Star Contributor of the Month February 2014 – Nayan Ambali

For the month of February 2014, we’re recognizing Nayan Ambali from Conflux Technologies as our Star Contributor of the Month. Nayan has been one of those fundamental pillars of our community for several years now and this recognition is a small token of appreciation for all the value he’s added. Apart from being one of the most dedicated customer advocates in supporting his Mifos users at Conflux, Nayan is a renaissance man of sorts for our community – independently volunteering his skills, passion, and genuine energy for Mifos at all times.

Nayan

Over the years Nayan has been a mainstay in the community – day by day he impresses me with how talented he is across so many disciplines. Nayan initially stood out because of his acute knowledge of MFI business processes and the creative work-arounds and thoughtful solutions he could employ to help his customers. Most impressive was not just the expertise found in Nayan’s work but his willingness and generosity to share it with the community – whether it be a data migration tool, a graphical training novel, or a process optimization, Nayan always has the betterment of the entire community in mind. This was all before I even learned that Nayan was a software developer too. Likewise, he is incredibly generous in sharing his immense coding talents with the community. He independently took on the development of the new Community App UI on AngularJS and the Move to Mifos X data migration tool. Without these two critical contributions, our community would be far from the progress we’ve made on Mifos X to date.

Nayan’s talents don’t stop with developing, supporting, or using the product.  He has a passion for graphic design and created our logo for Mifos X. He is always evangelizing our initiative – traveling on cross-country road trips to meet customers, representing Mifos at conferences and summits, and even handing out Mifos t-shirts to new friends he mets on personal travels.

Nayan Ambali – Bangalore, India

Brief Bio (in the words of Nayan): I hold a degree in ECE, and am a follower of Gandhi.  In the tech world I follow Paul Buchheit and read his blogs and am also an online friend of PB 🙂

Relevant Skills: Open Source Software Development – front and back-end, Project Management, Technical Writing, Customer Management, Graphic Design,

Nayan’s Impact:

Discovering Mifos: Nayan discovered Mifos way back in 2010 when he and his colleagues were asked to evaluate MIS for Nirantara. Nayan’s blog post documents this initial discovery.

Contributions Made to Date: While Nayan was very humble and only noted the Mifos to Mifos X migration tool he wrote, there are too many contributions Nayan has made to list, but a few of the notable recent ones:

  • Leading development of the entire Community App on AngularJS
  • Move to Mifos X Data Migration Tool
  • Numerous training guides and user manuals
  • System administration tools like EC2 images
  • Representing Mifos at multiple conferences.
  • Setting up websites and collaboration tools for Mifos
  • Designing logos, t-shirts, and collateral for the project.
  • Various features for Mifos 2.6 and Mifos X that have been shared back with the community.

Current Projects:  Once again, Nayan was quite modest about the work he is contributing to the community apart from his daily work supporting customers of Conflux and building out new features. He only noted that he wanted to “complete the migration tool ASAP!” Nayan is currently:

  • Assisting with the performance testing of Mifos X at IBM and documenting this into a reference architecture
  • Contributing to the Kannada translation of Mifos X
  • Evangelizing the project even when he’s on a scuba-diving holiday in the Andaman Islands.
  • Helping to launch the Mifos Bangalore Chapter
  • Assisting with our documentation volunteers as they build out our user manual
  • Serving as a 2014 Google Summer of Code mentor

Impact on the Poor: Transparency and client protection

What’s Rewarding about Working on Mifos: Being part of this family.

Top Piece of Advice for Others in the Mifos Community: A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history – Mahatma Gandhi, it is not my advice I just believe in it 🙂

Fun Facts about Nayan

Favorite Food: Simple food

Favorite Open Source Project: Wikipedia

If Nayan Could Travel to One Place in the World: Bhuthan

Interesting fact/tidbit about yourself you’d like to share: (Nayan didn’t share a specific fact) so I’ll have to add my own based on the lucky opportunity I’ve had to travel with Nayan on two occasions throughout Northern and Southern India. Nayan is awesome travel companion – he plans out amazing jam-packed itineraries, he’s a knowledgable tour guide in tune with all the local history, a beautiful photographer that is there at every step of the way to get memorable candid shots, he’s a discerning food critic ready to help one taste the best and most affordable cuisine, he’s a savvy shopper and negotiator – knowing where to get the most authentic and affordable crafts straight from the source (even with detailed knowledge on topics like how a sari is made), and the most unselfish of friends, always ready to sacrifice his own comfort to ensure that of others.

Nayan even helped to plan and map out the route of a new friend’s daunting journey by foot all the way across India to London

You can find out more about Nayan at:

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