Systems Architect, Data at Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.

Systems Architect, Data


The Wikimedia Foundation is looking for a Systems Architect to join our Architecture Team, reporting to the Director of Architecture. As a Systems Architect, you will collectively shape and design Wikimedia’s future technical systems that share the world’s knowledge. In this role, you will collaborate with engineers, product managers and other system owners within the Wikimedia Foundation and its partners to model and design an iterative approach to an evolutionary architecture for Wikimedia. You will work remotely and collaboratively across the organization and movement, ensuring our systems enable users to collect, share and distribute the knowledge contained in Wikimedia Projects while also ensuring our systems are resilient, secure and scalable.

Over the past year we have sketched a target architecture, collaborated with teams in our Product Department on structuring content and worked to establish an architecture practice. To understand more about our overall approach here is a blog post describing how we think about transiting from software to systems. The work we accomplish is strongly guided by our organizational values. Including a commitment to open source, you can find the work of our engineering teams on GitHub.

As a strong candidate, you have a deep commitment to collective reasoning, strengthening the expert thinking of others and asking the right questions. You have worked on multiple, high-scale data systems both in an engineering and design capacity. This experience includes building systems in modern architectures and transitioning legacy monolithic systems to a more modular and distributed approach. You are excited about designing for emergence and reaching big end goals.

You are responsible for:

  • Collaborating with engineers, product managers and other system owners within the Wikimedia Foundation and its partners to model and design an iterative approach to an evolutionary architecture for Wikimedia.
  • Prototyping and experimenting in conjunction with software engineers to test assumptions and obtain feedback on potential system designs.
  • Developing and leading internal workshops to gain insight into domains, workflows and other system needs.
  • Contributing to implementation plans in conjunction with development teams.
  • Socializing and communicating architecture designs across Wikimedia stakeholders.

Skills and Experience:

  • Ability to communicate and factiliate across cross-functional groups.
  • Portfolio of tools for modeling, especially interfaces and communications across system components.
  • Experience designing and implementing high-traffic, data-focused systems in an architecture role. Mostly recently you have worked in an architecture role.
  • You have experience migrating legacy systems to modern architectures. Specially systems utilizing patterns such as CQRS, loose coupling, microservices and building an ecosystem of components.
  • You have worked on event driven, incremental and service oriented architectures.
  • You are experienced in implementing data technologies such as relational databases, NoSQL or event streaming.
  • You have created a variety of architecture artifacts, choosing the right style of delivery for the audience and are well versed in framing a problem.
  • Deeply committed to collaborative work and strengthening ideas together.
  • Know at least one programming language well, but have knowledge in a variety of languages. You are comfortable with compiled and scripting languages.
  • Able to stay motivated while working towards a long-term goal and celebrate successes along the way.

Additionally, we’d love it if you have:

  • Experience using Domain Driven Design
  • Experience with open source technology and free culture, and have contributed to open source projects
  • An understanding of Kafka and the Kafka ecosystem
  • Experience working remotely
  • You are a contributor to Wikipedia, Wikidata or other Wikimedia projects

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.

As an equal opportunity employer, the Wikimedia Foundation values having a diverse workforce and continuously strives to maintain an inclusive and equitable workplace. We encourage people with a diverse range of backgrounds to apply. We do not discriminate against any person based upon their race, traits historically associated with race, religion, color, national origin, sex, pregnancy or related medical conditions, parental status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability, genetic information, or any other legally protected characteristics.

If you are a qualified applicant requiring assistance or an accommodation to complete any step of the application process due to a disability, you may contact us at or (415) 839-6885.

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 22 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

*Please note that for remote roles located outside of the U.S., we defer to our PEO to ensure alignment with local labor laws.

More information

Wikimedia Foundation
Wikimedia 2030
Wikimedia Medium Term Plan
Our Commitment to Equity
This is Wikimedia Foundation
Facts Matter
Our Projects
Our Tech Stack

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