OpenMRS Leadership Team Call 2017-06-08

Hi Everyone,

Sorry for the short notice; I’ve been away this past week traveling around Uganda. It was quite an adventure!

We have a leadership call scheduled for this Thursday, 08 June @ 4pm UTC (12pm ET). If you are a community leader, you are encouraged to attend and share in the discussion! If you normally attend but are unable to this week please let me know. Also if there are any additional topics or updates you would like to see on this agenda or a future agenda please let me know!

To join the call by phone, please dial 1-888-510-4073. To join the call using Audio, Chat, & Screen Sharing please use the latest Firefox, Chrome, or other WebRTC-compatible browser and go to:


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@jeffneiman can you add “which topic to cover with AC” to the agenda? The next AC call is Wednesday, July 5.

With regards to the OpenMRS Infra team having someone paid – this is REALLY needed. It’s been needed for years now. Why has this not happened yet?

@r0bby, I pointed this out on today’s call. Getting sustained funding for IT support is hard. Like a dial tone, people just assume it should work. Other than waiting until we can find a benevolent philanthropist to donate money or for you to hit the lottery and decide you want your winnings to fund OpenMRS IT support, our best chance is to find ongoing funding streams for the community (whether through grants, certification programs, etc.) and bundle in IT support costs. Since OpenMRS has always been a collection of implementing orgs agreeing to work together (not a single company selling a product), most funding around OpenMRS is tied to specific projects or within implementations that aren’t prioritizing community infrastructure.

We know that infrastructure is a top priority. It’s what has allowed the community to succeed to this point and we really do desperately need dedicated resources for it (e.g., a dedicated junior sys admin could learn a lot from someone like Cintia, help us with migration to Jetstream, get things fixed & patched, etc. Part of the reason community members meet weekly to help on the leadership call is to brainstorm and take on tasks that could lead to non-tethered funding for the community. We could use any practical ideas on how to raise funds for dedicated infra support.

and we are going to talk next week on the leadership team call ( which is an open call and all are welcome) about how to figure something out. any ideas are welcome…

Wasn’t there supposed to be work to fix this. Dating back to when I was constantly nagging all of you to do this? There was actually a period of time before I became bitter and jaded that I would have taken the job.

Also, considering Bahmni benefits greatly from using OpenMRS Talk and not deploying their own instance of Discourse, it seems only fair that Thoughtworks toss some money towards OpenMRS, Inc to fund the infrastructure team that maintains the infrastructure they rely on. That seems an awful lot like mooching to me. Thoughtworks is getting an awful lot for free. Maintaining infrastructure on a volunteer basis isn’t easy and burns you out quickly. People should be compensated and Thoughtworks should pull their weight. Thoughtworks has money and I’m sure they could set aside and donate money towards infrastructure and helping to compensate the people who currently work unpaid and on a volunteer basis so they have their support forums. I have no idea how people don’t have an issue with this – infrastructure funding should come in part from them.

There is literally no excuse that I can muster…granted @swathivarkala is helping out on the infrastructure team but that’s not good enough – they need to actually put money towards the infrastructure team budget – considering that they benefit greatly from using OpenMRS Infrastructure, they should fund it – or at least help out. Organizations like Partners in Health can also probably afford to chip in as well.

The problem as I see it is that it’s not public that the funding is needed for infrastructure costs – and don’t just pay them cheaply – pay them market rate. People should be funded so that they can focus on keeping the lights on(I don’t want this job) and have incentives to actually wake up at 2am if something goes down.

@jeffneiman and @terry was this discussed last week? If not can you make sure it gets on the scheduled for this week?

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Sorry that I missed this, Jamie. I’ve added it to this week’s LT agenda!

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Unfortunately this is not a place where nagging => “do this” => $$. As Burke says:

Getting sustained funding for IT support is hard.

OpenMRS offers Talk categories to Distributions and Local Communities and we choose to do this since it strengthens the OpenMRS community, and we have never asked for a quid pro quo for this, nor should we.

This comment is unfair, and it bothers me.

ThoughtWorks has contributed extensively to OpenMRS over the years. Aside from code contributions they have sponsored OpenMRS meetings, and they pay for my time to work on OpenMRS.

I agree with you that the current situation isn’t sustainable. But specifically asking our current partners to fund the ITSM team isn’t the way we’ll change this.

Personally I don’t think we should expect volunteers to wake up at 2am for any reason.

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Except it probably isn’t. From what I’ve observed and partially why I left is that nobody seems to be saying we need money for this. A large portion of the operating budget should go to the infrastructure. One of the things which made me sad was the fact I looked at projects like KDE, GNOME, Apache, etc and they had infrastructure setups that we could never even do, why? Money. Actively say you need money for Infrastructure support – trust me people will probably donate – because if the infrastructure goes down, guess what happens to OpenMRS, it goes away. This is a bad outcome.

The current situation is unsustainable. You have people like @cintiadr doing things in her spare time(which is limited), and the rest of the infra team is in a similar situation. I was lucky that I was able to actually devote a large amount of my time to the infra work I was doing–this isn’t the case with the current team. OpenMRS needs somebody who can devote all of their time to OpenMRS Infrastructure with no other time commitments. While monitoring systems are set up, the monitoring is only useful if people actually look at them and respond to them.

Unless you want to wait until they wake up or have time to restart a service such as JIRA/ID Dashboard/Confluence, this is unavoidable.

I apologize for the harshness – but I don’t see things being sustainable at this rate. Perhaps that’s the wrong solution but OpenMRS needs to think of ways to fix this – short of multiple phone calls – which never actually come to fruition.