What started out as a learning exercise has evolved into some serious software development. We have had some talented people volunteer with us as they grew their skills. We are confident that we can grow this into a great community enterprise. But more about that later, let’s go back to basics.
Back2bikes is a community bike workshop where people like to come and work on bikes. It works on many dimensions.
- It feels good
- It’s a place to learn
- It’s a place to grow
- It’s a place to contribute to the community
- It’s a place to make friends
We want these qualities to exist at Back2dev. That may be challenging to achieve mainly because we don’t have a location (yet). Thanks to Covid, people have got used to remote work, and were looking for “worthwhile projects” that they could do from home. So we had a “remote working” tailwind
There is a trend in the IT industry towards low-code or no-code platforms. Writing code is still pretty much a cottage industry, and it’s very expensive to build apps. Offshoring was a trend for a while, to keep the costs down, and while systems were cheaper, offshore teams didn’t fully understand business requirements, and required a lot of management. The end result was often underwhelming. Labor in many of the offshoring countries is no longer so cheap, so we look for other solutions.
Now the idea of a system where you don’t need developers, that the coding is just configuration makes a lot of sense. The time to building a working app is significantly shorter and it’s much cheaper, but when you hit the limits of the platform, you have nowhere to go. You can hope that the platform evolves quickly enough to adapt to your needs, but that’s often not the case, as they get bogged down in supporting existing customers and trying to add features fast enough.
Back2.dev’s mission is to provide IT services to companies and not for profit organisations.
Back2bikes has been operating since 2012, using the money generated from bike sales and servicing to fund charitable activities for low income earners and the socially disadvantaged. We started out building technology for Back2bikes, and share similar objectives, but instead of helping individuals, we are helping charitable organisations to operate cheaply and efficiently.
We recognise that NFP’s often don’t have enough money to pay for technology services, so our aim is to build services they can use for a reasonable price. As we scale our offerings, the incremental cost of providing services to NFP’s approaches zero.
Our activities will be staffed by a mixture of paid staff and volunteers. Our aim is to reward our volunteers with a variety of non-financial benefits, such as
- Learning new techniques
- Extending themselves
- Satisfaction that they are contributing to a worthy cause
- Working in a team of like minded people
- Having time to learn without performance pressure
- Taking responsibility for designing and delivering
- Contributing to the open source software community
- Gaining experience
- Building a personal reputation in IT