Welcome to the Team ThoughtWorks University!

Category : DataWinners - Data Collection for Development, Our Blog

New, capable hands have been added to the DataWinners development team. We are proud to announce that ThoughtWorks Inc. has chosen to work on the DataWinners mobile data collection platform during its six week on-boarding program for newly hired software engineers called ThoughtWorks University (TWU).   The program is designed to instill ThoughtWorks’ core culture and agile programming processes in each new team member.  TWU students gain valuable on-the-job experience by working with a real client.

Joining the existing ThoughtWorks team focused on DataWinners are 15 freshly minted graduates working from ThoughtWorks’ Xi’an, China office. Coursework started in October and will continue until mid November.  We at HNI are grateful for the opportunity to work with these new ThoughtWorkers and are excited about the fresh perspective, energy and enthusiasm these engineers bring to the project.

Several reasons make DataWinners and ThoughtWorks University an ideal fit. First, DataWinners is a mission-driven initiative from which any development organization or social enterprise worldwide can benefit. As such, these new ThoughtWorkers have the opportunity to contribute to a project that has the potential to speed up development.  In addition, team members benefit from working on an open-source project that has a team of collaborators distributed across multiple countries and time zones. These recent graduates also receive first-hand experience in the art of balancing the needs and wants of each involved party while managing upcoming deadlines and responsibilities. We at HNI have a very clear vision of what niche DataWinners will fill and what specific functionality we need. , We’re able to provide clear instructions and expectations for the software upfront, allowing the University students to focus on the programming.

ThoughtWorks University students are entry-level developers.  During the six week course, they are figuratively “thrown into the deep end” and are expected to make a meaningful contribution to DataWinners.  These students and their trainers have been entrusted with some critically important new features to DataWinners. Over the course of the next 6 weeks, ThoughtWorks University will develop the following new functionality for DataWinners:

  • Trial accounts that allow anyone worldwide to sign up and use DataWinners free of charge for 30 days
  • Simpler SMS syntax that makes submitting data easier for Data Senders
  • Bulk SMS engine that allows user to send out or broadcast SMS to multiple recipients at once
  • Ability for users to easily track their inbound and outbound SMS traffic
  • Enhanced back-end support to help HNI manage its subscriber base

We would like to thank Ms. Shilpa Nair for lobbying TWU on our behalf.  Shilpa leads the ThoughtWorks team based in Pune, India that has been working on DataWinners for most of 2011.  Shilpa is a former instructor at TWU and was well placed to advocate for DataWinners inclusion.

We welcome this expansion of the fruitful HNI-ThoughtWorks partnership and are delighted with the work ThoughtWorks Xi’an and its University students have contributed thus far.