Wikimedia, the foundation behind the popular Wikipedia, is finally admitting that it has a problem attracting new editors and retaining old ones. This is not an old problem, obviously, and it hasn't exactly been denying it so far, but Wikimedia is now trying to do something concrete about it.
The first step to solving a problem is to admit you have one. So Wikimedia is past that. The second step is asking for help, if you can't do it alone, even if it's embarrassing. Wikimedia is doing that too.
It's asking for people that have solutions and that are ready to revamp the site's underlying layers so that editing and creating new pages is easier and new editors are met with a more welcoming interface.
"Wikipedia’s user interface has failed to keep pace with the the encyclopedia’s growth and the lack of a modernized editor experience has contributed to both a decline in the recruitment and retention of editors (a trend that started around 2007)," Wikipedia explained
For example, it wants people that can create a better workflow for adding new topics to Wikipedia. Currently, new users are met with plenty of hurdles and the correct path is a very confusing one.
Even if they manage to get to the part where they have to write the content, they're left with a blank page and an unwelcoming editor and no guides.
So Wikipedia is opening up two positions for people that think they can help, it needs an "experimental features" software engineer and a senior software engineer.
The best way to apply is to start working on a solution, to the problem Wikimedia illustrated, or at least come up with a convincing game plan for it.
"If you can show us a solution that could help Wikipedia editors, then not only will we deploy your code, but you’ll make a difference to experience of every editor creating the sum of all knowledge and every single human being who uses it," it said.