engineering data engineer

Data Engineer

Wikipedia is where the world turns to understand almost any topic — The Wikimedia Foundation is the nonprofit that operates Wikipedia with a small staff.  We are looking for a great data architect who wants to modernize the infrastructure underlying Wikipedia with distributed storage, services and REST interfaces [1].  If this excites you, we welcome you to join us.


  • Collaborate with Product Owners, Engineers and stakeholders on product discovery and improvements of our existing systems
  • Design and implement effective data storage solutions and models
  • Articulate the flow of data across our diverse range of systems
  • Ensure reusable clear service design and  documentation
  • Defining and aligning the forms and sources of data to facilitate WMF initiatives
  • Ensure monitoring system performance and identify, define and implement internal process improvements and SLOs
  • Work with Site Reliability and Operations Engineers to analyse and determine service discoverability, capacity plans and high availability
  • Recommend solutions to improve new and existing data storage and delivery systems
  • Change the world for more than half a billion people every month ?

Skills and Experience

  • 3+ years experience in a Data Architect role as part of a team
  • You have a track record of leading data architecture initiatives to completion
  • You have experience analysing, reasoning about, optimising and implementing complex data systems
  • You have expertise in data handling approaches and technologies with good understanding of system development lifecycles and modern data architectures(Data Lakes, Data Warehouse)
  • You are comfortable modeling complex systems using approaches such as Domain Driven Design, eventual consistency, stream processing
  • You have experience with a diverse set of data storage and persistence frameworks and have a strong understanding of core data modelling concepts:
    • Relational & distributed databases (e.g. MySQL, Cassandra, Neo4j, Riak, HBase, DynamoDB, Elasticsearch)
    • Consistency trade-offs and transactional algorithms in distributed systems
    • Principles of fault tolerance and robustness
  • Use the best available tools & languages for each task. Currently we work a lot with Node.js but also use other tools and languages like Go, Python, Java, C, C++ and PHP where it makes sense.
  • You have experience working with data streaming and pipelining systems(Hadoop, Kafka, Druid)
  • You have experience working with an engineering team, and communicate effectively with other stakeholders.
  • You have a track record of combining a solid long-term architectural strategy with short-term progress.
  • With freedom comes responsibility. You direct your own work and are pro-active in asking for input.
  • You have a scientific mindset and empirically test your hypotheses.
  • BS, MS, or PhD in Computer Science or equivalent work experience


  • Experience working with microservice architectures
  • Experience with open source technology and free culture, and have contributed to open source projects
  • Experience working remotely
  • 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
  • Please provide us with information you feel would be useful to us in gaining a better understanding of your technical background and accomplishments

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.

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

special offer