Ravings of a medical informatician..

Not that you care about anything he might talk about

GSoC Mentor Summit

So, this post is *long* overdue. In early October, four of the OpenMRS team had the opportunity to join 113 other open source projects on Google’s Mountain View Campus for the third annual Google Summer of Code Mentor Summit. This was an awesome opportunity to co-mingle with other open source projects, learn a ton about continued community development techniques, and spread the good OpenMRS love to those in the larger F/OSS community. Here we are basking in the coolness of the Googleplex:

Google Summer of Code Mentor Summit

(Above: Justin, me, Burke, and Darius looking forward to the after party after a long day)

What did we take away from the day?

  • For many different reasons, other open source projects would like to work with us. Whether it’s demonstrating the utility of their work, finding value in some of the work that we’ve done, or just being good world citizens… they’ve either expressed interest or have actually already gotten down to work with us. You’ll see more of this in the months to come
  • We’re not doing so bad in community development. There’s a general trend of “I wish we could make better documentation” or, “I wish we had better unit testing practices” among the legions of other projects. Talking to others allowed us though to continue prioritizing where we need to be focused:
    1. Adopt unit testing cultures ASAP
    2. Lower barriers to entry around good OpenMRS programming practices
    3. Continue to be leary of recreating what’s already released out into the wild and proactively seek partnerships at every opportunity with other F/OSS projects
  • We need to think hard about creating a non-profit organization to support OpenMRS’ growth. The continued, loud advice is to do this, and do it quickly.
  • Poolside pizza, lots of bottles of alcohol, and open source geeks together make for one interesting party.. 😉

Even though this marked the end of our first Summer of Code with Google, it’s easy to avoid sadness knowing that from this came so many learnings, good experiences, and future leads for our work that have helped to transform the project in some important ways. We also will soon be announcing our “Southern Summer of Code” project, sponsored by the IDRC, so stay tuned!

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November 20, 2007 - Posted by | Google, open source, OpenMRS, Partners-in-Health

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