nextSIS is being developed using PHP and MySQL, and I’d really appreciate your help in designing a student information system (SIS) which I believe will benefit schools around the world. The project is in its infancy, so this is an opportunity to become involved in an early stage project which you can see through to launch. I’m planning to run the technical side of things out of GitHub. Recently CNET ran a story about coders being hired through GitHub because as one recruiter put it ‘why would I look at their resume when I can look at a body of work?‘. It makes a case for taking some time to become involved in community work if you can.
I work for Busan International Foreign School and I want to replace our current open source SIS because we’ve experienced a lot of problems with this system, and the company that develops it. There are no other open source programs to turn to which inspire more confidence, and even many of the commercial systems – which cost a lot of money – are not that good. We are far from the only school in this position, so I believe a well-designed software product has a chance to have a significant impact on the education sector.
What is the plan?
You will note from the SIS Wikipedia page, that such systems can be quite far reaching in their scope. Initially I’m planning on building the core functions required by schools – namely a current student database which stores their essential information and allows them to be assigned to classes, where attendance can be taken and which are ultimately graded. As time allows, I will be expanding on the proposed design of nextSIS – please keep checking back!
Time is partly why we’ve decided to open source this project; the hope is that with more developers we can get this up and running much more quickly, and build something better via a collaborative approach.
In the end it would be great if we could present an open source product to schools which they could run themselves with a minimum of technical knowledge and fuss. Sitting where we are right now, with the experiences we’ve had over the last year with other people’s products, that would be a real game-changer to us, and perhaps even in the wider world of student information systems.
If you’re interested in participating, please contact me.