Yaw Anokwa TSC Application - 2017-11-27

Yaw Anokwa (@yanokwa)


What contributions (e.g., issue triage, tech support, documentation, bug fixes) have you made to the ODK community?
I helped to start ODK and, over the last nine years, I have contributed code to most of the core tools and specifications. I maintain much of the infrastructure the community runs on and I provide a lot of technical support to the broader community on that infrastructure.

More recently, Nafundi (a company I run with Hélène Martin) has committed most of its organizational resources into building a healthier community around ODK. I believe the successful migration to the forum, launch of the docs website, frequent updates of tools, and rapid growth in the community are partly due to that commitment.

How do you believe your contributions have benefited ODK?
I believe my early contributions helped to establish ODK as a standard for data collection. I believe my recent contributions have helped to grow a community of contributors. I am optimistic that our community of contributors will keep ODK an ongoing and useful public good.

What do you believe the top priorities for ODK are?
There are a long list of features that the community needs (e.g., form updates, mapping, APIs) and properties that the community finds important (e.g., offline, easy-to-deploy, robust, standards-compliant). The challenge is how we ship these features quickly and safely, while keeping the properties the community finds important.

This is a structural challenge that I believe the TSC can address by building a road map, committing to a schedule, fixing known serious bugs, making all the tools contributable, and developing more contributors, etc. I believe these should be the top priorities."

How will you help the ODK community accomplish those priorities?
I will bring my experience designing, building, deploying, and supporting ODK tools to inform technical direction. I will ensure the team at Nafundi takes on and fixes known serious bugs quickly. I will advocate for and implement processes that empower others to grow and become technical leaders on ODK. I will recruit contributors who can help ODK remain relevant to our users.

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?
I contribute to all sorts of open source projects, but the vast majority of my time working on data collection or social good is spent on ODK deployments and customizations. Much of this work is contributed back to the core and community.

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 thing.
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.
@yanokwa my question is with you that you said that you will recruit contributors, from where will you get fund for this? From your own company or are you thinking for making money from donation(find funders for ODK) or as ODK is a new technologies and spreading worldwide , so will you make some online course on UDEMY or any other website and make money from there , then give to your developer ?


Thanks for your questions, @iamnarendrasingh!

When the transition out of UW started last year, it was clear that we had a large community of users, but not a large community of contributors. Contributors are a project's lifeblood, so @LN and I reached out to @downey for his guidance on how we could grow the community and also spoke to a few funders about adjusting the scope of existing grants to help support the transition.

The rough plan that we put in place was to...

  • Go to conferences to learn how to grow OSS communities (e.g., OSCON, CLS, OS Bridge)
  • Make the code repos much friendly (e.g., contributing guide, continuous integration)
  • Set up community spaces (forum, Slack) and actively participate
  • Contact community members to thank and encourage them
  • Participate in Google Summer of Code and Outreachy
  • List ODK on Up for Grabs

The above list needs a consistent effort and a little bit of money. The PMC has been aggressive about pursuing partnerships that support that work (thanks, DIAL!) and I've been aggressive about pursuing funding that lets Nafundi hire contractors to bootstrap that effort. And I say bootstrap because the goal is for those contractors to build a process that empowers more people to contribute. I think you can see this approach really well with the docs effort.

The issue of how Nafundi makes money is an important one to raise. We make most of our money from supporting very large ODK projects and customizations of the code base. Our margins on support and grant funding help fund the team that has been bootstrapping the contributor community and our customizations are donated to the project as open source. This has been a sustainable effort for the last six years and I don't expect that model to change.

Organizations like Nafundi can come and go and so it's extremely important that we build a community and a culture that can evolve the ODK tools without relying on one organization. My hope is that in a few years, there are lots of organizations and individuals (see forum.getodk.org/c/marketplace) who actively participate in leading ODK so we can ensure the project thrives.

When I look at the key metrics since we started the transition (e.g., Forum membership is up 30%, Collect installs are up 50%), it's clear we are on the right path. It's not been a straight or fast path, but with the help of a diverse TSC, I'm confident we'll get there.


Thanks @yanokwa your answers satisfy me and your vision is very clear. You must be in TSC with my point of you and after seeing your past actions on ODK. :+1:t4: