An Interactive Survey Report for the Hacklab Foundation, Ghana
In 2020, the Hacklab Foundation conducted the Hacklab Developer Census, a survey among the Ghanaian developer community. We explored this sample of 272 developers and compiled insights about their characteristics, preferred tools, and career backgrounds. The visual, interactive, data report can now be used to adjust the foundation’s work according to the generated insights and shared with collaboration partners to improve working conditions and diversity in the Ghanaian developer community. The report also helps to improve the visibility of the foundation and can be used by current or future developers to learn about the most used tools and technologies as well as help them choose a career path.
The Hacklab Foundation is an international nonprofit organization headquartered in Ghana with a focus on preparing the youth for future digital jobs through technology education and skills development. The Hacklab Foundation achieves this through bootcamps, hackathons, mentorship and coaching, internships, digital skills training and job placement. Its footprints currently span across Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone and India. The Foundation is known for its annual Hacklab Hackathon hosted in Ghana which brings together 1000+ participants including developers, engineers, designers, entrepreneurs, policymakers, development partners and other stakeholders in technology to meet and discuss critical issues impacting the Global South, identify opportunities and develop tech-enabled solutions for emerging economies. (adapted from https://hacklabfoundation.org/about-us/)
The main goal of the project was to generate insights concerning Ghana’s developer community to gain a better understanding of the developer’s backgrounds, skills, and characteristics. However, generating, summarizing and communicating the insights is not a job the foundation had experience with. It needed help with these data-intensive and data-visualization aspects.
CorrelAid’s contribution consisted of data exploration as well as data analysis to find interesting insights. Additionally, the results were visualized in an attractive and comprehensible way to enable result communication with collaboration partners unfamiliar with technical questions and the broader community.
The survey data consisted of 272 observations on 41 questions. Some questions were answered using multiple-choice format, others allowed for short statements.
Data was stored locally by the Hacklab Foundation and provided to us via GitHub in the .xlsx format. Prior to our contributions, the data had not been analyzed or used.
CorrelAid helped the Hacklab Foundation with data exploration, analysis, and insight generation. Furthermore, the CorrelAid volunteers designed the report and the visualizations. The main technologies included R and RMarkdown for data analysis and visualization, as well as CSS and HTML for report design and generation. The final design reflects the corporate design of the Hacklab Foundation. The project started out with data cleaning, which was followed by data exploration and insight generation. Finally, the insights were summarized in a report including various kinds of data visualizations. The final report is destined as being shared as a public webpage, explorable by anyone.
The data revealed a variety of useful insights about the Ghanaian developer community. For example, only 17% of the whole sample indicated being women. However, there was a greater share of women among the students, which provides a chance for an increasing representation in the developer community. Furthermore, there were interesting results concerning the most used technologies and the working conditions.
These results will be used to improve the Hacklab Foundation’s work in order to support professional developers as well as youth aiming at becoming developers. The report provides an illustrative platform that can be shared with collaboration partners, such as organizations and other developer communities. They will work together to move the Ghanaian developer community towards an even more diverse, educated and connected nature. Additionally, the interactive web report improves communication and visibility of the Hacklab Foundation.
The analyses and the code were shared with the Hacklab Foundation so that the report is reproducible. The code can additionally be used to generate reports for future surveys the Hacklab Foundations is planning to conduct in the upcoming years.