Let’s hear it for Nathan! An aspiring /dev5, Nathan been nominated by the community as February’s Volunteer of the Month! Four community members were nominated by six people to be February’s Volunteer of the Month. You may recognize him by his OpenMRS ID, @ruhanga.
We want to acknowledge Nathan’s work and commitment to the OpenMRS community, so we asked him a few questions about himself and the different ways he is involved in our community.
Tell us a little about your background.
My name is Ruhanga Nathan from Uganda, a graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology and Computing. I went through Kyambogo University in Uganda for my degree. I love paying attention to detail, eager to learn and willing to practice what I have learnt. I am currently volunteering with OpenMRS.
When and how did you start with OpenMRS?
I got to know about OpenMRS as an organisation that distributes open source medical record system in 2016 December by @jwnasambu, who briefly explained to me what it’s about. Constrained with resources, I did not make it to join this awesome community. I then got means after my University studies, was able to join OpenMRS in 2018 and warmly welcomed by community members. Thanks to @reubenv and @dkayiwa who pointed me to starters. Before joining, though with basic programming skills in java HTML and CSS, I thought too much and felt too little in turn but, thanks to the supportive OpenMRS community on joining.
I am so much interested in coding and feel extremely motivated to make an impact in this field for humanity’s benefit. Based on this, I was inspired by the OpenMRS vocabulary, so to say “Write Code. Save lives”.
After joining, I began familiarising myself with the community resources which include Wiki, Talk, JIRA and Github. I got lots of useful information and knowledge about OpenMRS. This effort, most especially when shared with folks on Talk and IRC to solve a challenge, has greatly enhanced my knowledge on and exposed me to the existing and evolving technologies that simplify the life of a software developer and implementer and end user.
How do you participate in the community (What activities, projects, roles, etc)?
–I have helped find solutions to problems faced by folks on talk and IRC.
–I have co-managed scrum meetings with @herbert24 on IRC
–I have purposefully taken on a role to improve wiki documentation with a team of other volunteers
–I have contributed to fixing bugs and introducing new features to OpenMRS pragmatically
–I attend OpenMRS calls/meetings on Uberconference. This is some good practice to me for awareness.
–I will participate as a backup mentor for one of the GSoC projects (Replace LegacyUI with OWA) this year
What drives or inspires you to work with OpenMRS?
First is the fact that OpenMRS has made valuable and important differences to every life under its influence. I also identify with the notion of "Write code. Save lives", which makes me greatly inspired to work with this community.
Second is I am personally aspiring to earn the expertise of /dev4 and /dev5 that makes a good developer and leader.
What are your favourite things to do in your free time?
I barely get enough free time but when I do, I love tours, interacting with people and reading articles or books on self-improvement and life-choices. Music, in the sense of playing instruments especially piano, is my hobby and this also finds its way into my free time.
What’s your favourite OpenMRS moment or tell us what makes OpenMRS special to you?
I have had amazing experiences with OpenMRS and one of my earliest is when one among my first pool requests was accepted and merged. Before this happened, I got to learn several good practices as a coder and thanks to reviewers like @dkayiwa, @darius, @mksd, @mseaton, @samuel34 and many more in the community.
How has OpenMRS helped you achieve any of your personal goals or how has working with OpenMRS impacted you?
OpenMRS has taught me alot that I am still struggling to practice. These include good communication skills, best practices in my career as a developer, documentation practices, coordination in teams, some leadership practices that I have learnt from community members among others.