Asking Questions – Week 3

Early this week, I spent time parsing the ticket for insight about how its submitters / watchers operate, assuming they were potential users of this project. My mentors invited me to question such assumptions (everything) and come up with a list of hypotheses related to my user stories that we could prove true or false. From this list, I generated a survey to send the ticket watchers/ submitters and the implementers list. In this way, I asked questions about implementers’ relationship with the concept dictionary and how they maintain one or more sites. I was able to follow-up-Skype with Ellen, the ticket-submitter from PIH, and e-mailed some other friendly survey-respondents to learn even more about duplicate concepts, the scenarios and scope that this module should cover, some history of concept management. And, as it turns out, Ellen knows all about FACE AIDS and has met the team I stayed with in Kirehe, Rwanda.

To be honest, I don’t know how much of this information is related to the code behind the module that will take references from one concept and point them to another concept, but it gives my whole project some perspective. From here, I can ask potential users smarter questions when they come up because I understand their situations, and better yet I know where in cyberspace to find them.

OpenMRS University this Wednesday was about Concept Mappings in 1.9+ with Andy Kanter.  Perfect. 🙂 I recognized multiple attendees’ names. I even thought of a question. This was an important moment because Glen has encouraged me to speak up and be involved with the community. I asked about what happens to mappings after a concept is retired. A little later, someone mentioned my GSoC project. Perfect opportunity to chat it up. My friends know this – I struggle with wording. I was still thinking about whether or not to add an exclamation mark and if a smiley face was appropriate, and by then the subject had already changed. Oops. It didn’t even really matter what I said, but if I had turned on my microphone and said something, some of these OpenMRS friends would know that Jordan is the girl working on this concept project… Lesson learned.

I spent the rest of the week digesting my new knowledge of concept management and using it to make mockups.


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