Adam Butler TSC Application - 2017-11-27

Adam Butler (@adam.butler)

eHealth Africa

What contributions (e.g., issue triage, tech support, documentation, bug fixes) have you made to the ODK community?
To date, none. But I have worked on a number of data collection projects, some with ODK, some with our (i.e. eHA's) own custom solutions. Recently I have been leading a team that has built "Gather", a Django-based Aggregate implementation that is currently in use on a number of eHealth Africa projects. We are also working on Aether, which - among other things - uses schemas to extract interoperable entities from data collected by Collect

How do you believe your contributions have benefited ODK?
While I haven't contributed anything directly to ODK thus far, I believe that my 20+ years development experience, mainly in the non-profit sector, and more specifically my work as technical project manager and lead on Gather and Aether, could be very helpful and productive in the future. I also believe that closer collaboration between ODK and eHA could be beneficial for both parties.

What do you believe the top priorities for ODK are?
Ability to push updated forms to devices; update/replace Aggregate; data integrity checks (e.g. intelligent analysis of XLSForms to check for data consistency between versions); easier integration with data pipelines

How will you help the ODK community accomplish those priorities?
I have experience with assisting with specifications and roadmaps, and also with supporting development (code reviews, assistance and advice). The implementation of Aggregate that we have developed at eHA might be a useful starting point for thinking about Aggregate's future; the work we're doing on Aether might be a good starting point for thinking about data integrity, and integration into third party data pipelines.

How many hours a week can you commit to participating on the TSC?
~ 2

What other mobile data collection projects, social good projects, or open source projects are you involved with?
Plenty of data collection projects in countries such as Nigeria, Chad, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Democratic Republic of Congo, some with ODK-based solutions, some with custom solutions of which I have led development.

Please share any links to public resources (e.g., resume, blog, Github) that help support your application.

1 Like

First of all, I would like to give thanks to all core team who thinks that TSC is must and they call application publicly which is one of the best things.
It’s good that @yanokwa give name publicly and we, who are a newbie in ODK can see the profile of our TSCs and ask questions with them.

  1. In which language you did development? Could you share some of your work?
  2. You are good for higher-post, I think for TSC post you are overqualified as per your words. If no then tell me why?



@adam.butler, please i have the following questions for you.

  1. when did you join the community?
  2. How often have you been visiting the community platform?
  3. There are so many supports topics which users of these community needs to be address, have you ever responded to a support from the public on these platform.
  4. If now to question 3. why haven't you respond to support since you join these platform.
  5. How do you see the community to be in the next 5 years to come.

thank you


Thanks for you questions @iamnarendrasingh, and apologies for the delay in answering. I agree with you that the transparency of this whole process is admirable.

  1. Over the years I've worked in many languages (Java, Perl, PHP, Python, Javascript, to name a few). In the last two years, however, I've written very little code, since I spend most of my time leading teams and doing technical project management. Unfortunately, most of the my organisation's are closed source (mostly because we lack the time and resources required to make them worthwhile as open source; I don't like the "throw it over the fence and forget about it" approach to OS, where you just make a repo public and walk away). But if you look at for example, you can find a hybrid mobile app I developed a couple of years ago for donating referral fees to charities while shopping at Amazon.

  2. I wouldn't say that I'm overqualified for the TSC (although I thank you for the compliment!). A project as important and widely used as ODK is a major challenge for anybody. I don't expect that I would be committing a lot of code, but I believe that I could be of help with thinking through decisions, weighing up options, mentoring... in short, "steering".

I hope that goes some way towards answering your questions.


Thank you very much for your questions @Fabla. Let me come right out and admit that I haven't been an active part of the ODK community at all until now because TBH I simply haven't had the time. So if membership of the TSC is intended as a reward or show of gratitude for past contributions, then I certainly don't qualify.

On the other hand, if the TSC is intended to make high-level technical decisions about the future direction of the ODK toolset (which is my understanding, at least), then I believe that I might be able to contribute. The organisation I work for has generously suggested that, were my application to be successful, I could devote a couple of hours a week to the TSC, so I would be able to be considerably more active than I have been thus far.

So, to finally get round to answering your questions...

  1. About 6 months ago

  2. Maybe on average once every 2 weeks

  3. No

  4. Since I have not been an active committer, I haven't felt qualified to answer questions about the current state of ODK

  5. As @yanokwa mentioned in one of his answers, the community has grown considerably since the new forum was put in place, and I see no reason why this should not continue to happen. I think that introduction of the TSC (and, eventually, the PMC) will provide the community with a lot more focus, and enable everyone to be part of a coherent future for ODK. Having said that, 5 years is a loooong time. It's hard enough to predict the state of things in 2 years time IMHO, so 5 years is pretty much science fiction :slight_smile:

I hope that is helpful - please do let me know if you have any other questions or concerns!


thank you so much for your responses, am much grateful. everyone have the future begins now, if we do not take action now there will no be something to talk about tomorrow. my questions was not only centered on past contributions that hence everyone is qualify as far as he/she is a member of this community.

some of the core values of the community are committing, support, and sharing, my questions was to find out how committed you are even if you just join the community today, how supportive you are and how capable are you in sharing ideas. the community needs to see the brightness of the future and it starts now because each day new members are joining and people are learning new things. hence i could like you to consider this application as open to every member of this community.

the appointment of the TSC is in the hands of the board and i don't think one qualification will be on past contribution but for the those who will be able to do the work of TSC.

Thank you.