[Foundation-l] Why is the software out of reach of the community?

Brian Brian.Mingus at colorado.edu
Fri Jan 9 23:20:14 UTC 2009

Erik I am glad you are still around and keeping an eye on things.

I believe that, with the audience the Foundation has access to, it could
save a lot of money by hiring people who love Wikipedia and want to work for
it. I don't think its true that the only way to get seasoned developers is
to wave a large carrot (aka $$$) in front of their face. I believe there
exist experienced developers who would gladly give a year of their life,
working at a lower wage, to work on Wikipedia.

The only way to access these people is to ask them directly - with a We're
Hiring banner, for example.

On Fri, Jan 9, 2009 at 4:14 PM, Erik Moeller <erik at wikimedia.org> wrote:

> 2009/1/9 Brian <Brian.Mingus at colorado.edu>:
> > 800,000 / 30,000 = 26. Is that not a fair wage? If the Foundation only
> plans
> > to hire three developers to work on this project then it must be spending
> > the money on something else entirely.
> First of all, we're hiring three people because we already have two.
> We've hired Naoko, and we will allocate Trevor full-time to the
> project.
> Secondly, base salaries if we hire locally (which we do, in this
> case), are obviously much higher. See payscale.com and other sites to
> get an idea of salaries in various parts of the world. That does not
> include recruitment, benefits, equipment, office space and supplies,
> staff development and travel, administrative overhead such as payroll,
> etc. Plus the other costs we've budgeted, such as research costs for
> usability tests, allocation of experienced on-staff developers to
> support the project, etc.
> Thirdly, if you were to hire remotely at lower salaries, you'd simply
> incur much of the cost you'd save in salaries in other ways,
> especially management, oversight, and travel. This is especially true
> for a project of this complexity where you're not just handing some
> set of specs over to an outsourcing firm. (You of all people,
> advocating for a complex tool like Semantic MediaWiki, should
> appreciate that.)
> There are isolated projects that can be managed well by giving them to
> experienced remote developers. For a project of this scope, complexity
> and importance, I believe it's critical to have a local team that can
> fully focus on the project and collaborate with the core staff in San
> Francisco on an as-needed basis.
> --
> Erik Möller
> Deputy Director, Wikimedia Foundation
> Support Free Knowledge: http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate
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