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Ella Durham

Belated Nonprofit Dev Summit Notes, Thoughts, Links, Etc.

4 min read

Back in November, I attended Aspiration Tech’s Nonprofit Software Development Summit for the first time. Between the wonderful humans, excellent organizers, and great content, it quickly topped my list of pet conferences.

A bunch of time, the holidays, and some priorities later, I am just now getting around to pulling together the notes, thoughts, links, etc. that are still swimming around in my brain and jotted down on bits of paper I haven’t misplaced. I’m just going to dump it out in this post for fear I won’t get around to recording it otherwise.

The Internet Thing 
A sign that’ll monitor events and conversations of interest and light up when there’s significant online activity. 

An emerging metadata standard for zine libraries. Neat because I love zines and libraries and data. 

Self-hosted cloud. I’ve installed an instance of OwnCloud on my server and have been slowly migrating away from Google Drive. 

Privacy Story Telling might have been one of my favorite sessions. In short, it opened up with thinking about relatable, everyday stories people can be told to get them to think and care about their own privacy. There were many great perspectives in the room and mini-conversations that emerged.

A couple of big takeaways for me were that not one single message is going to reach all populations. If you say “privacy matters because if X is exposed about a person Y could happen," there are going to be a set of people that disagree with X and therefore will not side with privacy in that case. While it’s probably unlikely to come up with a universal story, there are some that come closer. For example, insurance companies data mining your network to determine rates.

It all had me thinking about messaging and how to possible handle privacy awareness campaigns.

There was a session on Application and Cloud Testing at the same time as Privacy Story Telling that I didn’t get to attend but was something I looked into later. The Specialists Guild helps train people on the Autism spectrum to become QA testers. Nonprofits may qualify for probono testing. 

The Cryptography Tools session, also one I wasn’t able to make, seems like it would have been a good brush up on crypto tools and a nudge to use them more frequently. I have it bookmarked.

I enjoyed How to Build Successful Communities of Practice. It was an open conversation about the different communities of practice we participate in and why or how we wish they were better. However, I was quite conflicted between it and Introduction to Tech Co-ops.

There were a bunch of co-ops at NPDev. I met some great people from Palante Tech, OpenFlows, Radical Designs, and Design Action Collective. 

I am really not sure why a co-op model hadn’t crossed my mind for a design shop before this but it was a bit of a funny epiphany.

I brushed up on and dived into some GIT as well as sat in on a session about using GIT for Content and learned about static site frameworks for rapid prototyping like Kalastatic. Which introduced me to Metalsmith and Swig.

There are a handful of other sessions I wasn’t able to attend that I want to go return back to. I have the wiki at the top of my downtime reading material bookmarks.