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Name: Doris Tam

Role: Mahara Developer

About me

I am a developer based in Wellington, New Zealand and I have worked at Catalyst IT since early 2021 after completing an internship with the Mahara team over that summer. My first contribution to Mahara was when I was a high-school student participating in Catalyst's Open Source Academy learning about open source in 2015. It would be great to become an Approved Developer.


Creating bugs, making patches, writing tests, and code-reviewing patches of other Mahara contributors are part of my BAU activities. I also regularly engage in the forums to support community members.

Code reviews examples: person-data patch review, external apps patch review, collections patch test, gridstack patch test, and gallery carousel patch test.

Behat tests examples: send now button test and adding Behat test and background steps.

Community engagement examples: skins post, comments post, and portfolio completion post.

Apart from technical contributions, 'Refactor Fridays' is a process that I introduced into the project in 2021. It has since enabled us to spend time intentionally to care for the project on a fortnightly basis. Most recently we've been able use this time to work together as a team on getting the project closer to the goal of being PHP 8 compatible through tools like PHPStan and improve the overall documentation with PHPDocs.

The following note some of the bigger projects I've taken part in.

Automated testing improvements

I implemented a range of background tasks that allow the creation of test data before test steps are run. This reduces the amount of steps/time required to test functionality where in the past creating data required running through that process in test steps. Now the number of steps can be minimal to only test functionality. Launchpad bug report holding all the information.

Mahara Mobile rewrite and maintenance

I led a small team in 2019--2020 and together we rewrote the current app from scratch in React Native. I am currently the maintainer, upgrading dependencies for security as well as testing and creating releases. Mahara Mobile on Google play.

Improve comment privacy in exports

I implemented the switch for hiding private comments when exporting portfolios.

Exporting portfolios with a switch to exclude private comments 'No' by default


I have taken part in multiple Mahara Release cycles since 2021 including leading a security release, upgrading, and updating sites post-release. Tasks involved before the upgrade include managing third-party libraries. I have also experienced creating a release for 21.10.1.

Client work

I have completed client work for several clients of Catalyst:

  • Decommissioning, upgrading, and updating sites whilst navigating customisations.
  • Investigating issues in real-time and providing generated data.
  • Writing customisations and features.

Bug fixes and merged changes

To see a list of the changes that have become a part of Mahara please see the following:

List of merged contributions to Mahara.