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[Wikimedia-l] A new structure for WMF Engineering.
Dear Wikimedians,

Today we had a meeting at the Foundation to announce changes in our Product
and Engineering team structure. They represent the outcome of many
conversations with people from across the Wikimedia community and within
the Foundation. These changes will organize our teams around the needs of
people they serve, and empower them to focus deeply on their audiences to
deliver great outcomes.

We’re bringing together our Product and Engineering departments to form new
audience teams, reporting to Damon Sicore, our VP of Engineering. We’re
grouping core research, architecture, performance, and security functions
together, and will begin the search for a Chief Technology Officer (CTO) to
lead our engineering future. And we’re integrating support for Community
Engineering into the broader Community Engagement team. These changes are
effective today.

Earlier this year we set out some goals for our work at the Foundation,
described in our Call to Action
for 2015. These goals came out of conversations with you, and with
Foundation staff. You’ll see that the first thing we identified was the
need to improve our technology and execution. These goals focused on
defining commitments, data-driven decision making, support for community
engineering requests, and a commitment to engineering leadership.

The new changes reflect these commitments. We have organized our product
engineering around six teams each with unique audiences. This includes a
Community Tech team dedicated to supporting tools for core contributors, as
well as teams for Editing, Reading, Search & Discovery, Infrastructure, and
Fundraising Tech.

In particular, I wanted to share more about the plans for the Community
Tech team. The creation of this team is a direct response to community
requests for more technical support. Their mission is to understand and
support the technical needs of core contributors, including improved
support for expert-­focused curation and moderation tools, bots, and other
features. Their mandate is to work closely with you, and the Community
Engagement department, to define their roadmap and deliverables. We are
hiring for a leader for this team, as well as additional engineers. We will
be looking within our communities to help. Until then, it will be incubated
under Toby Negrin, with support from Community Engagement.

We’re also committed to our long-term technology future. A new CTO will
support teams and functions dedicated to performance, architecture,
security, privacy, structured data, user experience, and research. Their
mandate is to keep Wikimedia fast, reliable, stable, and secure -- and to
support the Engineering team in their development of excellent products and

You may notice there is no standalone Product department. We are moving
away from a matrix management structure. Instead, product managers,
designers, analysts, engineers, and others working together will report to
the same manager, who will report through to the VP of Engineering. This is
because we believe that everyone is responsible for user experience and
each team is ultimately responsible for delivering on the product vision
and a roadmap. It also gives teams ability to make decisions that are best
for their audiences, based on their user’s feedback. This represents a
maturation of our organization and processes, and will give each new teams
more focus, dedicated focus, and more support.

I want to thank everyone who has worked so hard to bring this new structure
together. Thank you to everyone in the community, for being thoughtful and
honest with your needs, criticisms and encouragements. Thank you to our
engineers, designers, researchers, and product managers, who have given us
extensive feedback about what works best for you. Thank you to our new team
managers and leads for stepping up into new roles. And thank you to Erik
and Damon, who have worked closely for many months to make this happen.

You can find more information about this new structure, the new teams,
their missions, and leadership, as well as other questions in a FAQ on
We will update the Wikimedia Foundation site Staff page soon to reflect
these new teams.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] A new structure for WMF Engineering. [ In reply to ]
On 22 April 2015 at 04:19, Lila Tretikov <> wrote:

> We will update the Wikimedia Foundation site Staff page soon to reflect
> these new teams.

It's been a week since Lila wrote "soon". I'd love to have a look at the
page (I need it to pass the news along to my community). Unfortunately, it
hasn't been updated. Are there any blocking issues?

*Szymon Grabarczuk*

Free Knowledge Advocacy Group EU
Head of Research & Development Group, Wikimedia Polskaócesilion
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