We’re looking for people with some time on their hands who can help us to build and improve our platform this summer.
We are a tiny startup, whose business model (pre-Covid-19) was to try to earn a small amount when people compete. Naturally, this all ground to a halt with the worldwide lockdown, so we were planning to just ‘hibernate’ for the summer! However, following the huge success of the Virtual National Road Relays, we’ve realised that we can play a big part in keeping our sport going this summer - and hopefully end up with a great competition management system, available at little or no cost to athletics clubs everywhere!
But, we need some help from people who love athletics and have other skills. And a lot of people have time on their hands right now, and (let’s face it), you can only train for so many hours a day!
Banterers, Pundits and Armchair Athletes
Too much time on your hands? Just come on our forum and bring it to life! We’d love to see a good thread on each virtual race
All results on OpenTrack are Open Data, available to download and play with. If you can do something interesting with it, go right ahead! For example, see Will MyCroft’s video of the relay results
OpenTrack Experts and Forum Moderators
So many people are emailing us that the only way we can keep up is to move the traffic to a forum! Hopefully, most people’s questions will be Frequently Asked Questions, and other users can answer them, so we can focus on the really tricky ones.
We need people to learn our competition management system, from the available materials; give us feedback on the documentation and product; and come on our forum to help others! If you were thinking of running a competition on OpenTrack anyway, why not start with a virtual one now?
In an ideal world we would have a test suite covering all of our functionality, and hardly ever have a bug. Sadly, we never had the luxury of that much development time. In the meantime the best we can probably do is having a bunch of people willing to just step through many aspects of our system looking for bugs and regressions. After each major new development, or maybe just once a month, we’ll call for people to hammer on all parts of the system, or to simulate a mob of real users.
Data Quality experts and checkers
80% of the work in organising athletics events is having a clear picture of who’s who - correct age group, correct club and so on! We need to make sure our database stays accurate as it grows. People are needed to keep an eye on a growing competition calendar, club lists and more. You might be devising queries, finding duplicates, populating databases if venues and clubs, filling in the blanks around where you live…we’ll try to support you with the right tools.
Graphic Designers and Illustrators
If you’re good at creating the right visual to convey an idea clearly, making icons, and bringing documentation to life, we’d love to hear from you.
User Experience and Interaction Designers
We really need to design features visually up front, go through cycles of review and feedback, and know what we’re going to build before we move to code. There are many planned features where we know the requirements, but lack a good design before we can build them.
We have a large code base written in Django and Python, often ‘extended in a hurry’ during competition weekends! In addition to the insatiable demand for features, we need to gradually clean up, document, and fix bugs.
We’re pretty experienced in this (running production sites since 2006), but if you are too, we’d LOVE to hear from you.
MkDocs, the Documentation Framework:
We’re moving our docs to this, a python package. If you have experience with this, especially customizing it, we could use help getting the configuration just right, especially the navigation.
GitHub Pages and Jekyll:
This is how we made the web site, hosted in GitHub. It’s really important that we extend this carefully, achieving the visual effects we want while following the style guide
Our front end pages are in Bootstrap 4, with rather too many not yet upgraded from Bootstrap 3. We bring them to life with VueJS. There’s always a need to make sure the pages look right, on all devices.
If you know how to make the web server Nginx cache Django views nicely, respecting logged in users, or you’ve set up reverse proxies with it and tuned sites for very high performance, we’d love to pick your brains for just an hour or two!
Amazon Web Services gurus and architects
We aren’t on AWS yet, but are convinced it’s our future. In the long run we want a core database that’s indestructible, capacity that can scale up for specific competitions, 90% of the past content in static storage and rendered with 100%-static HTML/CSS/JS, and real-time push notifications. We want to be able to handle competitions all over the world on Saturday afternoons, or the traffic from a major Games. AND to be able to take days off without needing sysadmins on duty all the time! So if you know the AWS ecosystem, perhaps you can help us figure out the right long term architecture…
Project Managers and Coordinators
There are too many strands to OpenTrack for us to lead and manage top-down. If you understand the dynamics of volunteer projects with remote working, are a good communicator, and can coordinate a few others to try to get a result, perhaps you could help steer one of our strands of work on a weekly basis?
Please do NOT email us right away. There are so many emails, it’s hard to get any work done! Instead, come onto our forum’s volunteers section, declare what you can do, and we’ll take things from there…