Most of them will spend the year teaching in remote villages (good) or idling at local government offices (meh). But not Tunbosun Ayinla who even while serving out his national youth service time in Jigawa state works as a developer at Cart, an ecommerce logistics startup in Lagos.
Tunbosun’s specialty is WordPress. A couple weeks ago, he released a WordPress plugin that integrates with the popular WooCommerce framework and allows a merchant accept payments via the Voguepay payments gateway. The plugin’s utility will be mostly obvious to Nigerian merchants who use Voguepay, one of the payments aggregators that supports Interswitch, Etranzact and Visa.
It might not seem like much, but with 78 downloads from the official WordPress plugin repository, there’s probably one or two merchants and developers out there who are grateful for a quick fix for their Voguepay integration needs.
My interest was piqued for a different reason though. Tunbosun is a rare kind of Nigerian developer. The kind that develops for WordPress, without pay, and then decides to give his work away for free. Amazing. I reached out to ask him why. Here’s what he said –
Why did you write the plugin?
T: I have a todo list of payment gateway plugins that I’ve wanted to release for Woocommerce since last year. I have been procrastinating about getting them done. So I decided to get started on one and have it released the first week of this year. That’s what gave birth to the Voguepay Woocommerce Payment Gateway.
And why did you decide to share it? Put it on the WordPress plugin repository, that is.
T: I contacted a developer (not a Nigerian) in February last year about the Voguepay Woocommerce plugin he released. He told me that he was going to sell a copy to me at $80, and I had to pay via Paypal. I was like wtf, me paying a foreign developer for a product that is needed in the Nigerian market? I have been playing around with WordPress for the past five years, but then I was more into WordPress themes. So I sat down and learnt WordPress plugin development.
I decided to put it in the WordPress plugin directory for free because I know a lot of people in Nigeria will need it to accept payments on their WooCommerce powered store. And this is a way of contributing back to the WordPress community (even though it is non-existent) here in Nigeria.
Presently, I am working on a premium add-on which won’t be free. This addon will bring more functionalities to the Voguepay plugin.
Amazing. Is Voguepay aware that you have built this plugin?
T: After the plugin was approved on the WordPress plugin repository, I tweeted at VoguePay. I also sent them an email to let them know, but I haven’t gotten a reply from them.
Hmm, too bad. Tell us, was it easy to write? Were there any challenges getting it to work? How long did it take?
T: It was easy to write the plugin. When I joined Cart, I created a “Pay With Quickteller” WooCommerce plugin and other plugins for WooCommerce, so I had experience developing plugins for Woocommerce. I started coding the plugin on 1st of January 2014, finished, tested and submitted it on the 4th. It was approved on the 5th. I am currently working on a Woocommerce plugin for Eyowo and CashEnvoy which will also be free for download and use when it is released. I have other payment gateways in mind too, but will take it one step at a time.
Fascinating, isn’t it? Last week, Ken Idialu also shared an amazing post about how he applied himself to converting recharge cards into legal tender online. Laudable as his unsuccessful effort was, I was more impressed by his decision to talk about the experience on such a public forum. This is what Mark Essien was talking about when he said that the Lagos (and Nigerian) technology ecosystem needs more sharing. Perhaps we have begun to learn the value of contributing and giving back.
And lest I forget…Tunbosun tweets. Follow him – @Tubiz.