Wikimedia Foundation Reviews | Glassdoor

Wikimedia Foundation Reviews

Updated July 6, 2017
61 reviews

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3.8
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Wikimedia Foundation Executive Director Katherine Maher
Katherine Maher
18 Ratings

61 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Some of the perks of a tech company with the mission and values of a non-profit (in 11 reviews)

  • Place that promotes work-life balance (in 5 reviews)

Cons
  • You'd find ex-senior-level employees securing entry to mid-level positions elsewhere (in 3 reviews)

  • Given the importance of and passion behind Wikipedia, moving things forward can mean dealing with more friction than other places (in 9 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (2)

    "Wikimedia Foundation is changing the world. It's not easy, but does world-changing sound easy?"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Wikimedia Foundation full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Some of the smartest people in tech. A non-profit that's changing the definition of the term. Insane velocity. The chance to have your work affect hundreds of millions of readers. Get involved with the most complex and fascinating community on the net. Your friends and peers will be impressed. Wicked problems abound.

    Cons

    Break-neck velocity. All the challenges and nuttiness of a tech start-up, and all of the intensity too. Wikimedia is not a 'break' from your current job - it's probably double the workload and double the complexity.

    Advice to Management

    Focus and more focus. Senior management is currently working on helping staff zoom in on core projects. This will help staff get something big done sooner, and give everyone a real sense of accomplishment. Getting things done really matters.


  2. Helpful (3)

    "Great people, hard problems"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Wikimedia Foundation full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Everyone here believes strongly in the mission. Many of the problems faced by the Wikimedia Foundation are unique -- you don't feel like you are re-inventing the wheel. You get to work with amazing people and impact the lives of half a billion people a year.

    Cons

    Compensation is not competitive for the tech industry due to non-profit status. There is a very vocal community from the projects that often does not trust anything that the WMF does.

    Advice to Management

    It is time to realize what is best for the 500 million readers and sometimes push forward even if the 100,000 editors disagree.

  3. "Changing the world and having fun."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Wikimedia Foundation full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Driven, motivated staff. Smart managers. Great, downtown SF office.

    Cons

    Some of the benefits are being cut back (staff lunch, I miss you), but in fairness others are being added. Management seems to over-value the tech side of the house, while undervaluing the non-tech but soft "community" side.

    Advice to Management

    Pay attention to the community side. Remember that half your staff doesn't work in tech.


  4. Helpful (2)

    "It's the Wikimedia Foundation..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Wikimedia Foundation full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Amazing value driven culture, work with some incredibly intelligent and driven people

    Cons

    Tends to lack focus; coordination between departments not awesome. Wandering focus hurts morale; hopefully new narrow focus actually stays

    Advice to Management

    Though open culture is important, C level people publicly disagreeing is problematic. So is massive turnover.


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Great team"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Product Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Product Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Wikimedia Foundation full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    lots of energy, lots of passion, great people, good mission, great offices, lots of growth. Overall, I was very happy with the organization.

    Cons

    sometimes, lack of focus, and often times the community got very political. Managing by consensus doesn't always create the best products and innovation.


  6. "great non-profit"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Intern in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Intern in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Wikimedia Foundation part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    great people, open environment, fun happy hours

    Cons

    people tend to hang out in their own "groups"

    Advice to Management

    more community building among employees?


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Great work with people who are striving for the mission."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Wikimedia Foundation full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The foundation respects and appreciates every member of the staff, every manager I've worked with has listened and responded to feedback and almost every member of staff is trying their best to do what is best for the mission.

    Cons

    We are still growing, the organization is in flux and not completely sure what direction it wants to go in yet. The massive influx of new staff has led to a lot of people who want to do what is best but have no understanding of the culture of the movement and the community and do not understand the desire for careful progress.

  8. Helpful (3)

    "Great place to work!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Product Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Product Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Wikimedia Foundation (More than a year)

    Pros

    Very flexible hours/location, incredibly smart & passionate coworkers, and a truly collaborative environment. Super mission oriented.

    Cons

    Low pay, compared to other tech jobs. Lots of change in leadership recently which has caused a fair amount of chaos. People can be not-so-friendly on mailing lists (both public and private).


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Great mission and flexible environment!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Wikimedia Foundation full-time

    Pros

    The mission! Awesome to work for a company that is focused on making a positive impact on the advancement of free knowledge and doing so in a very transparent way. What's even better is working for a premier non profit that pays well when stacked up to other non-profits, incl 100% paid medical for you and dependents and a 401k match. It's also a flexible environment that allows for a great work/life balance which is increasingly becoming hard to come by in our fast paced, digital corporate world. It's a convergence of a very intelligent work force, technology, and meaningful output where you can truly be proud and passionate about what you do for a living!

    Cons

    There was a major reorganization several months back that may have rattled a handful of employees, however, since then it's increasingly becoming clear that strategies are being aligned and we are forging ahead, using difficult circumstances to only make us better. As with any growing company, in particular one that has such a far reach and well known brand, it can be very challenging to appease everyone from staff, contractors, and even volunteers.

    Advice to Management

    Stay the course and continue to offer flex and telecommuting options for staff and engage with us. Also, while transparency is a positive, sometimes we need to set expectations more up front as this may be very unique to staff that have not been accustomed to this. Continue to bridge any gaps with staff and volunteers.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "WMF is back on its feet"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Wikimedia Foundation full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    After a very rough patch, WMF seems to once again be a great place to work. Huge credit to the the interim E.D. Katherine Maher and other leaders in the organization for fixing things so quickly.

    Cons

    The board made a terrible E.D. hiring decision two years ago and was slow to correct their mistake. They finally did though and the organization is back on track.

    Advice to Management

    Hire a great permanent Executive Director.

    Wikimedia Foundation Response

    May 13, 2016 – Recruiting Coordinator

    Thank you for sharing your experience! You are right in that we have been through a rough patch over the last few months, however we are continuously working to make improvements to staff morale as... More


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