Hello all,

I'm very happy to announce Rob Lanphier (user:RobLa) in his new role working as 
a full-time Engineering Programs Manager reporting to me, effective yesterday 
(June 30th).  Rob first came to the attention of Wikimedia Foundation during 
the CTO search, and he has been working under contract to Wikimedia Foundation 
for a some time now, acting as backup EPM for the trial rollout of Pending 
Changes and also performing an audit of EPM tools currently in use at the 
Foundation and in the larger FOSS world to determine the best tooling strategy 
to increase both reliability and transparency of our engineering planning.

In his new role, which is also new in the organization, Rob will be working 
with me to build out core services that all of our engineering efforts rely on 
(such as Software Quality Assurance, Documentation, Release Management&   
Analytics).  Using EPMs to assist the engineering teams in gaining the best 
outcome in their efforts to serve the Wikimedia Community was pioneered by 
Naoko Komura on the recently concluded User Experience project and its a 
practice we plan to broaden over the coming year.  We would usually expect WMF 
positions to be posted and boarded, but in this case Rob had responded to a 
previous job posting and he was identified then as someone who would be of 
exceptional value to the team. I felt it would be inauthentic to hold his hire 
for the formality of posting.

Rob's longtime interest in Wikipedia (he is editor number 96), his long history 
of managing high-profile open source engineering projects (he was at 
RealNetworks and Linden Labs before joining us), and his general focus on 
patiently working through every imaginable detail using methods that are both 
effective and community-inclusive make him ideal for this new role.  Rob has 
also proven to be very effective at working semi-remotely; he comes into the 
office in San Francisco every other week and lives the rest of the time in 
Seattle, Washington.  As we grow the Tech team I believe it will be 
advantageous for us to consciously create distributed teams both to mirror the 
composition of the larger Wikimedia Community and to encourage even more 
collaborative working patterns.

Rob has been a great addition to our team in the time he's been with us, and I 
look forward to his continued contributions. Please join me in welcoming and 
congratulating him.

Danese Cooper
CTO, Wikimedia Foundation

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