This job ad has been posted over 40 days ago! (*)

Database Architect Full-time

Published at 2021-04-19 - Viewed: 2323 times - Wikimedia Foundation in Remote, United States



Wikimedia is looking for a Principal Database Architect to join our SRE team to design, build, optimize and support the platform serving the world’s favorite encyclopedia to millions of people around the globe. Wikipedia and its sister projects are a globally distributed architecture powered strictly by Free and Open Source software. The stack has MediaWiki at its core, surrounded by an ecosystem of microservices in PHP, NodeJS, Python, Go and Java.

The Wikimedia developers and community continuously expand and improve the software powering the Wikimedia projects. The common step in this process is finding optimal ways of storing data and fine-tuning the code that interacts with data storage systems (including schema and query optimization).

We currently use MariaDB as our main RDBMS and Cassandra as the dominant NoSQL solution. We are interested in finding new and improved ways of utilizing the capabilities of the existing stack as well as researching and potentially implementing other similar products. To achieve these goals we are looking for a candidate with strong experience, both hands-on and in a consulting capacity, in designing, developing and operating large scale database systems with complex dependencies.

We are a globally distributed and diverse team of engineers with a drive to explore, experiment and embrace new technologies. If you find what we do interesting, if you are up to the challenge of improving the reliability and delivery of one of the Internet’s top 10 websites, and you enjoy the idea of working in a remote-first role, Wikimedia may just be the right place for you.

You are responsible for:

Working with developers, SREs and other teams, providing guidance on optimizing queries, schema design and overall data strategy.
Assisting at every step of the architectural design and development lifecycle of new services and making them operate at scale
Designing, improving and operating the RDBMS and NoSQL systems serving Wikimedia projects
Researching, testing and benchmarking new RDBMS and NoSQL solutions
Responding to common database issues, following documented procedures
Assisting in or leading incident response, diagnosis and follow-up on system outages or alerts across Wikimedia’s production infrastructure
Mentoring peers in your areas of technical and operational strength
Sharing our values and work in accordance with them
Skills and Experience:

Deep knowledge of (Free and Open Source) RDBMS (MariaDB, MySQL) administration (good understanding of and experience with replication is essential)
Deep knowledge of debugging query performance and schema design
Strong programming language skills and experience designing and developing software using relational databases at large scale
Familiarity with (Free and Open Source) NoSQL products (Cassandra, Redis, Elasticsearch, etc.)
Strong requirement analysis and problem solving skills
Strong English language skills and ability to work independently, as an effective part of a globally distributed team
B.S. or M.S. in Computer Science or equivalent work experience
Additionally, we’d love it if you have:

Experience working with SRE/Operations/DevOps teams
Experience with shell and scripting languages used in an SRE/Operations engineering context (Python, Go, Bash, Ruby, etc.)
History of automating tasks and processes, identifying process gaps and finding automation opportunities
Low level systems troubleshooting and debugging (CPU/memory profiling, C/C++ experience, in-depth Linux knowledge)
Experience with LAMP stack technologies (PHP/HHVM, memcached/redis, MySQL) – MediaWiki familiarity would be great!
Some experience developing Free and Open Source software, or being part of an open-source community
The Wikimedia Foundation is…

…the nonprofit organization that hosts and operates Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia free knowledge projects. Our vision is a world in which every single human can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. We believe that everyone has the potential to contribute something to our shared knowledge, and that everyone should be able to access that knowledge, free of interference. We host the Wikimedia projects, build software experiences for reading, contributing, and sharing Wikimedia content, support the volunteer communities and partners who make Wikimedia possible, and advocate for policies that enable Wikimedia and free knowledge to thrive. The Wikimedia Foundation is a charitable, not-for-profit organization that relies on donations. We receive financial support from millions of individuals around the world, with an average donation of about $15. We also receive donations through institutional grants and gifts. The Wikimedia Foundation is a United States 501©(3) tax-exempt organization with offices in San Francisco, California, USA.

As an equal opportunity employer, the Wikimedia Foundation values having a diverse workforce and continuously strives to maintain an inclusive and equitable workplace. We encourage people with a diverse range of backgrounds to apply. We do not discriminate against any person based upon their race, traits historically associated with race, religion, color, national origin, sex, pregnancy or related medical conditions, parental status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability, genetic information, or any other legally protected characteristics.

If you are a qualified applicant requiring assistance or an accommodation to complete any step of the application process due to a disability, you may contact us at or (415) 839-6885.

U.S. Benefits & Perks*

Fully paid medical, dental and vision coverage for employees and their eligible families (yes, fully paid premiums!)
The Wellness Program provides reimbursement for mind, body and soul activities such as fitness memberships, baby sitting, continuing education and much more
The 401(k) retirement plan offers matched contributions at 4% of annual salary
Flexible and generous time off – vacation, sick and volunteer days, plus 22 paid holidays – including the last week of the year.
Family friendly! 100% paid new parent leave for seven weeks plus an additional five weeks for pregnancy, flexible options to phase back in after leave, fully equipped lactation room.
For those emergency moments – long and short term disability, life insurance (2x salary) and an employee assistance program
Pre-tax savings plans for health care, child care, elder care, public transportation and parking expenses
Telecommuting and flexible work schedules available
Appropriate fuel for thinking and coding (aka, a pantry full of treats) and monthly massages to help staff relax
Paid travel to Wikimedia Foundation events all around the world!
Equipment including a laptop, monitor, plus a one-time stipend to cover any additional needs to make sure you have the best work experience
Great colleagues – diverse staff and contractors speaking dozens of languages from around the world, fantastic intellectual discourse, mission-driven and intensely passionate people *Please note that for remote roles located outside of the U.S., we defer to our PEO to ensure alignment with local labor laws.

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