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Wikimedia Foundation

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Wikimedia Foundation

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Wikimedia Foundation FAQ

Have questions about working at Wikimedia Foundation? Read answers to frequently asked questions to help you make a choice before applying to a job or accepting a job offer.

Whether it's about compensation and benefits, culture and diversity, or you're curious to know more about the work environment, find out from employees what it's like to work at Wikimedia Foundation.

All answers shown come directly from Wikimedia Foundation Reviews and are not edited or altered.

28 English questions out of 28

24 June 2020

Does Wikimedia Foundation offer disability insurance?

Pros

Amazing environment. Really good benefits. Flexibility on time. Self-care practices which many organisations do not have.

Cons

Some long term contractors do not enjoy the same benefits as full time staff members

Advice to Management

None

Some long term contractors do not enjoy the same benefits as full time staff members

24 June 2020

See answer

6 July 2021

Does Wikimedia Foundation offer unlimited holiday?

Pros

1. Systematic and progressive work environment 2. Friendly and supporting staffs 3. I got to learn at my work 4. More exposure

Cons

1. Time frame was very limited. Work would have been better with more time.

Advice to Management

No

Work would have been better with more time.

6 July 2021

See answer

24 November 2020

Does Wikimedia Foundation offer relocation assistance?

Pros

The mission of the organization is nothing short of awesome. Spectacular technical challenges unlike any other place, the size and the profile of the project is breathtaking. It is likely you will find some very interesting work that makes difference in the world. A lot of interesting and awesome people, from all corners of the Earth, are working there. And you can meet them, remotely, and, pre you-know-what, also at times in person, Wikimedia has (had?) several great community events each year, held at various places. The engineering team is very strong and motivated, and there are many knowledgeable volunteers that are happy to lend a hand. Serious attention is paid to supporting development and operation with the right tools and best practices. You will be allowed a lot of independence in how you work and how you do stuff, and some time for your Wiki-related own projects, if you're interested. The benefits package is great (lots of vacation, fully paid medical, additional perks). The org really pays attention to the work-life balance.

Cons

The management is very chaotic, especially at the top, and in my time there there was several cross-organization reorgs, which were done against the wishes of the teams and had very discouraging and disorganizing effects on people. Several managers that initiated them left after that, which led to a new management, which wanted a new reorg, etc. At the end, it is very hard to navigate all this chaos. Fortunately, most of engineering is largely self-driven, but getting help (or even any attention) from the top management is not easy. The culture of the place is sometimes weird. Some people there think earning money for the job well done is something one has to be ashamed of, and while being there I heard repeated calls for things like salary caps and equalizing everybody's salaries. The compensation is decent but not awesome, some people get really the lower end compared to their ability (to be clear, I don't mean myself :). Promotion system is arcane and advancement opportunities are afforded by unknown criteria by decisions made behind closed doors with zero feedback, which can make it very hard to understand what one can do to be afforded an opportunity to advance. A lot of office politics one has to play to get anything happening in the organization - either for yourself or for the projects you care about. The top management sometimes has very little idea what is going on and what is important. Inevitable bureaucratic processes are done in quite disorganized manner - it is clear that there's no organization knowledge in how to do these things properly and everybody reinvents the wheel all the time and wastes a lot of time, and the results are sometimes messy, so you have to work around or against the organization rather than it supporting you. Some processes look like "somebody read a book" or "somebody hired a consultant" and then people waste time on a process that goes nowhere and does not help anything.

Advice to Management

I have no idea... Get organized better? Stop basing so many decisions on office politics? Don't treat the org as a playground for the management to play with, but as people who want to do their jobs and your job is to help them? Not sure it's helpful, but I have never been a manager, so what do I know :)

The benefits package is great (lots of vacation, fully paid medical, additional perks).

24 November 2020

See 1 more answer

12 November 2020

How are the career development opportunities at Wikimedia Foundation?

Pros

* great mission - it's easy to feel good about your work * interesting, and often very smart, coworkers and community * always opportunities to learn * challenging, interesting work

Cons

* good managers are few and far between * very political environment * limited opportunities for career growth, and pathways to promotions are very unclear * annual planning and other bureaucratic processes are time consuming and endless * sometimes very hostile work environment - this is a leadership and company culture issue, not a community issue * very accommodating to parents at the expense of employees without children who have to work more to cover for teammates * people in non-technical departments are paid significantly less than product & engineering

limited opportunities for career growth, and pathways to promotions are very unclear

12 November 2020

See 9 more answers

24 November 2020

What kind of career opportunities exist at Wikimedia Foundation?

Pros

The mission of the organization is nothing short of awesome. Spectacular technical challenges unlike any other place, the size and the profile of the project is breathtaking. It is likely you will find some very interesting work that makes difference in the world. A lot of interesting and awesome people, from all corners of the Earth, are working there. And you can meet them, remotely, and, pre you-know-what, also at times in person, Wikimedia has (had?) several great community events each year, held at various places. The engineering team is very strong and motivated, and there are many knowledgeable volunteers that are happy to lend a hand. Serious attention is paid to supporting development and operation with the right tools and best practices. You will be allowed a lot of independence in how you work and how you do stuff, and some time for your Wiki-related own projects, if you're interested. The benefits package is great (lots of vacation, fully paid medical, additional perks). The org really pays attention to the work-life balance.

Cons

The management is very chaotic, especially at the top, and in my time there there was several cross-organization reorgs, which were done against the wishes of the teams and had very discouraging and disorganizing effects on people. Several managers that initiated them left after that, which led to a new management, which wanted a new reorg, etc. At the end, it is very hard to navigate all this chaos. Fortunately, most of engineering is largely self-driven, but getting help (or even any attention) from the top management is not easy. The culture of the place is sometimes weird. Some people there think earning money for the job well done is something one has to be ashamed of, and while being there I heard repeated calls for things like salary caps and equalizing everybody's salaries. The compensation is decent but not awesome, some people get really the lower end compared to their ability (to be clear, I don't mean myself :). Promotion system is arcane and advancement opportunities are afforded by unknown criteria by decisions made behind closed doors with zero feedback, which can make it very hard to understand what one can do to be afforded an opportunity to advance. A lot of office politics one has to play to get anything happening in the organization - either for yourself or for the projects you care about. The top management sometimes has very little idea what is going on and what is important. Inevitable bureaucratic processes are done in quite disorganized manner - it is clear that there's no organization knowledge in how to do these things properly and everybody reinvents the wheel all the time and wastes a lot of time, and the results are sometimes messy, so you have to work around or against the organization rather than it supporting you. Some processes look like "somebody read a book" or "somebody hired a consultant" and then people waste time on a process that goes nowhere and does not help anything.

Advice to Management

I have no idea... Get organized better? Stop basing so many decisions on office politics? Don't treat the org as a playground for the management to play with, but as people who want to do their jobs and your job is to help them? Not sure it's helpful, but I have never been a manager, so what do I know :)

Promotion system is arcane and advancement opportunities are afforded by unknown criteria by decisions made behind closed doors with zero feedback, which can make it very hard to understand what one can do to be afforded an opportunity to advance.

24 November 2020

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28 English questions out of 28

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