Tom Smyth TSC Application - 2019-01-10

Tom Smyth (@tomsmyth)

Sassafras Tech Collective

What contributions (e.g., issue triage, tech support, documentation, bug fixes) have you made to the ODK community?
Most recently,

  1. lots of spec work on new Collect features,
  2. some visual design,
  3. UX review of various Collect features,
  4. 1 year of regular TSC meeting attendance,
  5. some spec review for Briefcase.

How do you believe your contributions have benefited ODK?
Perhaps most by improving the Collect user experience in various ways.

What do you believe the top priorities for ODK are?
For Collect: Continuing to improve UX and modernizing the app; major code refactoring and mitigation of tech debt; adding other new features as needed by the community.

For ODK as a whole: coming up with a project onboarding policy; bringing Central to maturity.

How will you help the ODK community accomplish those priorities?
TSC membership, contract work via the Carter Center and directly with Nafundi.

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

What other mobile data collection projects, social good projects, or open source projects are you involved with?

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

1 Like

@tomsmyth Thanks for your help on the TSC over the last year! It's be great to have your help on the TSC process as well as the changes to Collect.

Could you share a bit more about why your primary focus is on Collect? I think I know why, but I think it'd be good for the community to know.

In your application, you noted that bring Central to maturity is a top priority. I agree! But you work on a server that is a "competitor" to Central. Do you find that a conflict of interest?

Sure. I am on the TSC by virtue of a client's (The Carter Center's) interest in ODK, and their interest is specifically in Collect. I am also for the same reason limited in how much time I can spend on TSC duties. Collect alone is more than enough to fill this time, and there are other members representing the other tools in a way that I can't.

I don't actually think that NEMO/ELMO and Central are direct competitors. Central is designed as a sharply focused tool in a broader tool suite, while NEMO/ELMO is a turnkey solution for everything except what Collect does. The situation is similar with Ona and Kobo and others, as far as I know.

I think it's important to have a simple, light, focused, and free tool in the tool suite that does what Central does. It's consistent with ODK's philosophy.

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and by virtue of a personal interest as well? :wink: