We wish to build a team of Wikimedia volunteer developers from Africa:
- There are very few developers from Africa in the Wikimedia movement as a whole. We wish to increase the numbers to fulfill the movements vision.
- Volunteer developers to add more features on MediaWiki projects and its extensions including APIs etc.. from Africa and in addition, develop tools/projects that solve common problems within the African context to promote the movement’s activities in a technical approach.
- Avoid waiting on a skewed group of developers to solve the many tech problems in the movement especially peculiar problems pertaining to volunteers from our terrain.
- Lack of participation from African volunteers in tech inclined Global events in the movement such as Google Summer of Code (student and/or mentors), Google Code-In (student and/or mentors), Outreachy (formerly OPW) etc.
Who would benefit
- First of all, this would benefit the African community in that they would be able to play around with MediaWiki and its extension (they learning how MediaWiki and development in the Foundation/movement works). Getting a developer feel of Wikimedia projects and maybe start thinking of a project to help the African community and the movement as a whole.
- With an African team of developers, we could come up with projects that could solve common problems within our continent under the Wikimedia Foundation. These projects will go a long way to solving our common problems.
- This will increase the level of awareness of the movement's activities in Africa and get more people involved in volunteering in the community's projects from Africa leading to an increase in the number of not only the editors but developers from Africa.
- Getting Africans folks to participate in global programs which will benefit them and the Foundation as they will build tools to solve problems and real world tasks (enriching their career path) as developers. Programs such as Outreachy (no participant from Africa), GCI (no participant from Africa) and GSoC (only 1 participant from Africa in 2016). So we need to get more and more participants from African into these programs into the Wikimedia Foundation and hence growing developers.
We are currently a team of two ready to work with very experienced minds both in and out of the movement to make this idea a realised one. We intend to recruit volunteer developers and use the opportunity to champion the cause of the movement.
The plan so far is getting the following;
- A mailing list of volunteer developers in Africa to share ideas and topics of discussion with others to get them interested.
- Tap into affiliates of the WMF and user groups of different movements (GDG, Python group, Linux group etc...) in each country to see if we could get some people interested in contributing to the Wikimedia Foundation. A sum of these interested persons is a reasonable number to start off with.
- Use word of mouth in university institutions (to the science students/programming students/computer science) and see if we could get them interested in the movement's activities and to contribute (this would be done per country and stats will be shared).
- Train prospective groups in countries and motivate their continued efforts through the mailing list.
- Organise a once a year meeting/hackathon to enhance and showcase their works.
- Per country, we would keep the energy active by nominating some volunteers to build developer communities in their various communities and bringing all these communities together, we would have a large community in Africa which are developer based.