My experience working with the CKAN open source project, via a CKAN contributor role sponsored by Link Digital within Open Knowledge Ethiopia, has been a great opportunity. The working environment is friendly and helpful. My direct manager, Solomon Mekonnen, who has establish Open Knowledge Ethiopia with the support and mentorship provided by Steven De Costa, has been great. The Addis Ababa University have also been greatly supportive of Open Knowledge Ethiopia during these early days as a new initiative. The CKAN tech team, who have guided me and helped me learn through example and direct feedback, well… I have never met a work force like this before.
As one of the first CKAN contributors in Ethiopia I was highly motivated and was ready to learn and accept the challenges, even if I knew I had to go through the process mostly alone. The CKAN documentation was a great help, especially for the installation process. It is user friendly and simple to understand and learn.
The tech team I work with are nice and friendly. They kindly welcomed me and it was a privilege to be introduced to them by the Executive Director of Link Digital, Steven De Costa, right after I got the job. Having the opportunity to communicate with the tech team themselves, I was able to appreciate the benefits as well as challenges of the profession. And I have learned a lot from the meetings we have every Tuesday and Thursday by listening, as new issues and pull requests are discussed and assigned. The tech team was willing to guide me through the process of learning and gaining confidence with CKAN.
As a contributor, recently I got the chance to contribute on work to improve the CKAN instances list, which was both a bit challenging and a great experience at the same time. I am looking forward to contributing more and becoming an asset to CKAN and the tech team.
In my opinion, having full time teammate working with me here in Addis Ababa will be a great help and will increase contributions to CKAN. Open Knowledge Ethiopia is currently advertising to hire a second full time CKAN contributor who I will work alongside. I will be glad to share my experiences and mentor them if needed. Addis Ababa University has also agreed to provide an office for Open Knowledge Ethiopia, which will be a great opportunity for me and other new contributors as well as for Open Knowledge Ethiopia itself.
My experience as a CKAN contributor has been absolutely inspirational. Since I have been able to gain a direct experience, this has given me further incentive to pursue my career as a developer and open source contributor with more passion.
I would highly recommend this experience for anyone considering to becoming a CKAN contributor.
CKAN is currently supported worldwide by a very small core team of developers, yet it is used by many major Governments and institutions. Our objective is to grow our small team to become a major contributor to the CKAN project and to establish Ethiopia as a location where specialist CKAN support can be sought.
Solomon and I would like to deeply thank the following donors who have personally contributed to funding the first year of wages for our second CKAN Contributor:
Matteo De Stefano
Steven De Costa
Margaret De Costa
Barb De Costa
And of course, we would like to once again thank Link Digital for funding my own ongoing role and the remaining budget required to fund our second CKAN contributor on an ongoing basis.