Software Engineer
Wikimedia Foundation - San Francisco, CA

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At the Wikimedia Foundation -- the nonprofit that supports Wikipedia -- we’re literally changing the world every day with the work we do. We’re at the forefront of the free-culture movement and we’re dedicated to reducing barriers to accessing the free knowledge available on Wikipedia, which educates and empowers people around the world.

As part of our mission to bring all the world’s knowledge for free to everyone, we have an ambitious program called Wikipedia Zero, in which we partner with mobile phone companies to offer Wikipedia free of data charges. We’re also collaborating to pioneer new ways to access Wikipedia via SMS, USSD and other text-based technology to reach the billions of mobile phone users who don’t have, or can’t afford, data plans. We’re focusing on India, Africa, Brazil, and Southeast Asia, and we’re innovating mobile solutions with mission-aligned partners around the world.

As one of our engineers, you will be part of our growing team that helps us scale our technology to reach those billions of users. You will work with remarkably smart and passionate people and you will help provide dedicated support for both development and operations.

Who we’re looking for

We imagine you’re a passionate software engineer who wants to contribute to the expansion of free knowledge and free culture by supporting Wikipedia. You thrive on working with partners all around the world ranging from telecommunications companies, operating systems vendors, and like-minded organizations. You love writing open source software at a large scale, and you want to help make the mobile ecosystem more open by contributing your talents.

What you'll do

The ideal candidate will work on a software solutions that have the potential to serve hundreds millions of mobile users who don't have a fast internet connection. We are working to offset this barrier to accessing free knowledge by offering an experience that loads faster. Your work will be challenging, but the rewards will be remarkable, for you, for your team, and for the world.

The software you write will serve people in developing countries who don't have access to knowledge. Think about people in Africa or India who will – for the first time in their lives – have access to free knowledge about health related topics like HIV or malaria. As part of our mobile team you're going to change people's lives.

Specifically, you will take our new access method prototypes and scale them to hundreds of millions of users and hundreds of partners.

You will work within a small and agile team focused on mobile development

You will engage with a passionate user community to take Wikipedia and its sibling sites to the next stage of mobile knowledge and content sharing

You should

Know how to build and support large-scale web applications in PHP & Python

Be able to optimize web services to function best on both feature and smart phones

Love working within a highly collaborative and consensus-oriented environment

Be comfortable working with our partners for software integration

Get excited about working in multiple cultural contexts

You get extra points for

Experience with SMS & USSD

Knowing about wikis

Having lived or worked outside of your home country

Showing us your open source / free culture contributions

About the Wikimedia Foundation

The Wikimedia Foundation is the non-profit organization that operates Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Our commitment: Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. According to comScore Media Metrix, Wikipedia and the other projects operated by the Wikimedia Foundation receive more than 482 million unique visitors per month, making them the fifth-most popular web property world-wide (comScore, January 2012). Available in 282 languages, Wikipedia contains more than 21 million articles contributed by a global volunteer community of more than 100,000 people. Based in San Francisco, California, the Wikimedia Foundation is an audited, 501(c)(3) charity that is funded primarily through donations and grants. The Wikimedia Foundation was created in 2003 to manage the operation of Wikipedia and its sister projects. It currently employs 100 staff members. Wikimedia works with local chapter organizations in 39 countries or regions to advance the mission of the Wikimedia movement.

Job Location(s)

San Francisco, CA, US