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Catalyst Open Source Academy

The Open Source Academy is an initiative designed to provide training and work experience for young New Zealand technologists. Catalyst organises the Academy to show young technologists how to participate in open source communities and to fully explore their passion for IT through freely available open source tools.

It has been running annually since 2011. We are proud that Piwik project could participate in the Academy again this year!

What students got done

It’s amazing what a few young students can get done in four days of participating in an open source project like Piwik! They were able to quickly get started with Piwik, and continued to make useful contributions to the Piwik analytics platform.

New Darkness theme

Liam has created a new dark theme for Piwik called Darkness.

Darkness theme

To create the theme, Liam had to improve Piwik core stylesheets and created this pull request: Reuse the LESS variable for white color across all stylesheets.

Accessibility improvements

We were lucky to spend time with Julius, a Catalyst employee who is blind. He showed us in great detail how difficult and time consuming it can be for a blind user to use Piwik. For example we noticed how complicated it was for Julius to navigate the menus, to get to the main content, and to use the calendar and the Website selector. During this presentation we also noticed that Piwik was not yet usable with the keyboard.

As a result of this session with Julius we got to work with the students to improve accessibility in Piwik.

Accessibility session on Piwik

(photo source)

List of accessibility improvements

All these pull requests were created by the students and have been successfully merged into Piwik:

To learn more about accessibility in Piwik check out this issue on our tracker.


Working with young students was fun and interesting. We were excited to see how much they got done in such a short time!

At Piwik and Piwik PRO we are committed to building the best open analytics platform, and we will continue to support students who want to take part in the Piwik adventure.

Be well,

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