Tembo development is off and running. The road proved more challenging than the starry-eyed proposal foresaw (I'm sure I'm the only GFTW grantee who's had that experience). For example, open source software development takes a great deal of community-building - something that isn't quick and easy even when we're all able to network and engage at in-person conferences and meet-ups. Since this is my first time launching an OSD project there's been a lot to learn.
We're now in the head-down coding phase. Very excited to release version 1.0.0 soon!
Time has been an issue, since the project timeline was very aggressive (and "we" is a euphemism for what's essentially a one-man shop). The good news is that the decks are now clear and development is proceeding at speed.
Project goals and progress so far:
- Set up infrastructure for developing Tembo as an open-source project. The GitHub repository was the central infrastructure, but in truth there's a lot of human interaction needed to get people involved.
- Attract early and early adopters to the project. Created the project website, which should serve as a useful tool for marketing. Learning: since this application is quite innovative in concept (a WordPress plugin that builds other Wordpress plugins!), we will need at least a prototype version of the software in order to attract believers and contributors.
- Release an early viable version of Tembo. Coming up!
- Support developers in using Tembo to create monetized, web-enabled database applications. That will come later, once the software is released and publicized and we attract our early adopters.
- Promote Tembo through conference workshops, forums, blog posts and at least one white paper. Some good conferences attended included All Things Open, NPDevSummit Oakland, WordCamp LA. More to come after there's software to show off.
- Documentation & lessons learned. We're using both the website and the GitHub repo for documentation. This includes non-technical story-telling for the development process and formal documentation of the software's functional design.
We've built the necessary landing points (repo, project website) and done some initial networking with developers and allies. Now the job is to finish the software and documentation, put out the product, and then return to the communications trail more intensively to raise interest in something tangible.
- Keep documenting the process with engaging story-telling
- Complete the software prototype
- Create a short, intriguing video showing exactly how Tembo can meet real-world needs
- Technical documentation
- Communications, marketing and user support.
- How to build an open source development community from scratch? (Have some great resources on this, but it's always great to talk directly with people who have done it)
- How to reach potential end users?
I would love comments and feedback froom the GFTW community on any of the sites and documents listed above. Thanks for reading this far!