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Appropedia:Tech volunteers

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Tech interns play an important role, helping us keep Appropedia safe and stable, and adding new functionality.

The program[edit]

Stage 1[edit]

Stage 1 is a "mini-internship" - it's useful in its own right, and acts as a feed-in to the full internship.

A simple project of around 4 hours work. To be completed within 2 weeks.

  • Researching a particular function or extension for Appropedia - choose one of the mid to high priorities in our workstream, and report on how to implement it.

Stage 2[edit]

Stage 2 involves around 4 hrs/wk for 4 weeks (or 8 hrs/wk for 2 weeks, on the accelerated program).

Week 1 of Stage 2: follow the same guidelines as Stage 1 (e.g. research another tech request).

Week 2-4 of Stage 2:

  • Installing/implementing extensions or settings or other functionality on our dev site.

Stage 3[edit]

Stage 2 involves around 4 hrs/wk for 14 weeks (or 8 hours per week for 7 weeks on the accelerated program).

This will extend of the work of stage 2. The details of Stage 3 will be worked out between you and your mentor(s), taking into account your interests.


The work[edit]

Interns at work

Interns and mentors will work together and help each other as challenges are encountered. The largest area of work relates to this MediaWiki wiki site, but there is a large degree of flexibility in the work. Each intern can choose an area of focus, working on one or more of the following (this list is out of date - it gives an idea, but see the BetterMeans stream is the place for :

  • MediaWiki
    • Anti-vandalism / anti spam (see Manual:Combating Spam
      • better captcha
      • edit filtering (may already be done)
      • anti-vandal bot. Mostly done - using AbuseFilter instead.
      • IP address blacklist (not sure if wanted/needed)
    • Extensions
    • Skins
      • Modify Vector Skin to use appropedia colours - done, or mostly done
      • Create mobile / lite skin - mostly done - need to roll out.
    • Offline / Static Viewing
      • get HTML dump to run
  • WordPress
    • optimizing the blog
    • setting up a test forum.
  • Bots (mostly in Python, but Ruby and other language bots exist)
    • anti-spam
    • categorization and wiki-linking. This is an easier and more repetitive task, but very valuable. We have the scripts set up already.
    • other repetitive edits
  • Skins (CSS) - for the wiki and the blog/forum site.

For more detailed / up to date items needing work you should also consult the Better Means page, which we use for task management. (A few tasks haven't yet been transferred from our old task management system, OpenPario and also from the old wiki page Appropedia:Site development/Desired features - if you want to be really thorough.)

Requirements[edit]

The only fixed requirements are a desire to learn and a willingness to try.

Knowledge of a relevant programming language (PHP, Python) is desirable, as is experience with installing software on a server, and experience with the open source platforms that we'll be working with. However, you can also gain this experience during the internship.

Support and communication[edit]

Mentors: Mentoring is shared. Chriswaterguy will provide general guidance on Appropedia's tech development goals, and pointers in finding answers when needed. Others are free to help out as well.

Tech advisors: There are several people who know about the tech things we're working on, and can answer questions and make suggestions, and we're hoping that most of the questions would be handled among the interns themselves.

Bureaucrat: Lonny holds bureaucrat status on Appropedia. He gives the final approval to changes on the live site.

We will be setting up a tech team mailing list shortly, and establishing an IRC channel.

Practice[edit]

Our way of working is open - others outside the official team may join the work here, by commenting, sharing an answer or suggestion or taking on a task.

Discussion takes place on the talk page for this page. It is strongly recommended that you "watch" the page (log in and click the watch tab at the top of the page). Set up your preferences to receive email alerts, and you'll be alerted of any change on this page or the talk page.

Most development work takes place on a development wiki which mirrors the live site... but with the advantage that it's okay if it breaks.

Where and when[edit]

Appropedia is a global online project, and you can work from anywhere with internet access.

Start date is flexible. Two interns are starting in May, so it is preferred that any new interns would start in June or later.

Join up![edit]

Benefits: Being an intern with Appropedia, whether or not it's a requirement for a course you're enrolled in, offers you a chance to learn as part of a team, while making a difference, making solutions to the world's challenges accessible and usable. It can boost your CV, your knowledge and your confidence.

Apply: If you are interested in joining the team, please leave a note for Chriswaterguy, or email to: chriswaterguyAtsymbol.pngappropediaDot.png.org


Past tech interns:

First steps[edit]

Once you've signed up, take the self-guided tour for new tech interns.