to grow the tool’s usage and capabilities. This work will not, at first, directly interface with MediaWiki PHP code but will use Wikipedia APIs to enable some features including authentication and access. Working directly with MediaWiki PHP might be part of the team’s responsibilities in the future.

This is an ideal opportunity for a developer interested in working towards the Wikimedia Foundation mission who is primarily a Python developer. The application is in production so you’ll need an interest to understand the existing system. You’ll also be working with a Product Manager to identify, plan, and deliver new features. The team will start small with two engineers but could grow and take on even more projects.

We use open source tools as much as possible, and always open source our own work ( Python 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 mission 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.

This role is fully remote or located in our office in San Francisco, CA. Most of the leadership team on this project is remote.


  • Architect, develop, test, and deploy new features, improvements and upgrades to the Wikipedia Library 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
  • Work with the team’s Product Manager to scope and plan the technical work


  • Education and/or experience with Object-Oriented development using Python and Javascript
  • 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

Nice to Haves

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 object-oriented PHP development
  • 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 machine learning or AI technologies
  • Experience with online community moderation or anti-harassment tools
  • Experience with integrating web products with commonly implemented library services, such as discovery, resource usage analytics, and EZProxy
  • Experience with integrating web products with commonly implemented in library standards and protocols, such as Z39.50, Z39.88, OAI, and COUNTER
  • Experience normalizing heterogeneous data sets and developing ETL tools

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. This is optional and your candidacy will not be negatively impacted if you don’t have public work to share.

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 340 staff members.

At the Foundation, we build technology to help people everywhere access free knowledge, across all devices and in over 300 languages. We engineer privacy for our readers and editors so they can safely and securely explore our wikis. We create programs and initiatives to make knowledge freely available to more people in more parts of the world. We build new tools for the community of editors so their wiki can continue to improve and grow. 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.

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

Life at Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.

About Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.

The Wikimedia Foundation is...

...the nonprofit organization that supports 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.


  • Fully paid premiums for medical, dental & vision insurance premiums
  • 401(k) with 4% matching contribution
  • 7-12 weeks parental leave with 100% pay + lactation room
  • Wellness Program ($1800 annual) to promote wellness & personal growth
  • Pre-tax savings plans for Transportation & Parking
  • Flexible work schedules and remote working options
  • Pet Friendly office
  • Commitment to diversity & inclusion throughout the employee lifecycle
  • 12 days vacation, 19 days holiday, 2 days volunteer work and more!
  • Lean more at
Learn more about Wikimedia Foundation
Software Engineer - Wikipedia Library at Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.