Glific: my version
Mohd Shamoon
December 11, 2020

This is a short story of how I, as an outsider, saw Glific get going, evolve and finally start to solve meaningful problems. I’m hoping there must be others who may share the same story.

The beginning

It was around May 2020, that I first heard of Glific (I think the name was not decided at that point). I have heard from other team mates that it was initiated by one of the co-founders of Yahoo and CiviCRM. That’s what got my attention initially. 😀

The project aimed to assist non-profits to become more efficient in communication with their beneficiaries. The foundation was to be set up using WhatsApp, which is a very common household app, even in remote areas. This was exciting!

What’s more exciting was all of this would be open source. So it’s really giving back to the community. Though I wasn’t a part of the project, I couldn’t wait to know more about it.

The journey

Everything wasn’t just coding. It was easy to figure out that Glific leadership is trying to solve a problem. Not through jumping into the code but by understanding the problems first.

Here’s a few things I liked over the course of Glific’s journey so far:

  • Weekly meetings with several non-profits and getting to know their problems. This helps to easily figure out where Glific can play a substantial role to ease out their operations and decision making.
  • Envisioning multilingual support within the core to increase outreach.
  • Team enforcing frequent releases to make sure features are on track.
  • Regular webinars that aim to share the latest releases to the public and Q&A for what can come next.
  • An early partnership with nonprofits to test the application and give feedback. This would help make the foundation even better.
  • Giving back to the open-source community by contributing to various libraries used within Glific

My contribution
During one of my project breaks, I got a bit involved with Glific, getting in the standup meetings and picking up a few “good first issues” to code. This got me a little more understanding of the project. 

Soon I created my first PR in the frontend repository and it got approved. It was good to see my name on the contributor’s list. I believe having your name on the contributor’s list makes it somewhat your responsibility to make the application as good as possible.

I could also see that there is a major focus on writing test cases which really helped.

So with each issue, I am getting more and more understanding of the project and trying to contribute further.