We will soon complete our first year of the ERPNext Foundation! Thank you everyone who chose to be members for being a part of this and giving your time and money to build this amazing platform and making it sustainable for everyone.
Looking back, it seemed like a year of discussions and experiments. We tried recruitment, bounties, explored ways of doing events, marketing, and I think we achieved quite a bit. The foundation wanted to focus on “stability” so the developers were primarily focussed on solving bugs.
Together we were able to close more than 200 bugs via the foundation funds. We also did a big experiment to write client-side tests, and we created a system of writing client side tests and also fixed many issues in the process. We also built out the erpnext.org platform for service providers and users, to discover each other and post jobs. Unfortunately we had to close the client side tests recently as they were taking very long time to run and our CI tool was not able to run them reliably.
One of the goals I had personally, was that the foundation should become its own organisation, representing the community and not just Frappe. So I was always on the hunt for leaders within the community and we experimented with @JayRam first as a voluntary CEO and @revant_one next.
I am sure you would all agree in saying both of them did a great job within their own domains.
Jay took lead in a lot of discussions and specially in setting up the Chapters. He was outspoken on many occasions, both on the forum and the conference. We thank him for taking up this often thankless role as a volunteer!
Revant came from the developer point of view. Revant is one of the first contributors on the project, and has taken a lead in spreading the philosophy of “contribution first”. Revant also took the lead in getting our approvals in place for making donations to the foundation tax deductible and applying for us to accept donations from out of India. He has also been leading the foundation calls and writing out the minutes. Revant also took the lead in building a native mobile app framework for ERPNext which is still in a very early stage.
On the down side, not everything we did worked. We were not able to create a clear Roadmap for the product or able to capture the needs of the user community. Most of the members, we realised are very happy to fund the foundation, since they want to see this built into a stable, growing and participative product, but did not have very active goals. As a result, we were not able to set targets for developers and expect performance. Towards the end of the year, we probably lost our way a bit on the developer side. The experiments with Chapters and Module Leaders also had a luke warm response.
All this is great. We just got started, so its really important to define “where” we want to go rather than getting somewhere real fast. It also helps us define what we need to do next. What we probably badly need is someone who spends a lot of time communicating one-on-one with the members and having the ability to work out a strong roadmap for ERPNext.
You would be happy to know that we have found that person. We are very excited to announce that @Basawaraj_Savalagi has accepted our offer to join in as a full time leader for the foundation. Both Jay and Revant will step down from their official positions, though they will continue to play an active part in all activities. Big thanks to both of you for taking this up and I am sure you will continue the leadership! Revant is also now legally Director on the foundation, the first non-Frappe person to be that, so this also shows our seriousness to make this a community organisation.
Like Jay and Revant, Basawaraj has been an active member of the community. Basawaraj has been a consultant with Deloitte and over the past few years has been helping SELCO India (a leading rooftop solar distribution company in India) in their ERPNext Implementation. He spoke about his experience in the 2016 conference.
Basawaraj, first goal is to connect with all the members one-on-one and find out what they really want from the foundation and build a roadmap for the coming year. After we have a roadmap, we can all decide how best to achieve it. Here is a brief page we created: Plan for 2018 19 · erpnext/foundation Wiki · GitHub
These are very early days for the Foundation and we really hope Basawaraj can help take it to new heights. We look forward to continued support of the members and the community! Thanks everyone for having the faith.
Over to you @Basawaraj_Savalagi!