[Wikimedia-l] About the concentration of resources in SF (it was: "Communication plans for community engagement"

Erik Moeller erik at wikimedia.org
Wed Jul 24 16:30:22 UTC 2013

On Wed, Jul 24, 2013 at 6:44 AM, David Cuenca <dacuetu at gmail.com> wrote:
> I don't agree with Romaine's view that it is a cultural problem, but it is
> true that the WMF management seems to prefer to have all development
> concentrated in SF.

Hardly. About half of WMF's engineering staff is distributed (both
inside and outside the US), and we've encouraged and supported
software engineering efforts by chapters. I'd actually love to see
much more of that happen, and see other chapters build engineering
capacity over time. It's legally challenging for WMF to have office
presence in multiple jurisdictions, but having independent orgs like
Wikimedia chapters build out development teams doesn't suffer from
that challenge.

We're an open source project; being able to decentralize effort is our
strength. The caveat I would add is that you actually need to ensure
that complex projects are resourced sufficiently. Wikidata is a
success in part because it's a well-resourced, well-managed team, and
the partnership in areas where WMF does need to help was carefully

So, which other chapters are up for building out serious software
engineering capacity?

Erik Möller
VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation

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