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Roadmapping at the University of Nairobi, Kenya

Brave Batian - Nokia Data Gathering 3.04


Nokia Data Gathering is released on a six monthly cycle. At the beginning of a new development cycle, community developers, NGO's and interested users gather to help shape and scope the next release of NDG (3.04).

The road mapping meetings are open to the public, but they are not conferences, exhibitions or other audience-oriented events. Rather, they provide an opportunity for software developers -- who usually collaborate online -- and technically orientated system integrators to work together in person on specific tasks related to the planning of the next Nokia Data Gathering release.


We were really fortunate for 3.04 that the University of Nairobi allowed us to hold the meeting at the Computer Science Department and that so many passionate staff, students and users came along and made the meeting so special. I think we all (well I am sure I did anyway) learned a powerful lesson about software development.

Build features which people want, need and will actually use rather than what we think people want.

We came with many great shiny new ideas for data gathering but it was simplicity, accessibility and security which were requested.

When that new feature I wanted to build (to scratch my own itch in all reality) falls over and a field worker in Liberia for example cannot send a Birth Registration Form no-one recognizes that child as a member of society able to receive medical treatment, go to school or find legal work. I can sleep well hungry, penniless, lonely or cold but I cannot sleep well knowing that is because of me.

Maybe itch scratching is an easy trap to fall into after working for so long on free software projects but it nearly bit me here and I am eternally grateful to Africa and to our community for the heads up and guidance. A big shout also must go out to Peter Wagacha and the rest of the team at the University for giving us this chance to learn and finally special congratulations and new mobile phone go to Bryann for the winning proposal for the release name. The next release will be called Brave Batian and it promises greatness!



The peak of Batian (17,057 feet) is the highest peak on Mount Kenya, the second highest mountain in Africa. Mount Kenya has a girth of about 95 miles at 8,000 feet, from which it rises boldly to its restricted summit zone. Mount Kenya is the source of the name of the Republic of Kenya.

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Monday, December 13, 2010 in LifeThoughtsWork  | Permalink |  Comments (0)
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