Last modified on 1 August 2014, at 23:36

Arthur Richards

Arthur Richards
Team Practices Manager, Wikimedia Foundation
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Arthur Richards

About me

I'm currently living with my beautiful wife in the Sonoran Desert, enjoying the bounty this blistering hot landscape has to offer. When I'm not staring at a computer screen, I'm biking, hiking, climbing, travelling, and/or drinking beer - preferably home or craft brewed. I've lived in New York; Ohio; New Orleans, Louisiana; San Francisco, California; and Guadalajara, Mexico. I've been blessed to travel to many places in the US, Europe, India, and Mexico - and I'm always eager for more.

Free/open source software, free culture, free information, and freedom in general have long been deep passions and serious pursuits for me. Though I have a bachelor's degree in history (focussing on the history of social change in the United States) from Oberlin College, my fingers have never been able to fully satisfy their curiosity at the keyboard. Since laying eyes on my first computer as a child, I have been obsessed with the power, the freedom, and the creativity the technology has to offer. The world of open source software came alive to me in the fifth grade when I first installed Red Hat linux on my home computer - that was when the seeds of understanding the importance of freedom in our technology were planted in me. Since then, I have come to believe that if we, as humans, are going to survive and live in freedom, we must maintain popular control of our information and technology - not the corporations and profiteers, occulted behind their proprietary secrets. We must not let those in power control our technology and therefore control us. Together, as a global community, we are already shifting the balance - perhaps nowhere as strongly as with Wikipedia and its sister projects. This is precisely what gets me out of bed every morning.

My work

I manage the Team Practices Group, which supports WMF engineering team health and the evolution of our engineering practices/processes. Prior to working with the Team Practices Group, I was the Scrummaster for the mobile web engineering team. Prior to that, I was the engineering lead for the 2011 fundraiser, dabbled in features development (in the early days of the ArticleFeedback tool), and worked as a backend software engineer on the 2010 fundraiser. I love working close to the intersection of software engineering and technical operations - and I'm not ashamed to say that my favorite UI is a green-on-black terminal. I generally have a keen interest in agile software development (with a strong focus on the principles rather than dogmatic adherence to methodologies), and exploring how distributed teams can work together in a sustainable, productive way.
Disclaimer: Although I work for the Wikimedia Foundation, contributions under this account do not necessarily represent the actions or views of the Foundation unless expressly stated otherwise. For example, edits to articles or uploads of other media are done in my individual, personal capacity unless otherwise stated.

Contact me

  • E-mail: arthur@wikimedia.org
  • IRC: awjr
  • Wikis and most user accounts: awjrichards
  • Gerrit
  • GitHub