2014-2015 Global Mifos Summit Recap

My fellow colleagues and community members have shared a number of posts about their personal experiences at our Global Summit in Sharjah, UAE but I’m certain you’ve been waiting for the official recap. It’s hard to believe that already a month has passed since the dust settled from our time together in the UAE. There have been so many opportunities to follow up on and so much forward progress being made with the initiative that I haven’t had the chance to do the formal recap till now.

Once again our gratitude goes out to Paul Maritz, the lead sponsor of the summit as well as our silver-level sponsors, Google Open Source Programs, the ThoughtWorks Social Impact Program, and Liberty Mutual whose financial sponsorships made it possible for a record number of delegates to attend the event. Education/travel stipends from GSOC also made it possible for four of last year’s GSOC graduates to attend. While we didn’t have a local host to guide the event like we had in the past, Amit Jain stepped up in immeasurable ways to help with on-the-ground coordination, supplies, and most importantly securing visas for our foreign delegates.

Global Mifos Summit – Growing & Evolving Community

  • 2014-2015 Summit

  • 2013 Summit

  • 2012 Summit

The road leading up to this year’s summit threw a fair share of obstacles our way – after two venue and schedule changes detouring us from East Africa we finally were able to come together in a globally central location. While we weren’t able to incorporate a field visit into the summit, we were able to have the most diverse and geographically widespread participation of our all summits to date. Here are some statistics at a glance:

  • 80 delegates from 22 countries including representation first-time attendees from the following countries: Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Myanmar, Denmark, Burkina Faso, Germany, UAE, Nepal, Uruguay, and Belize.
  • More than 70% were attending for the first time including:
    • 22 first-time attendees from financial institutions,
    • 12 rookie platform solution partners, in attendance
    • 13 first-time delegates from deployment partners
    • 5 new volunteers, and 4 first-time board and staff

This fresh crop of summit attendees is a testament to the continued growth and evolution of our community – while the core remains in place, we continue to reach new regions and new segments of the sector.

Wrap-Up

 

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Results of the First Mifos Summit Hackathon

If you haven’t seen it, check out the blog of Michael Vorburger for a recap of the day-long hackathon, he and Markus Geiss facilitated at the tail-end of our Global Summit back in March. Decked out in their new Mifos hoodies, our coding Ninjas led a productive day of development on the platform, the community app, and our Android app. They hacked out some solutions to needs that came up during the summit and were able to train and bring up to speed some of the newest developers within the Mifos community.

 

 

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

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

2014 Google Summer of Code Wrapup – Bigger and Better than Ever

It’s been just over a month since the 2014 Google Summer of Code program has officially concluded so now that things have settled down it’s due time to recognize our fantastic students, their dedicated mentors, and their long-lasting contributions they have made to the community. Each of our students excelled in their projects and have cemented themselves as anchors in the community, eager to contribute more code and continuing as they’ve done this summer. A huge thank you to Google for allowing us to be a part of GSOC – Carol, Cat, and company have done a remarkable job with the program in its tenth year.

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Volunteer with Mifos in 2014

Would you like to help change the world? Did you know that you can volunteer your time to help build technology that has the potential to lift billions from poverty?

At the Mifos Initiative, we guide the development of Mifos X, an open-source cloud-based platform for delivering financial services to the poor. We use open source technology and the power of community to scale financial inclusion worldwide to achieve our shared vision of creating a world of 3 Billion Maries, a world where each individual has access to the financial services to create a better life for themself and their family.  We connect the on-the-ground organizations serving the base of the pyramid with open source contributors building applications on top of the platform to enable financial inclusion to the poor.

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Ishan’s GSOC’14 Experience with Mifos

Story So Far

gsoc-aspirant@mifos: Finding Organisation….[Done]
gsoc-aspirant@mifos: Introduction to Developer Community….[Done]
gsoc-aspirant@mifos: Finding a Project….[Done]
gsoc-aspirant@mifos: Contributing – Iterating – Contributing…………………………………………….[Done]
gsoc-aspirant@mifos: Selected @ Mifos
ishan@mifos: Developing Android Client………………….[Working]

 

androidThis is my first experience as an open source developer for an organisation and undoubtedly it’s been awesome so far. Working alongside experienced developers is always fun, for I love learning from others’ experiences.

Writing code that others can contribute to as well had always been a challenge, until I started with my android-client project. What can give nightmares to others is now a child’s play for me. A cool thing about Mifos is that I just don’t have one mentor, but anyone I ask for help behaves like a kind mentor to me. Always ready to help! Full of zeal and readiness to clear all your doubts! Read more

GSoC ’14: A mid-term experience

Working with strangers spread all over the world can be a double-edged sword. You’ll face the “Time Zone Pain”, barriers in communication, and cultural pitfalls. On the other hand you’ll meet like minded geeks that share the same passion, coding for good – making the world a better place.

The Mifos community offered me the possibility to mentor a project for this years Google Summer of Code. It took me one light-second to agree. I love to share my experience and knowledge with others and I was lucky to find my counterpart with Rishabh. He is a 3rd year undergraduate student from Jammu in India.

During the last 6 weeks he is like a sponge absorbing everything, advancing his knowledge on a daily basis and increasing his coding skills like I never expected. We communicate at least once a day and we start to become friends. We not only talk about our project, we talk about our families, circumstances in life and even our plans for the weekend. Read more

A Light-hearted Look at our 2014 GSOC Interns

At the start of the program, we gave you a quick look into the professional and academic backgrounds of our intern class. Now we want to take a more personal and lighthearted look into the lives of our interns. We’ve got an interesting class that comes from various backgrounds with some intriguing standout personalities – make sure you get the chance to know them over the summer.
Some common threads in their fun facts – several of them love to eat and one of them loves to drink – it even makes him more productive. They’re all drawn to our project because it’s so unique – not only do we have a technology stack that’s in-demand, we’ve got a diverse and active community that embraces its newcomers, and our social mission tops it all off nicely.

Meet the 2014 Google Summer of Code Class of Interns

gsoc-2014

It’s official. Coding for the 2014 Google Summer of Code has now begun. Once again we’re lucky to have a diverse and talented group of students interning with us this summer. This year we have seven interns from four different countries who will be working under the leadership of our mentors from six different countries.  They’ll be working on a wide spectrum of projects that range from the back-end platform to the front-end community app, on down to mobile apps used directly in the field. By the end of the summer, our community will benefit from a native Android app dedicated to making field staff more efficient, a mobile app for enabling Pay as you Go Solar Energy transactions, a vastly improved user experience for our community app, enhancements to our data migration tool, a batching API that will unlock performance improvements across the entire platform, as well as a powerful ad-hoc reporting tool and evolutions to the client impact portal to a production-ready release. Read more