User:X-Savitar/List of Activites/2017

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This year is mixed with really exiting stuffs but a few sad issues too. I am monitoring the activities of this year strictly :).


After completing the my Google Summer of Code 2016 project, I was so happy and felt the progress I had made so far. I started thinking of how I can help others grow in this path in the movement and trying to get other activated to contribute for such a movement. This lead me to community building and engagements and I wanted to build a community around Wikimedia. Lucky me that the Foundation and Movement has a way of building communities in each country via "Wikimedia User Groups". So, I started some ground work with other volunteers in my country to build a User Group in which we will use that to foster Wikimedia activities in Cameroon.

While I was busy doing community work, I got a scholarship to attend the 2nd edition of Wiki Indaba in Accra, Ghana because of the work I have been doing. I attended the conference in Ghana and was so thrilled at the output because I met so many active volunteers doing great things in Africa and also some very experience people in the Wikimedia Foundation. The experience was a good one and led to a great inspiration in my activities in Wikimedia.


Another great thing happened. Wikimedia blogged about me being the First Google Summer of Code participant from Africa, which made me became popular in the Wikimedia movement and people started seeing my work across the whole world. This was another source of inspiration for me and I was so happy about this move by the Wikimedia movement. I was more than happy and got congratulations from people all over Africa and the whole world at large. It was a big impact to my life and my activities in the Wikimedia movement.


In this month, I co-founded the Wikimedia Tool Developers User Group with some German friends of mine. We spoke and saw the need for an internet based UG to harness all developers that build Wikimedia related tools to solve problems. This UG was a success and has a lot of members :) which indeed is another source of inspiration that pushed me to keep working and volunteering in the Wikimedia movement.


This month was sad for me because I had a scholarship to attend Wikimedia Hackathon 2017 in Vienna, Austria along side another female Cameroonian (Perside Rosalie) that has been contributing technically for the movement but the Belgian Embassy refused granting us Visas and we finally didn't attend the Hackathon. Despite all the efforts we made and documents provided during the application, we didn't still succeed in getting a Schengen Visa for the conference which was quite a huge loss for us because we missed all the good and experienced people we would have learnt from and impact our community but it didn't work. The month was generally a rough one for me :(.


Another great month. Remember I attended Wiki Indaba in January, and from Wiki Indaba 2017 was the birth of another remarkable project which I started working on with Felix Nartey called the Africa Wikimedia Developer Project. In line with the mission of Wikimedia, trying to reach everyone in the world, to train and grow developers from Africa to contribute to the Wikimedia movement from a technical perspective. Since at the time, I was the only active volunteer developer from Africa, I and Felix worked together to make this dream / idea come true. The first training took place in Ghana which the Wikimedia Foundation flew me to Ghana for a 2 days training. While in Ghana, I trained interested techies on how to hack on MediaWiki and related extensions and gave them the activation energy they needed to start contributing to the movement.

You can see our Phabricator work board about this project, feel free to watch or join the project and receive updates and also subscribe to our mailing list and get in touch via IRC if you are interested. All the information to achieve this are on the project page.


Now it gets more interesting. After working strongly on creating our own Wikimedia User Group in Cameroon, together with other active volunteer Wikimedians in my country, we finally succeeded in getting an official Wikimedia User Group in Cameroon which we called the Wikimedians of Cameroon User Group. I co-founded this UG with 3 other Wikimedians in the country and under this UG, we shall foster all our Wikimedia activities in Cameroon.

Following the creation of the UG, there was the first MediaWiki Workshop in Buea (a town in South West Region of Cameroon) in our tech community called "Silicon Mountain". We intend to grow a very large group of volunteers in the Wikimedia movement from our country and try as much as possible to strike the balance of diversity and push the activities of the movement in our society.

Another very exciting thing happened which I requested for a Wikipedia Email from Wikimedia DE and was granted this for use in my Wikimedia volunteering work in the movement. I got a "(_AT_)" email and along side this, I also got business cards shipped to me from Wikimedia DE to push my work further in the movement and keep doing the work I started. It is a great opportunity and I am using the email for it's intended purpose. You can get in touch with me related to Wikimedia activities here: alangi.derick(_AT_) but for something personal, you can contact me via alangiderick(_AT_)


This month was mixed with some good stuffs and bad stuffs :). First of all, the bad / sad stuff for this month is that I was refused a Visa to Wikimania 2018 (which was to take place in Canada). But I followed the Hackathon and the entire program online on Twitter, YouTube and Facebook. It was a nice experience all together. In addition to that, I signed up / requested for a laptop via Wikimedia's Hardware Donation Program(HDP) which was approved and soon, I will have a dedicated computer for all my volunteering activities in the Wikimedia movement. Checkout my request :)

As mentioned in the month of July, I got my package from Wikimedia DE (business card and some wonderful stickers and a letter from Jones of WMDE). I am so grateful for this kind gesture and this is a source of encouragement and inspiration to keep contributing to the Wikimedia movement.


Well, let me talk a little bit about September, nothing really striking happened apart from the fact that I released a new MediaWiki extension for sending of emails from a Wiki via the SendGrid API. The new extension called SendGrid-extension-MediaWiki is in a beta version 1.0 and can be used with a valid SendGrid API Key. In addition to this, I was just doing regular contributions (submission of patches, reviewing patches, filling bugs etc). Also, I was helping new volunteers get started in contributions as per the Africa Wikimedia Developer project. But October was not a very good month for me, see below.


It wasn't so good but I'll keep pushing. The striking activities of me this month in relation to the foundation are; I was selected for the Wikimedia Diversity Conference as a scholarship recipient which was to take place in Stockholm, Sweden. It was great news and I followed up with my Visa application providing all necessary documents to the embassy but despite all these efforts, including all the efforts of Wikimedia SE, I was refused a visa. This marks the second time I am refused a Schengen Visa (1st was for Austria and now Sweden). Another exciting activity, I was selected as a Outreachy Round 15 mentor for Wikimedia and also hoping to mentor Google Code-In 2017 session. In addition, I wrote a Rapid Grant to purchase a Digital Camera (Canon EOS 700D) for Wikimedians of Cameroon User Group which was funded and the camera was bought, shipped and received successfully. The initial purpose of this device was to upload 600 photos on Wikimedia Commons in order to document some places in Cameroon. Project has started and will run for 6 months.

Furthermore, I traveled to Douala for Wiki Loves Africa 2017 Press Conference to start taking pictures with the new Camera and succeeded in taking 122 good clean shots, you can see them here: Wiki Loves Africa 2017 Press Conference Douala, Cameroon.


This month including December was all full of work work and work! I was busy mentoring students getting into Wikimedia as volunteer developers and most of my work was around Africa Wikimedia Developers, Google Code-In and Outreachy Round 15. I was selected as a GCI mentor for my 3rd time and an Outreachy mentor for my first time which I mentored a Cameroonian lady in the Outreachy program for Wikimedia and also had over 50 tasks mentored for Google Code-In. This month was very very busy and it was fun :). In addition, I got a few pictures for the project I started in October to document some places in my community. The project is on-going and progressing gradually!


Following the month of November, December was also very busy and also fun. One of the key things I did this month is that I nominated myself as an AffCom member for the December round to participate in the AffCom appointment for 2018. GCI, Outreachy and AWMD was the activity were the activities that took most of my time this month and also activities around Wikimedians of Cameroon User Group planning for events. Not so much write-up for this month but the work was really much and it was really fun. Another key achievement was an increase in the number of volunteer participation the AWMD program where more developers from different parts of the continent collaborated in monthly meetings, activities and more communications to fix issues related to Wikimedia projects. In addition, I'm also a member of the Scholarship Committee for Wiki Indaba 2018 which is again another huge contribution I made to keep my work going in the Wikimedia movement.