OpenMRS is committed to building a diverse, vibrant, and robust community where knowledge and experience is expanded through practical opportunities for anyone and everyone. Many developers and technical writers come to our community via Google mentorship programs like Google Summer of Code. By the end, many have grown as OpenMRS community members and developers - and what then? Our Fellowship Program complements GSoC and similar mentorship programs by providing opportunities for mid-level technical project managers, developers, and quality assurance specialists to become general OpenMRS jedis and gurus in their specific technical areas by expanding their OpenMRS skills and gaining experience through real work that are in demand by implementers.
How does it work?
OpenMRS fellowship program aims to expand our community’s capacity by providing practical opportunities to develop advanced skill sets using one or more of our OpenMRS stages (development, community, terminology, quality assurance, etc). To make the experience more meaningful, we aim to pair each fellow with a Fellow Mentor and an active squad or project. Most fellowship opportunities are 9 months long.
Who is involved?
Fellows can be any mid- to senior-level technical project/product manager, developer, quality assurance specialist, or program manager who is interested in expanding their knowledge and skills.
2022 OpenMRS Fellowship Opportunities
OpenMRS is currently looking for 2-3 talented individuals interested in serving as Fellows in the following areas:
- Product Management | UX Design
- Development (Frontend, Backend/Data Exchange, QA)
- Community Management & Operations
See below for more information on how to apply.
See OpenMRS Fellows to get to know our current and past Fellows.
What Fellows Do
Successful OpenMRS Fellows learn quickly, show initiative, follow through, and manage relationships with their mentors and advisors. They model and promote community values, our Code of Conduct, and a culture of mentorship.
All Fellows are expected to:
- Develop and follow an individual fellowship plan with guidance from their mentor & fellowship program administrators
- Share fellowship highlights, knowledge, and observations twice a month via a fellowship blog.
- Complete a fellowship project in collaboration with one or more community squads
- Complete quarterly and final fellowship evaluations
- Follow through on agreed upon tasks and commitments with your designated fellow mentor
- Effectively communicate with community members openly and transparently using community communication tools
- Present project progress via community forums and showcases
2022 OpenMRS Fellows are expected to dedicate ~550 hours over approximately 8 months, starting o/a March 1, 2022
What Product Management Fellows Do
Product Managers are responsible for choosing the right problems to go after, and then guiding their team to successful outcomes. They help their team understand users’ pressing problems and work together to deliver a solution Through this fellowship, Fellows will go beyond Project Management and will learn how to apply the critical Product foundations of Discovery, Development, Delivery, and Communication. They will meet with end-users to understand their needs (Discovery) and will become proficient in conducting user research. They will represent the voice of users by Communicating needs and problems to the whole team, and ensure that Development moves forward smoothly by supporting Sprint and Roadmap planning. Finally, they will launch solutions with real users and monitor their impact (Delivery).
Possible specialization: UX Design
What Development Fellows Do
Development Fellows are skilled coders who are on their way to becoming expert OpenMRS developers. They have experience with the OpenMRS tech stack and can handle moderate to complex issues.
Development Fellows will enhance their development skills in one of two areas: frontend or backend/tooling development. While all development fellows are expected to enhance their quality assurance engineering skills, it is also possible to specialize in quality assurance engineering. Based on the Fellow’s current skills & interest, Development Fellows will be assigned a mentor and work closely with the team or squad (Fronted Squad, OCL for OpenMRS Squad, Platform Team, Analytics Squad, Quality Assurance Support Team, etc)
What Community Management Fellows Do
Community managers 1 often wear multiple hats. Through this fellowship, Community Management Fellows will expand their current skills and experience by providing program and operational support to a variety of OpenMRS community initiatives; assisting with Fellowship Program and grant administration; assisting with community recognition efforts; telling our story via social media, blogs, our website, and reports;
Possible specialization: Capacity Building
A Community Management Fellow may choose to hone their skills in capacity building by assisting with the design, improvement, and curation of capacity building materials and resources; facilitating onboarding or skill building sessions; providing program support to OpenMRS-supported capacity development technical track activities and mentorship programs (ie: Fellowship Program); and actively promoting a culture of mentorship.
Successful Community Management Fellows have strong interpersonal, communication, and critical thinking skills, and are naturally curious and empathetic.
What qualifications do candidates have?
In 2022, we’re specifically interested in candidates who have the following qualifications (depending on their focus area):
- 4-5 years of experience (or Stage 3 or higher 5)
- Experience with processes, tools, and technologies used by the OpenMRS community (Jira, GitHub, React, FHIR, Bamboo/Travis, Cypress/Selenium, Wordpress)
- Demonstrates initiative to identify different problems and proposes thoughtful solutions for those problems in a team setting
- Dedication to the OpenMRS mission, vision, and values
- Open to exploring and applying open source principles
- Able to work independently and as a part of a team
- Good communication skills with team members and with guests on team calls
Fellow Mentors are experienced and knowledgeable. They have already acquired knowledge and experience in one or more areas of expertise, such as: project/product management, development, quality assurance, business analysis, etc. Fellow Mentors accompany OpenMRS Fellows as they work towards their fellowship goals. They may also mentor any community member seeking to advance their skills.
In addition, Fellow Mentors have experience with:
- Collaborating with the OpenMRS community (or other open source project)
- Identifying learning opportunities
- Transferring knowledge and skills to a less experienced person
- Assessing learning or professional growth
See OpenMRS Fellows to get to know our current and past Fellow Mentors.
What skills can you expect to gain as a Fellow?
We want to ensure that Fellows have a clear pathway to advanced OpenMRS stages. To assist with this, we work with each fellow to align their professional goals with current OpenMRS Developer and Community Stages as well as specific skills that their fellowship project will build. In the coming months, we hope to include PM and QA stages as well.
We are committed to the success of our Fellows and Fellow Mentors. This success relies on our ability to provide sufficient mentorship and guidance - and the ability of mentors and fellows alike to access and use the necessary tools (ie: internet, computers, airtime, etc) as well as dedicate sufficient time to their projects. Stipends may be offered to Fellows or Fellow Mentors on a case by case basis to ensure that they are able to fully honor their fellowship commitments. Stipends will only be paid to Fellows who satisfactorily reach milestones set out in a Fellowship Plan. Fellows may choose to waive any offered stipend. Unused stipends will go towards our community’s infrastructure and operations.
How to apply
Fellowship opportunities are announced as openings become available on our OpenMRS Job Board on Talk. Fellowship and Fellow Mentor candidates are asked to complete the Fellowship Program Application and submit a cover letter and CV. The cover letter should include:
type of fellowship you are applying for (Development, TPM, QA, SME, etc)
project(s) that you are interested in,
experience working on open source projects,
your technical experience, including links to code and writing samples
professional development goals, and
any other information that you believe is relevant.
For more information about how you or your organization can get involved with the OpenMRS Fellowship Program, please contact Jennifer Antilla