How OpenMRS is Growing our Talent Pipeline While Solving Indicator Reporting Problems

Speak with any OpenMRS implementer, community member, or stakeholder about the challenges they face and you will probably hear about the headaches OpenMRS reporting causes and the limited availability of experienced developers. We’ve talked about the different ways we’re tackling OpenMRS reporting challenges in previous blogs and Talk posts. The question is…….

What about our talent pipeline?

When OpenMRS received funding from Digital Square in early 2020 to develop a proof of concept to support patient-level indicator reporting, we decided that it was time to act and kicked off the OpenMRS Fellowship Program.

The idea behind OpenMRS Fellowship Program is simple: grow mid-level talent by pairing promising OpenMRS developers and product managers with experienced OpenMRS mentors. Each fellow then worked on a project to give them real world experience, solve a real problem for implementers, and build the skills they need to become a mid or senior OpenMRS developer.

The patient-level indicator reporting (PLIR) project turned out to be ideal for mid-level developers. Over the course of the project, Fellow Mentor Joseph Kaweesi worked closely with other senior developers in the community to continuously clarify and define the skill sets for our two PLIR Fellows, Cliff Gita (Dev Stage 2) and Moses Mutesasira (Dev Stage 3), to master as they worked on the project. 

During their fellowship, Cliff and Moses’ contributions included presenting architectural design proposals to the community,  researching new tools used for analytics, determining how to re-use and improve existing tools and testing frameworks shared with the community, building the proof of concept to support indicator calculations for both TX_PVLS and TX_CURR, presenting demos at OpenHIE Sub-Community meetings and OpenMRS showcases, creating installation packages, mentoring those who are new to this project, and much more. Check out Moses’ Fellowship Journey and Cliff’s Fellowship Journey on Talk for the details.

In the final weeks of the project, we asked the PLIR Fellow Mentors to reflect on where our first cohort of OpenMRS Fellows began – and where they are now. The good news? Both Moses and Cliff have advanced to their next Developer Stage. Stay tuned for more about their experience and their final project reflections!

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