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2017 Google Summer of Code Reflections

Hopefully you read Part 1 of our official recap of the 2017 Google Summer of Code from last week. As is tradition, we always ask our our interns a few questions at the end of the summer to reflect back on their experiences. Here is what they had to say!

What was your most rewarding experience contributing to Mifos this summer?

Dilpreet Singh – Interacting with mentors in meetings was the most rewarding experience for me as every time I end up learning amazing stuff, best practises and get to hear great advices. Mifos helped me improve my knowledge and I always feel great to be a part of Mifos contributing to projects which impact people’s life.

Kumaranath Fernando – There were many rewarding experiences out of all, what I would like to highlight is mastering and writing extensible, flexible clean code.

Mohit Bajoria – Most rewarding experience contributing to Mifos this summer was Maintaining the community app hurdles and learning from them, diving deep about progressive web app, testing on lighthouse. Other than learning, it was my mentor Maulik, Gaurav, who made the GSoC lot more fun.

Raunak Sett – Most rewarding experience for me was interacting with the community and solving problems together and learning a lot in the process.

Rajan Maurya – First, thanks to my mentors, Markus Geiss and Mark van Veen; both of them helped me alot. I never waited for a response, and always got my problem resolved within couple of minutes.

I have been contributing to Mifos from two years on and I always have a goal to write quality and efficient one-time code that will handle everything. It doesn’t matter what will change in future and If anything will break in future, that should be easily fixable. My most rewarding experience was helping GSoC students teaching them good practices and if they stuck be always ready to solve their problem

Nikhil Pawar – This GSOC, I had an opportunity to virtually meet lots of people, both within community and outside community. Meeting new people, means exchange of new new ideas, healthy debates which acts as like a catalyst for logical and critical thinking.

Sanyam: The most rewarding experience for me was interacting with the Mifos Community and my mentors (Dhirendra, Ed, and Aleksander ) and also got the hands-on experience on a Fintech backend application and solving problems together and learned a lot in the whole process.

Gopala Krishnan – My most rewarding experience was to see the changes I had done to get merged in the community-app and be a part of the latest release.

Naman Dwivedi – Most rewarding experience for me was to learn about the different architectures and how using a good architecture design can be really helpful in the long term for the project. My all personal projects before the summer were built to ‘just’ work, but now I can’t imagine writing a project without at least the MVP architecture.

Mayank Jindal – One of the mentors Ishan told that how can we speed up development by avoiding gradle build every time which is the most frustrated thing for an android app developer. It helped me to save many hours of just sitting idle.

Tarun Mudgal – The most rewarding experience is getting to know new stuff – from enabling (after messing a lot) multi-dex, to learning the right way to debug to code and following the best practices. I did expect such an experience and now, I am quite contented that it happened so.

Courage Angeh – I got to learn a lot more and I got more used to the organization.

Vladimir Fomene – I did not have a most rewarding experience, but the lessons I learned from this internship is priceless.  I have learned how to work in a team of software developers from diverse backgrounds. I also learned a lot of tools while working on the project and last but not the least I learned that having goals and deadlines while working on a project is key in helping you evaluate your progress.

Alex Ivanov – Working with the community was amazing! I met some really cool people in Mifos community. Seeing what other GSoC interns were working on and the internal feedback.

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2017 Google Summer of Code Wrap-Up

Another year, another great Google Summer of Code program for us here at the Mifos Initiative. This year we worked with our biggest class of interns yet – 12 Mifos Initiative interns and 3 Apache Fineract interns who worked tirelessly on their projects and produced amazing results. This post will showcase the outstanding work they did with the community and part 2 of our official GSOC Wrap-up will focus on their reflections on their journey throughout Google Summer of Code.

While the majority of our projects centered on Generation 2 of Mifos which will only in production for the next couple of years, the approaches, designs, and requirements we’ve worked on for each project can be carried over to Generation 3 of Mifos (Apache Fineract CN) so we can rapidly build out these same apps and features on the new microservices architecture.

Thank Yous!

Before we take a closer look at the results of the summer, we want to first off thank everyone who made Google Summer of Code another successful year.

Google Open Source Programs Office

First off we want to once again thank the Google Open Source Programs office for giving us the opportunity once again to introduce students to open source and as they help us fight poverty with technology-enabled financial inclusion. It was a pleasure meeting up with Cat, Stephanie, Mary, Josh and Helen at OSCON as well as at the GCI grand prize trip earlier this year. The entire team is always so responsive and do such an awesome job coordinating so many moving pieces to make GSOC a success. We look forward to participating in GCI and GSOC for many years to come!

Mentors

A big shout and thank you goes out to our mentors who are the key to the success of Google Summer of Code. Our mentors are the ones down in the trenches working with the students making sure they can get through any challenges they overcome. Our mentors are a guiding light to our interns as they help pass the torch onto a new generation of Mifos and Apache Fineract contributors. Thank you to our mobile development mentors – Puneet Kohli and Ishan Khanna. Thank you to our web development mentors – Gaurav Saini, Maulik Soneji, Pranjal Goswami, and Vinay Saini. Thanks to our mentors on the platform side – Avik Ganguly, Kyriakos Patsias, Nazeer Shaik, Marky Reynolds, Aleksandar Vidakovic, Dhirendra Pratap, Ayuk Etta, Antony Omeri, and Markus Geiss. A big thank you to other community members and volunteers like Rajan, Santosh, Denila, James, Sundari, Nayan, and others who made big contributions despite not being official mentors.

Our Interns

Last, but certainly not least, thank you to our interns from across the globe who poured their energy into their projects. What is always most rewarding is seeing how collaborative and supportive the interns are of each other helping to solve coding problems, helping with collaboration tools and just being great all-around community members. We wish them the best of luck in whatever they pursue next and look forward to their continued contributions to the Mifos Initiative. Already, despite the program being officially over, many of our interns have continued making contributions and wrapping up loose ends of their projects. 

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Quito Mifos Chapter Helps Promote National Financial Inclusion Policy

On August 22, 2017, representatives of the Mifos chapter of Ecuador, participated in an event held by Red de Instituciones Financieras de Desarrollo (RFD) to impact the broader financial inclusion community in Ecuador.  This project seeks to promote a space for the construction of a National Financial Inclusion Policy, under a broad concept that is not only limited to access and use of financial services, but also proposes the creation of an adequate environment, both in the regulatory sphere, and in enhancing the capacities of the population through financial education, under criteria of protection to the financial user.

These essential pillars of Financial Inclusion, implemented in a joint way, will have a greater probability of impact on sectors excluded populations, to generate processes of economic growth and employment

Quito Chapter president, Jorge Moncayo, participated on this panel whose objective was to have a space for dialogue and proposal by key actors in the process of constructing the national policy for financial inclusion in order to know their criteria and mechanisms of contribution in relation to the proposal presented by RFD. The 60 minute discussion was moderated by Yamile Pinto – Chief of Institutional Strengthening of RFD who conduct two rounds of questions for participants at the table with the following approach:

  • What is your analysis regarding the current situation of Financial Inclusion in Ecuador and against this what is your criterion regarding this initiative to have a national policy?
  • How would their organizations be inserted in the process of construction of this national policy? What would be your contributions and / or proposals in this construction process?

After the two rounds of questions there was an open space of interaction with the audience for approximately 20 minutes.

The Quito Mifos Chapter is looking forward to more participation in local fintech and financial inclusion events and will soon be hosting its own events to advanced thought leadership in financial inclusion and hackathons to promote innovations in technology for financial inclusion.

 

Star Contributor of the Month – Raunak Sett

raunak-sett

We are recognizing Raunak Sett, one of our great GSOC interns, as our Star Contributor for the month of August. Before, during, and hopefully for many years to come, Raunak has been a rock star contributor to the Mifos Community, going above and beyond in everything he touches. On top of building out a beautiful online banking app for customers, he has shared his design expertise by providing the UI design for both the Android mobile banking app and collection sheet in the field officer app. He is always patient and so ready to help customers and others in the community – on our weekly check-ins, Raunak is always eager and willing to share advice and lessons to help his fellow interns. A recent graduate from the University of Delhi, Raunak has a very bright future ahead of him. Join us in thanking Raunak for all of his hard work and contributions to the Mifos community!
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Google Code-In Grand Prize Trip

I remember the day, around 2 weeks before the GCI was scheduled to start, when I told Edward Cable, “Ed! I have my last semester exams from 15th November to 15th December. So I won’t be able to apply in GCI as a mentor!”. However, by the end of the week, I had realised that the organisation had given me a lot. So, I changed my mind and decided to give it a try!

During the GCI period, it was common for students to ask for help, so I talked to them, and discussed with them about various things like git and Android, helping them resolve their issues.

Believe me when I say, I wasn’t aware of the trip to Google until late January. I came to know about it from a friend, and my reaction was all surprised. “What! Which trip? Where? Where was this mentioned?”

On 7th February, I got an email from my the head of my organisation, Edward Cable, stating that I had been selected for the Google Trip. The same was confirmed by Mary Radomile soon enough.

I was extremely excited to meet Stephanie Taylor, Mary Radomile and the Open Source team.

Dinner at Google San Francisco Office (Day 1)

Anubha, the mentor from an organization called Systers, and I started out day by meeting with Edward Cable, followed by a visit to the Facebook headquarters and the LinkedIn office, both being great experiences! We came back to Hyatt Regency, San Francisco, to meet the Google Open Source team.

Later that day, I met Stephanie Taylor, Helen Hu, Mary Radomile and Josh Simmons. I felt proud! Once we had all gathered in the hotel lobby and collected our badges, we went to the Google office. There, we met with Cat Allman, one of the core members of open source team. It was extremely great meeting each of them!

As if it wasn’t already great, all the students and mentors were given various goodies (T-shirts, stickers, notebooks and a jacket for mentors, an awesome backpack for the students). To top it all off, specially for a foodie like me, we got to dig into the awesome food at Google. We spent an hour, eating and talking to the other mentors I was with: Damini Satya, Milindu Sanoj Kumarage, Rostyslav Zatserkovnyi, Anubha Kushwaha, Ignacio Rodríguez, Sam Reed and Ben Ockmore. We interacted with various students present there, with their parents. It was a great experience, and a view of several cultures all at once. Read more

Fun Facts about our Google Summer of Code Interns

Now that you know a bit more about our interns professionally and what they’re working on over the summer, let’s take a more a personal look at their lives with some fun facts about each one of them.

When and why did you start coding?


Courage: I started coding in my first year in the university, 2012. At that time we had a club called elite programming club, where I studied C programming daily and with each day I learnt something new. It was amazing to know what I could do just coding.

NamanI started coding at the start of my college. Initially, I was mainly interested in fixing some of the bugs I encountered in CyanogenMod which I was using on my Android device and then slowly started building android apps.

Vladimir: I started coding in 2012 but it was mostly html and css, but really got interested software dev after taking Harvard’s CS50 online. I use to go to the cyber cafe with my mom around 2002, in those days most websites were not very interactive. Then in 2009 I signed up for a Facebook account and surprisingly it was very interactive. So I was curious to find out what made Facebook so interactive and this curiosity pushed me to learn code.

GopalaMy interest in coding particularly began when I was around 13 years old and found a multiplayer online game called ‘Roblox’. Roblox was a platform where the registered players could create their own game from scratch( using a programming language called Lua ) and where other players could play and rate it. I was really amazed by the quality of the games the players used to make considering the fact that many of them were just around ( 12 -15 ) years old. Since then I wanted to pursue programming as a career.

I actually started coding basic C++  when I was in 12th as it was part of our curriculum.

Raunak: I was exposed to playing games like Dave on PC since way back with Windows 98. That did pique my interest in these machines, to be able to achieve so many things through these machines. I actually started coding in 2008/9 making websites and scripts.

Kumaranath: It was in the year 2013,when I took my first software engineering and programming  lessons.I was intrigued to find out what and how we as engineers we would solve problems in real life and make an impact to the world.

Tarun: I started coding in senior secondary school (XI – XII standard). when I had CS as one of my subjects.

DilpreetFirst line of code I wrote was in LOGO where I wrote commands for writing A-Z in logo in 4th grade. Learnt basis of web development in 10th grade and after studying c++ in 11th and 12th grade I fell in love coding when I was introduced to Android Development during 2nd semester of my college.

Mohit: I was very much fascinated with the computers since my early years. I started a little bit of coding when i was in the 10th grade. It was so much exciting to see how u can automate the task from some lines of code. I started Coding because it was fun and all the stuff which can be made excites me a lot 😉

Mayank: I started coding in first year of Bachelor’s degree and  I came to know that Coding skills are required almost in every field irrespective of your Major. That was the time when I started my coding journey.

Thisura: I started coding form my school age. First I started coding with Dos, VisualBasic and then moved on to c#. Lately I learned java somewhere around 2010. I simply enjoy coding. I like to learn new technologies, concepts in computer science and coding is a part of that.

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Mifos Returns to OSCON

Here’s another blog post from our community development intern, Alex Moses, as we returned back to OSCON for the 7th time.  

Hello Everyone,

I’m back again with another post about another conference! Just two days after I returned home from LinuxFest Northwest, I was boarding a Boeing 737 destined for Austin, Texas. I was heading down to the Lone Star State for OSCON (Open Source Convention).

When I arrived in Austin, I was finally introduced to our President/CEO, Ed Cable. Ed and I ran a booth in the Expo Hall, which was located at the Austin Convention Center. Now I would say that OSCON is like LinuxFest Northwest but on a greater scale, but that wouldn’t do it justice. The Convention Center is enormous and there were times I feared getting lost!

Ed and I were joined at the booth by two great colleagues, Isaac Kamga and Nikhil Pawar. Isaac lives in Cameroon where he works for Sky.labase, one of our outstanding partner organizations. Nikhil is currently a student that has previously worked with Mifos during Google Summer of Code, and he is working with Apache Fineract this summer.

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Alex’ First Visit to LinuxFest Northwest

For those whom I have not had the pleasure to meet yet, my name is Alex Moses! I am a freshman studying Finance at the University of Washington Seattle campus. I began my internship with The Mifos Initiative a little over a month ago and they are already sending me off to conferences!

For the first weekend of May I traveled north to Bellingham, Washington for LinuxFest Northwest with a previous Mifos intern, Drew Fass. The event was graciously hosted by Bellingham Technical College and introduced me to an array of interesting and inspiring individuals.

Drew and I conducted a booth where we spread the social mission of Mifos and informed the attendees about the work of Mifos. The attendees of the conference asked insightful questions and were eager to grab our paperwork to learn more about the Initiative. Additionally, we met motivated individuals seeking to contribute to our mission through volunteering.

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Apache Fineract Graduates to Top-Level Project

Over the past year, our entire developer community has transitioned to and worked towards becoming a top-level project of the Apache Software Foundation.  It’s with great pleasure that we can announce that Apache Fineract has now formally graduated from incubation into a top-level project.

Contributing Mifos X to the Apache Software Foundation was a giant step for the maturity and evolution of our project. Becoming a top-level project marks an important transformation to grow our developer community and  achieve our long-term vision of establishing an open standard for financial inclusion innovation.

Here’s a brief excerpt from the press release. Please visit the Apache Software Foundation blog for the full announcement:

“In many ways Fineract broke new grounds as an Incubating project at the ASF,” said Roman Shaposhnik, Apache Fineract Incubator Mentor, Director of Open Source Strategy at Pivotal and Vice President Technology for ODPi at Linux Foundation. It was the first project that was originally developed by a non-profit: Mifos Initiative. It was the first project with an extremely important social agenda in mind: speed up the elimination of poverty. It was the first project that fully embraced the next generation microservices architecture. But there’s one thing that gets me even more excited: how quickly the Fineract community embraced ‘The Apache Way’ of project governance. They truly made my job as a mentor smooth sailing and I wish them to grow by leaps and bounds now that they are a TLP at the ASF.”

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Google Summer of Code 2017 – End Poverty. One Line of Code at a Time.

gsoc2016-sun-373x373This summer you’ll have the ability to change lives – three billion of them – one line of code at a time. The Mifos Initiative will be participating in Google Summer of Code for the sixth time. Mifos X is an open source technology platform power by Apache Fineract for enabling financial inclusion to the poor. Google Summer of Code is a global program sponsored by Google that offers students stipends to write code for open source projects.  Students accepted to the program will spend their summers coding from May 30 to August 29th and upon successful evaluation, receive a stipend provided by Google. For full details on GSoC, read the FAQ and browse the program timeline – student applications are open from now through April 03! You can apply from our organization page.

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