CSIR MerakaSAFIPA – Meraka Institute Code-sprints: Thecapacity and applications expansion programInternet of Things Engine...
Presentation Outline     •    Context     •    Introducing Code-sprints     •    Highlights     •    Challenges     •    O...
National Need for Software Developers     • South Africa has a large need for skilled software developers                 ...
One Potential Additional Intervention –     Code-sprints     • What is a code-sprint?                – A dynamic, innovati...
Code-sprints Purpose public String codeSprints(String you) {    If (you == PROGRAMMER) {         ImprovedYou = Meraka.doCo...
SAFIPA – Meraka Code-sprint Programme     Overview     • Funding from SAFIPA for two iterations     • Year 1 (2009)       ...
Highlights (2009)   • Two code-sprints successfully executed in 2009 (10 sprinters)                – IOTA – mobile ready d...
Highlights (2011)    • Executed three code-sprints during 2011                – 16 sprinters                – Afrimesh – d...
Challenges     • CSIR Bureaucracy                – Formal recruitment process –                    Students have to be    ...
Outputs and Outcomes     • Enhanced development capacity of         students                 – Extensive skills transfer t...
Meraka Innovation in Code-sprints     • Code-sprints have been successfully         applied internationally     • Previous...
Current and Future Actions     • Continue to                 – Establish Meraka code-sprint brand                 – Raise ...
Code-sprinters Quotes     •     “The experience here at Meraka has really been awesome. I             have learnt so much ...
Acknowledgement     • SAFIPA                 – Kristiina Lahde                 – Thiru Swettenham     • CSIR Meraka       ...
Conclusion  • Methodology and programme has proven to be HUGELY      successful                 – 26 code-sprinters       ...
Questions?Thank you!louis.coetzee@csir.co.zahttp://codesprints.meraka.csir.co.za                                       Cop...
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SAFIPA – Meraka Institute Code-sprints: The capacity and applications expansion program - Louis coetzee

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A code-sprint is a mechanism where a small team is gathered to “aggressively” contribute to a software project with well defined components, for a short and focussed time frame. The team works under the full-time guidance of a senior and experienced technical leader who is familiar with the project or technology.

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SAFIPA – Meraka Institute Code-sprints: The capacity and applications expansion program - Louis coetzee

  1. 1. CSIR MerakaSAFIPA – Meraka Institute Code-sprints: Thecapacity and applications expansion programInternet of Things Engineering Group20 October 2011byDr. Louis Coetzee(louis.coetzee@csir.co.za) Copyright 2011 CSIR
  2. 2. Presentation Outline • Context • Introducing Code-sprints • Highlights • Challenges • Outputs & Outcomes • Innovation • In Future • Quotes • Acknowledgement • ConclusionSlide 2 of 16 Copyright 2011 CSIR
  3. 3. National Need for Software Developers • South Africa has a large need for skilled software developers – Specifically in open source technologies – Limited national capacity to deliver on large scale ICT initiatives – Brain drain amplifying need • Initiatives to elevate ICT R&D&I – National RD&I Implementation Roadmap • University graduates not ”work” ready* – Limited practical and relevant experience – Lack of appropriate skills – Require significant time and training before being able to contribute • Graduates require post university training – Internships – Studentships – Vacation work – More appropriate university training * (1) Accenture report: http://www.doc.gov.za/images/stories/meraka/accenture report.pdf (2) 2008 ITWeb-JCSE ICT Skills Survey Results http://ww2.itweb.co.za/events/ictskills/2008/Slide 3 of 16 Copyright 2011 CSIR
  4. 4. One Potential Additional Intervention – Code-sprints • What is a code-sprint? – A dynamic, innovative energetic environment – A skilled code-sprint technical leader – Well defined tasks in a real world project – Several keen students – Students work with leader for short & focused time span, completing assigned tasks • Student gains – Skills, experience, knowledge, networks, team work exposure – Minds are seeded for innovation! • Organization gains – Additional functionality for projects – Opportunity to identify and attract talent • Bursars, interns, studentships, employeesSlide 4 of 16 Copyright 2011 CSIR
  5. 5. Code-sprints Purpose public String codeSprints(String you) { If (you == PROGRAMMER) { ImprovedYou = Meraka.doCodeSprint(you); ImproveOpenSourceProject(ImprovedYou); EnrichSASociety(ImprovedYou); BrighterCareer(ImprovedYou); return improvedYou; } else { stillJustYou=you; return stillJustYou; } }Slide 5 of 16 Copyright 2011 CSIR
  6. 6. SAFIPA – Meraka Code-sprint Programme Overview • Funding from SAFIPA for two iterations • Year 1 (2009) – 10 code-sprinters in 2 code-sprints • Year 2 (2010/2011) – 16 code-sprinters in 3 code-sprints • Hosted and managed by CSIR Meraka Institute – Dr. Louis Coetzee – Code-sprint Programme Manager – Dhiren Seetharam – Project Manager • 20 working days duration • Students from large number of national tertiary education institutes • Students at various levels – First year to Masters – Novice to experienced/seasoned software development skills • Code-sprint leaders with various backgrounds – Internal and external to CSIRSlide 6 of 16 Copyright 2011 CSIR
  7. 7. Highlights (2009) • Two code-sprints successfully executed in 2009 (10 sprinters) – IOTA – mobile ready dissemination of information – Afrimesh – network management system for network operators in rural areas, developing countries and disaster zones • Extensive skills transfer to students • Significant functionality added to projects code-base • Patch contributions to upstream open-source projects – pmacct - JSON output support – freeradius - memcachedb database plugin – batman - JSON output support • Management team extracted appropriate learning: – Two articles presented at international conferences – Detailed reports: • Each sprint-leader • Human factors specialist analysis of pre- and post evaluation of code- sprints • Methodology report • Extensive feedback report to SAFIPA Steering Committee • Lessons learnt • One participant became a Meraka bursar • One participant became a contract worker at MerakaSlide 7 of 16 Copyright 2011 CSIR
  8. 8. Highlights (2011) • Executed three code-sprints during 2011 – 16 sprinters – Afrimesh – defined and implemented a complete business solution aimed at empowering rural farmers and entrepreneurs operating in townships ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ci4WQChVXNQ) – Beachcomber – implemented a business service which connects “things” and “people” – Fast Video Codecs – optimized video processing source code • Management team extracted appropriate learning – Detailed reports • Each sprint-leader • Human factors specialist analysis of pre- and post evaluation of code- sprints • Soft skills feedback report • Extensive feedback report to SAFIPA Steering Committee • Code-sprint Toolbox • Improved methodology and execution based on learning from 2009 – Addition of three training workshops aimed at “soft” skills • Treasure Map - Empowering the Individual • Open Source and IP issues • ICT and Entrepreneurship - An Introduction • One participant became a contract worker at Meraka • Developed: Code-Sprint Toolbox: How to run a code-sprintSlide 8 of 16 Copyright 2011 CSIR
  9. 9. Challenges • CSIR Bureaucracy – Formal recruitment process – Students have to be “employed” by CSIR • Access to students – Reaching more Tertiary Education Institutes • Future sustainability – Sourcing funding from commercial and government entities • Choice of appropriate time-frame – 2009 in June/July – more applicants – 2011 in January – easier to have all participants for full duration • Logistics – Increase in number of code- sprints, enhanced management loadSlide 9 of 16 Copyright 2011 CSIR
  10. 10. Outputs and Outcomes • Enhanced development capacity of students – Extensive skills transfer to students • Enriched and enhanced OSS applications (code-sprint targets) • New capability in Meraka Institute in executing and managing code- sprints • Allowed for identification and fast track of talent • Introduction of short courses innovation very successful, added significant value to programme Code-sprint Toolbox: How to run a code-sprintSlide 10 of 16 Copyright 2011 CSIR
  11. 11. Meraka Innovation in Code-sprints • Code-sprints have been successfully applied internationally • Previous South African attempts have had limited success (South Africa has fairly unique context) • Meraka initiative innovations: – Extend code-sprint duration – Provide just-in-time learning – Allow for different skill levels – Ensure within team knowledge transfer – Work on real world OSS projects – Meticulously planned and prepared before hand – Introduced “Soft skill” development coupled with technical development • Learn from each code-sprint to improve next code-sprintSlide 11 of 16 Copyright 2011 CSIR
  12. 12. Current and Future Actions • Continue to – Establish Meraka code-sprint brand – Raise awareness of code-sprint potential – Ensure application to viable & strategic important OSS projects • Also external to CSIR → industry related themes • Source additional funding for future – Corporate branded code-sprints – Government entities • Partner – Engagement required with ICT and Engineering companies that require a dynamic way to stimulate their talent pipeline – Ideal partnership opportunity with industry and tertiary institutions via work-readiness programmes incorporating code-sprint methodology • Distribute Code-sprint Toolbox – Disseminate learningSlide 12 of 16 Copyright 2011 CSIR
  13. 13. Code-sprinters Quotes • “The experience here at Meraka has really been awesome. I have learnt so much from the code-sprints. And Ive had a glimpse of what a career in ICT is like, got a taste of the pressures and deadlines etc.” • “I also really enjoyed and benefited from the Friday soft skills presentations” • “I have also come to know a few very powerful individuals who I believe will help me advance in my career with advice and direction” • “This experience has had a big impact on my life in terms of how I view and weigh challenges. I feel like I can achieve anything. It was an eye opener and I actually started seeing life from a different angleSlide 13 of 16 Copyright 2011 CSIR
  14. 14. Acknowledgement • SAFIPA – Kristiina Lahde – Thiru Swettenham • CSIR Meraka – Dhiren SeetharamSlide 14 of 16 Copyright 2011 CSIR
  15. 15. Conclusion • Methodology and programme has proven to be HUGELY successful – 26 code-sprinters – 5 projects • Ready to take to the next level (expand) – Learning captured in freely available “Code-sprint Toolbox” • Partners and networks required to ensure larger uptake and future impact in South Africa Viable addition to current approaches to enhance national ICT readinessSlide 15 of 16 Copyright 2011 CSIR
  16. 16. Questions?Thank you!louis.coetzee@csir.co.zahttp://codesprints.meraka.csir.co.za Copyright 2011 CSIR

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