Head of the Software Development and Engineering Department (m/f)

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Wikimedia Deutschland – Gesellschaft zur Förderung Freien Wissens e. V. is a non-profit organisation based in Berlin, Germany. With more than 85 employees and 50.000 members, it is the oldest and largest of more than 40 independent chapters of the international Wikimedia movement. The most well-known Wikimedia project, the free online encyclopedia Wikipedia, is used by millions of people across the world every day and is continuously updated and improved by millions of users.

Wikimedia Deutschland furthers these ideals even beyond the free encyclopedia: It is our aim to establish and promote the creation, collection, and distribution of free knowledge in all parts of society. Our objective is to create a world in which the sum of all human knowledge is freely accessible for everyone. The main focus of our activities is the support of volunteers, the development of technology and software, public education, and cooperation with cultural and scientific institutions. We grant scholarships to volunteers working for Wikimedia projects and we provide technical support. On both the national and EU-level, we are advocating a legal framework which allows for free knowledge to become part of our everyday life.

The Head of the Software Development and Engineering Department (m/f) at Wikimedia Deutschland e.V. supports product managers, engineers and designers who build features, products and services used by hundreds of millions of people around the world. As an experienced and hands-on Manager (m/f) you enable our communities to achieve our vision: a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge.

You will join our Software Development Department where we work on Wikidata, a collaborative, free licenced database to store the knowledge of the world. We are also developing technical products & features for Wikipedia. You will be supporting teams that work on exciting open source technologies like the Wikidata Query Service. Our Software Engineers are working on ambitious projects like Wikidata, the Technical Wishlist and our internal fundraising tech projects.

Our development teams are cross-functional, self-organizing and highly autonomous. They are working directly with the Product Managers and our community.


As Head of Software Development, your responsibilities would include:

  • Ensuring the delivery of innovative products & solutions of the department.
  • Strategic development of the department together with all teams.
  • Hiring, developing and grow teams and the department together with team leads, with a focus on diversity.
  • Taking management responsibilities and ensuring a healthy working and leadership culture.
  • Planning, budgeting & controlling for the entire department.
  • Ensuring teams do their best work, and are inspired and empowered to do so.
  • Ongoing development, iteration & learning with IT-Teams based on clear KPI’s and manage goals & expectations.
  • Work closely together with the Wikimedia Foundation management on strategic goals of the Wikimedia Movement.
  • Work in partnership with a global open source development community and in a close dialogue with our users.
  • Experiment with new technologies presently & find ideas (written & spoken) in a clear, consistent, organized way.
  • Represent the department to internal and external stakeholders.


We would like you to have these skills:

  • Quickly adapt to new challenges as needed while maintained a clear mindset.
  • Deep understanding of agile methods.
  • Highly iterative development (release early, release often).
  • BS in Computer Science or other relevant technical field or the equivalent in work experience.
  • 7+ years’ leadership experience in the internet industry.
  • 5+ years’ experience managing software engineering teams.
  • Multiple years of experience working in an agile software development environment.
  • Experience managing a geographically distributed software engineering team.
  • Experience with open source software development.
  • Fluent German & English


The contract is initially limited to two years. Interested? Apply now!

Send us your application by March 9th 2017 exclusively to jobs@wikimedia.de, mentioning your earliest date of entry and your salary expectation, to the attention of Mrs. Natali Bosnjakovic. We look forward to meeting you!

Wikimedia Deutschland commits itself to the principles of equal opportunity and does not discriminate on the basis of ethnic origin, nationality, religion, political or other opinion, sex, age, disability or sexual identity or orientation.