Since 2017, OpenMRS has partnered with Andela to provide mentorship to its apprentices, who also contribute to the OpenMRS community by writing code. This mutually-beneficial partnership has given Andela real-world project examples and allowed the OpenMRS community to move forward many projects including: Addon Manager, Idgen UI OWA, Cohort Builder, Obs Management, Order Entry UI, Platform UI, Reference App UI, OCL for OpenMRS, Conditions/Diagnosis.
I was born, have lived and always worked in Africa, but never knew that we had such a great pool of talented developers until I started mentoring Andela apprentices. Despite the fact that I have been in this field for many more years than all that I have mentored, I can’t help but admit that I have learned so much from this young talent, and I look forward to learning more. All they have needed was a setting which gives them some bit of exposure and mentoring to fully discover their hidden potential– and this is exactly what Andela has provided.
In working closely with the Andela team, I have grown to appreciate how creative and innovative this young, talented group is. There have been times when we had a problem to solve and I had ideas regarding possible approaches which I intentionally never shared with them upfront. I have been charmed by the number of times they came up with even more creative and better ideas than what I had in mind!
I have also found that this partnership has had a positive impact on the OpenMRS community’s gender diversity because of Andela’s commitment to hiring women. Apart from ThoughtWorks, I have not seen an organization bring in such a high percentage of female developers to the OpenMRS community. This combination has worked so well that the latest group to join has more female than male developers. These females never disappointed me because their performance is not any weaker than that of the men. In fact, some of them did better than some males. This has seriously changed my perspective regarding women in technology. When encouraged and pointed in the right direction, they really perform as well, if not better, than their male counterparts.
As Darius Jazayeri, a long-time OpenMRS contributor and friend, said recently: “This Andela partnership has been a great opportunity for OpenMRS to deliver some new features that have been languishing on our roadmap for years. For example I am working with an Andela team that is building a better tool for shared dictionary management leveraging Open Concept Lab.”
OpenMRS is actively inviting more individuals and partner organizations to engage with us and with Andela by making projects proposals, and by acting as Product Owner and/or Tech Lead for teams of Andela apprentices. I will always be grateful to Andela for bringing onboard, encouraging, training, and building developers to work on solutions that solve problems where they live.
On Behalf of the OpenMRS community