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GSOC Reunion – Interns’ First Trip To Silicon Valley!

In this guest blog post, we’re delighted to have Ishan and Gaurav give a firsthand experience of their travels to the Silicon Valley for the first time to represent the Mifos Initiative as GSOC celebrated ten successful years at its Reunion. Ishan and Gaurav were awesome interns and have continued their stellar contributions in the community since GSOC – this experience was a small reward for their accomplishments. Read on for the recap and check out Gaurav and Ishan’s blog for more of their personal experiences and photos. 

fb-hqFirst off we’d like to thank Edward Cable, Community Manager @ Mifos Initiative, and all our mentors (Vishwas, Nayan, Markus, Sander, Michael, Kojo) for allowing both me and Gaurav Saini to be a part of this 10 year GSOC Reunion in San Jose, California. A dream that we lived through experiencing all the highs that you could get without the use of illegal stuffs 😀 Yeah the food, the weather, the people and the headquarters of the Big Who’s Who in the IT world.

I had travelled on the East Coast (NYC, Washington DC, Alexandria, Jersey City) of the USA for a week before we landed on the West Coast (San Francisco.) Gaurav and I planned to tour the Silicon Valley for three days before the summit. We reached SFO on 20th October, 2014. Playing smar,t we rented out beds in a house in Millbrae, CA that was just 10 minutes away from SFO using AirBnb. It was a hacker house, where we met a few entrepreneurs, a designer, a developer, a director and a teacher too. We immediately realised we were in a good company. I’ll be sharing the pre-post summit experience on my personal blog, lets get to business and explore the GSOC reunion. Read more

You Asked, We’ve Listened

One of the big challenges after Mifos X is installed and configured is how to train the end user. Thanks to an energetic group of volunteers, we have a great start to a four-part end-user deployment tool kit to help solve this challenge.

Like everything else we do, the end-user tool kit is open source. There is a set of operational policies that will help the financial institution implement best business practice right at the start of using Mifos X. The policy samples are located on the wiki pages – https://mifosforge.jira.com/wiki/display/docs/Operational+Policy+Samples+for+Financial+Institutions and can be downloaded and customized for each organization.

The next part of the tool kit is a set of operational procedures. This documentation is intended for the end user and will walk an employee through the organization’s steps for customer service from greeting the customer, accepting an application, keying in the appropriate information in Mifos X and closing out at the end of the day. All of these are available for download so that they can be customized for the financial institution. https://mifosforge.jira.com/wiki/display/docs/Create+Savings+Account

To accompany the operational procedures, we have uploaded sample forms that the organization may require. Like all pieces of the tool kit, these forms can be downloaded and customized for quick implementation. The forms include Loan Application, Membership Application, Loan Guarantee Agreement, Adverse Action, Cash Balancing and more.   https://mifosforge.jira.com/wiki/display/docs/Operational+Sample+Forms+for+the+Financial+Institution

And finally, our Google Code-In 2014 participants have been doing a great job creating a set of training slides that can be used by deployment partners and financial institution training staff to get end users up to speed in using Mifos X in their daily work. https://mifosforge.jira.com/wiki/display/docs/Training+Slides

The Operational Tool Kit is 95% complete at this reading. All pieces will be in place by the end of this year. The Mifos Initiative is a thought leader for technology-enabled financial inclusion. We are committed to achieving our mission by delivering accessible technology designed to service the Base of the Pyramid by providing tools and best practices for responsible financial inclusion and endorsing standards for openness and transparency. The Mifos Initiative provides the only open source core banking system and, It is the only organization that builds a suite of support around this system.

To learn more about our Operational Tool Kit or to offer suggestions to improve it, contact Dayna Harp, Director of Strategic Initiatives. She will coordinate your questions and suggestions to make sure we provide the best tools for financial inclusion.

Google Code-In – A Whirlwind Week One

GCI-2014-b-squareWith just over a week of Google Code-In under our belts, and just about six weeks remaining, we want to collectively take a breath and thank all the students for their valuable contributions. The energy and enthusiasm of the pre-university students who’ve contributed to our cause has kept all our mentors on their feet, whipping up new tasks to keep these blossoming open source contributors busy. Looking back on this hectic week, we’ve all been impressed with the knowledge and experience of our students and the ease with which they’ve been making an impact. All in all we’ve already 80 tasks completed by 27 different students.

First off, in case you’re wondering what Google Code-In is: it’s a “contest for pre-university students (e.g., high school and secondary school students aged 13-17) with the goal of encouraging young people to participate in open source.” Students complete tasks and earn points and in turn prizes. Tasks introduce students to all the work that makes open source projects possible and can be anything an organization needs help with, from bug fixes, to writing code, to user experience research, to writing documentation. This video does a great job of explaining the program which is now in it’s fifth year.

We are proud to be participating as a mentoring organization for GCI for the first time. As the world aims to bring computer science to millions of students this week through the Hour of Code led by Code.org, students and teachers this a great way to begin coding. Read more