For the month of June, we’re recognizing Laurie Wilmot as our Star Contributor. While initially entasked with simply working on documentation in our user manual she’s gone so much further. Laurie has helped with usability, providing feedback and suggestions on the design and flow of the user interface. She’s done quality assurance reporting numerous bugs, has made various functional enhancement suggestions, and helped to comprehensively think our full suite of documentation and support for using and implementing Mifos.
Laurie is only just a newcomer to the community but she’s come on with such vigor and commitment that we rarely see from volunteers. We crossed paths with Laurie through the British Columbia Institute of Technology Technical Writing Program. Each student takes on an industry placement where they contribute 80 hours as a volunteer getting practical experience. We have been lucky enough to work with several students on our User Manual Project.
Laurie’s blend of experience with project management, business analysis, financial services, and technical writing has made her a unique and highly effective contributor to our community. She quickly came on and contributed her 80 hours and is now eager and ready to do much more. What also makes Laurie such a star is how she accomplishes each task with such diligence and critical foresight into how beneficial this will be for the end user.
Thank you to Steve Thomson for introducing us to this fantastic program, to Thorsten for administering it and Helen and Craig, our other docs volunteers.
Laurie Wilmot – Vancouver, BC – Canada
Brief Bio (in the words of Laurie): I am currently semi-retired and re-inventing myself as a technical communicator. My background is information technology in roles such as business analyst, project manager, and IT strategist. Writing software documentation allows me to blend my enjoyment of writing, a high need to know how stuff works, and love of technology.
Relevant Skills & Experience: I have had some exposure to banking systems in the past. Closest to home was a project to build and implement a new banking system for credit unions in British Columbia. On that project, I was the Implementation Work Package Manager, responsible for training, documentation, and the two pilot implementations.
Discovering Mifos: I was introduced to Mifos by BCIT (British Columbia Institute of Technology) where I am completing a program in Technical Writing.
Contributions Made to Date: I’ve been working on the User Manual for Mifos X. Assigned topics include Set up and Configuring Products, Loan Accounts and Transactions, and Deposit Accounts and Transactions.
Current Projects: I hope to complete a complete first draft of the assigned areas of the User Manual before I take a bit of a summer break. I look forward to discussing future opportunities to contribute when I get back.
Impact on the Poor: Candidly, I didn’t seek out this opportunity selflessly, but I am intrigued with the concept and the successful track record of micro-financing. Now that I’ve been introduced, why wouldn’t I be be part of a movement that makes economic betterment a reality? It just makes sense.
What’s Rewarding about Working on Mifos: I saw a post on Facebook recently that said people don’t quit companies, they quit management. I think Mifos is that in reverse. The people I have worked with (where ever in the world they are) have been wonderful—supportive, appreciative, open. Awesome! It’s addictive.
Top Piece of Advice for Others in the Mifos Community: I am still very much on the learning curve myself; but, I think a virtual organization like Mifos is dependent on asynchronous communication methods to share / disseminate knowledge. Make sure you leave enough documentation behind that someone else can pick up where you left off.
Fun Facts about Laurie
Favorite Food: Licorice all sorts (that’s a food group, right?)
Favorite Open Source Project: Mifos (of course)
If Laurie Could Travel to One Place in the World: That is a really hard question. The next trip we are planning is to Northern Europe (a bike/barge trip combined with something else yet to be determined).
Interesting fact/tidbit about yourself you’d like to share: Hmm, I’m stumped. Sad to say, I can’t think of anything interesting about myself…
You can find out more about Laurie at: