Announcing Ona 2


Happy 2.0 Ona with rainbow sprinkles

We launched Ona 2 today! In our previous announcements here, here, and on our release log, we described the new features in Ona 2. There’s also a Getting Started guide that will show you, well, how to get started, and what has changed from the previous version of Ona. If you have questions on the transition, please email

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Nairobi Functional Programming Meetup 3


Photo of the presentation.

On Wednesday, we had the pleasure of hosting the third Nairobi Functional Programming Meetup, with Larry Weya giving a brief introduction to Erlang & Elixir, and sharing his experience using the platform as part of the team behind eCitizen.

In what is emerging as a pattern, the post-talk conversations were as illuminating as the talk itself. We’re planning a hands-on workshop for the next meetup, so if that sounds like the sort of thing you’d enjoy, head over to our Meetup page and sign up for updates. See you next time!

Ona Pricing Announcement


Dear Ona Community,

For the past 18 months, we’ve provided Ona as a free service while at the same time adding features and providing support. We’ve added permissions, better visualizations and more management features to our beta site. We also have new exciting features in the works.

Beginning October 1st, we will begin limiting the free service level to 500 monthly private form submissions and 500 MB attachment storage. Usage beyond those limits will require a paid account. All data in public datasets will remain free, forever.

We are accepting paid signups for the Ona service immediately. Signing up now gives you immediate access to a world class support team and qualifies you for an early adopter discount. To get started, visit the upgrade page and we will work with you to develop a pricing plan that meets your specific usage and support needs.

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My Two Month Internship at Ona Kenya


The Application Process

My journey towards working with Ona was a systematic. It began with wise counsel from a former lecturer. His advice was quite simple: “If you trust your programming skills, you can apply for the jobs at Ona. Female candidates are encouraged to apply”. It was both thrilling and unnerving considering the global promotion of gender equality.

Take it or Leave it!

After much deliberation, I decided to take up the challenge. I sent my application with the required information and crossed my fingers hoping HR would take notice it. Fortunately, I got a response from the Peter, the CTO, to set up a time meet. That was a cause to celebrate! Count yourself lucky when you are invited for an interview before you finish your final undergraduate exams lest you get into the job of “looking for a job” when you are done with campus. The interview was conducted and then there was the “real interview” — software tests. This is a task that separates the men from the boys (well, in this case women from girls :)). It may not be as hard as it sounds, but it is the main gateway to working with Ona as a developer. I had 4 days to write a clean, logical code snippet that achieved a task! The final step of the application process involved a thorough code review with a group panel. They liked my thought process and code structure and I managed to join the team as an intern. The rest is history.

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The Perfect Kenyan Chapo


The Ona team convenes at Dickson’s home to learn the art of making chapo. Recipe and photos below.

The Golden Ticket

Since my first lunch in Nairobi, Dickson has insisted that all restaurant chapatis pale in comparison to his mother’s recipe. Here’s how every lunch would go when I’m in town:

“This is great!” I’d say, devouring a chapati.

“Not really,” he’d respond, ordering rice.

So a few weeks ago, when Dickson invited Peter and I to his house to try good chapo, we jumped at the chance. On a typical pleasant Nairobi Saturday, Moses (Dickson’s neighbor), Peter and myself joined Dickson and his sister Annette at their home. We took a taxi to west of Nairobi and when we arrived we learned something miraculous: we wouldn’t just be trying the greatest chapo in the world — we’d be making it from scratch.

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