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Africa Wikimedia Technical Community

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AWMT Community Growing technical contributors for tomorrow

AWMT Community formerly known as Africa Wikimedia Developers Project (AWMD), was established by two passionate volunteers from Open Foundation West Africa. The initiative sought to start a developer community on the African continent and encourage more developers to volunteer for the Wikimedia Foundation.

Over the years, the project has broadened its scope and made opportunities for other technical contributions to be a part of the project hence the change of name from Africa Wikimedia Developers Project (AWMD) to Africa Wikimedia Technical Community (AWMT)

Our mission is to create an enabling ecosystem for developers who are willing to learn and build new skills in the open space through volunteering as technical contributions for the Wikimedia Foundation.

Do you want to get involved?

There are several ways you can get involved in becoming an Africa Wikimedia Developer. Are you from the African continent, tech inclined and interested in open knowledge? If yes, join the community via african-wikimedia-developers@lists.wikimedia.org. Kindly follow the steps below to acquaint yourself with skills that are required in our community.

Step 1: Learn how to become a MediaWiki Hacker

Be patient, take your time and read the following highly resourceful documentation:

Step 2: Wikimedia's Code Review (CR) and development platform

Gerrit is the name of the Code Review(CR) software in Wikimedia and it's the heart of the software development process. It's almost impossible to do software development in Wikimedia (in a standard way) without using Gerrit. Create an account on the Gerrit Website and get Developer access . You can also have a look at the Gerrit Tutorials on how to setup Gerrit on your PC.

You are not expected to know all these in 1 day. Take your time and take it slowly, you will know it with time :)

Step 3: Familiarize yourself with Phabricator

Wikimedia uses an open source development platform called: Phabricator, it is mainly used for project management, software bug reporting and request for features. It's not that complicated to use and you can login to Wikimedia's Phabricator using your MediaWiki account.

Phabricator has a lot of functionalities but as a developer, the functionalities you will mostly used are focused on; creating tasks, resolving tasks, uploading files, feature request etc. So, we don't expect you will learn all of Phabricator's functionality (except you want to). We will focus on what we need for a start and keep learning as time goes.

For project management, you can look at this documentation about Phabricator in Project Management.

Step 4: Bonding with the Wikimedia developer community

There are of course many different ways to bond with the developer community in the Wikimedia Movement, but the fastest and most comfortable way for most developers is on w:Internet Relay Chat IRC. Wikimedia has so many IRC channels and the particular channel for developers is: #wikimedia-dev connect. This is a starting point and on this channel, you can introduce yourself and make your interest known to the community and wait for a while, be rest assured that someone in the channel will guide you or react to your message. You can also ask technical questions on the channel and someone might answer you or point you to resources that will enable you find the answer(s) to your question(s).

There are many individuals on the channel and your messages are broadcasted to over 100 people at the same time so please be mindful of what you put on there. You may read How to Ask Questions the Smart Way by Eric Raymond to inform yourself on the kind of questions you put on there.

Step 5: Configure MediaWiki locally and get started!

It's a great thing you are at this step and we recommend you do step 2 before doing this as they are highly interlinked to each other. MediaWiki can be installed following these docs and after this, it will be available locally and you can also see how to clone the MediaWiki Core in the Gerrit Tutorials in Step 2. After mastering all the first 4 steps, developing on MediaWiki will be relatively easy so we recommend that you take your time and master the first 4 steps before diving to this last step.

Happy hacking on MediaWiki!!!

Further resources

For more information about getting into MediaWiki development and even more on other Wikimedia related projects, you can checkout the link below:

Contact us

You can reach us through african-wikimedia-developers@lists.wikimedia.org or for quick reach, you can join us on IRC here: #wikimedia-dev-africa connect, you will always see someone around :)

You can also join the discussion on our talk page. Get more updates via our Facebook & Twitter