Dev Squad

The Geek.Zone/Dev Squad looks after the development and maintenance of software and hardware at Geek.Zone. We are currently working on projects that will support Geek.Zone/01, mainly Geek.Zone/Web.

We are looking for volunteers who can help do all the technical tasks we have! If you know of anyone who might like to help, or can do so yourself, please have a chat with James!

What we do

Current

Geek.Zone currently uses WordPress run the website and Member Mojo to manage membership. Previously, we have also used MediaWiki, TikiWiki and Oxwall for the website. Unfortunately, we have found several limitations with these;

  • MediaWiki
    • Great as a knowledge repository but not as good at the social side of things
    • Built in PHP; it has been hard to find PHP people to help us.
  • WordPress
    • Great for blogs but not really intended for social community sites
    • Built in PHP; it has been hard to find PHP people to help us.
  •  TikiWiki
    • Built in PHP; it has been hard to find PHP people to help us.
    • Not used widely so skills are not transferable
    • Not set up for paid membership.
  • Member Mojo
    • Requires the first name, last name structure, against W3C guidelines.
    • Cannot handle membership upgrades
    • No API & no plans to provide one – only able to access our data manually so no integration possible.
    • Does not fulfil our constitutional requirements.

We have explored several other off-the-shelf solutions, but none have met all our requirements. We are therefore building a bespoke solution so that we can make it fulfil our specific operational requirements, as well as integrate it with our other systems.

Road Map

MVP

We are currently working on a Django membership management system. At MVP, this will allow new members to register and existing members to update their information, such as email address, phone number and others. One will be able to pay for membership via Direct Debit. Other payment methods will be accepted manually.

We are also working on a Geek.Zone Android app. At MVP, this will allow members to see all events that are happening across the Geek.Zone community.

v1: Going Mobile

The next step will see membership management added to the Geek.Zone Android app. We will also start to add other payment options, including card, PayPal and cash, so that membership is autonomously accessible to all.

v2: Space

The “Space” membership option will be added to allow members to upgrade for access to every ((Geek.Zone (Physical Space)|Geek.Zone)). We will also add a way for members to swipe into the door at every ((Geek.Zone (Physical Space)|Geek.Zone)) with their phone, probably a one time QR code initially.

v3: Wiki

Django will be expanded to include a Wiki, allowing the membership to edit the Geek.Zone website. It will also include a members forum where members can chat and ask for help on their projects.

Future!

There are many more exciting ideas on our Trello! Take a look and come up with a few of your own!

How We Do

Team Motto

The Geek.Zone/Dev team motto is

Shatilau Kanok-vei!

Automation

It is our firm belief that everything a machine can do, a machine should do, as this allows humans to focus on more interesting matters. Spending almost any amount of time automating a task that would otherwise need a human to do it repeatedly is time well spent. Servers are cheap & people have better things to do than run hamster wheels!

Show the thing

We believe in the engineering rules;

  1. Make it work
  2. Make it work well
  3. Make it pretty

If there is an off-the-shelf product that will provide a temporary solution, we go with that for the time being and improve from there.

Open Source

Everything that Geek.Zone members develop is for the benefit of the Geek.Zone community as well as that of the wider community. Therefore, everything we do is open source; all our code is released under GPLv3 and everything else is released under The Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Tools

We manage everything via

Get Involved

Jumping in is pretty easy!

  1. Join Geek.Zone
    It costs just £1+donation each year
  2. Come to an event
    We want you to enjoy being part of our fantastic community as much as you enjoy all the tech stuff
  3. Take a look at the GZ FAQ
    It answers many of your questions
  4. Book a chat with James
    He will suggest some tickets/issues that might be of interest to you.
  5. Crack on!
    Clone the project locally and get coding!

If you have any questions, do post in the #dev channel on our Discord where someone will be more than happy to help you. Don’t suffer in silence!

TL;DR

We make awesome software for a great charity! If you want to help to improve your Geek.Zone, please book a quick chat with James.