What’s a community-developed open source technology looking for a home to do? In 2014, CodeIgniter was lucky enough to find that home in Metro Vancouver, here at BCIT.
Described as a “fully baked PHP framework” by its original developer, EllisLab, CodeIgniter is a “proven, agile and open web application framework with a small footprint.” It’s also been called “simple” and “elegant,” and has been used in the development of thousands of websites.
Computing instructor Jim Parry agreed to take the project lead role, and facilitated BCIT’s adoption of CodeIgniter. He keeps the flame alight with a goal of including students in open source community and practices.
The CodeIgniter community is worldwide, numbering in the thousands – 50,000 in China alone. An international council oversees the framework, with representation from the US, Bulgaria and the Netherlands. Jim is also currently collaborating with faculty from the University of Lisbon and the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, to build on the framework and to make such tools easier to learn.
Computing students have benefited from adopting the collaborative workflow practices of CodeIgniter, and Jim continues to look for ways to involve students further as they work on their real-world software development projects. He’s also supervised capstone projects for students at universities across Canada who are contributing to the framework for academic credit.
Jim’s volunteer caretaker role involves managing the forum, steering the ongoing development, and diving into the development himself as well. Explains Jim, “the project has proved very useful in my teaching. My industry credentials are current and authentic – I can draw from personal and recent experience for examples I use in class.”
In the long term, Jim envisions students “not only learning to work on open source projects, but to help make CodeIgniter the best one ever.”
The international CodeIgniter community appears to think they’re on their way. In the words of one fan, “you and your team have done a great deal to support the framework I love.”
2019 Update: CodeIgniter has been transferred to the new non-profit CodeIgniter Foundation.