2017 Google Code-In: A Closer Look

This year’s participation in Google Code-In was so overwhelming that we’ve split our recap into two posts. Last week we showcased the stellar work that are students delivered across all facets of our project and community. This week, we’re going to give you a closer look at the great minds behind all that work – the priceless young talent that will be shaping our planet for future generations to come. We’ve been lucky to work with them for seven weeks and hope to continue collaboration with them long into the future. 

In their own words, here’s their GCI experience and what they’ll be up to now that they’re not completing tasks for Mifos with great fervor. Our 2 grand prize finalists, Chirag Gupta and Matthew Katz, will be traveling to San Francisco with their parents for four day sin June for their prize. They will be joined by Sanyam Goel, who will be representing the Mifos mentors.


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2017 Mifos Google Code-In Wrapup

It’s now time for our official wrap-up blog post for the 2017 Google Code-In, our third year of participation. This year’s program was so fast-paced and frenetic that I’ve needed to catch my breath before recapping. Coming up for air and reviewing all the completed tasks, I’m blown away by how much our students were able to get done and how valuable their work is for our community. As a whole across the entire program, participation in Google Code-In from pre-university students, grew by 265% versus last year with 3555 students from 78 countries completing 16,468 tasks. For the Mifos Initiative, individually, our growth was even greater with participation growing by 362% with 123 students completing 458 tasks, nearly three times as many as the 159 that were completed in the competition last year. A huge thank you to all of our mentors, many of them former GSOC students and even some former GCI participants for helping us handle this huge volume of contribution.

We’ll  do two blog posts to commemorate the awesome energy and passion for open source that we have catalyzed in these students. Today’s post will highlight the impressive contributions that were made across all five categories – code, documentation, QA, user interface, and outreach/research while our second one will give a closer personal look at our top five finalists – grand prize winners, Chirag Gupta with 66 tasks completed and Matthew Katz, and remaining finalists Janice Kim,  Muhammad Rafly Andrianza, and  Shivam Kumar Singh.

The level of detail and commitment to these tasks demonstrated by not just our grand prize finalists but our top fifteen students was astounding. They contributed numerous code fixes to the platform, our web and mobile apps including completion of all the remaining work for our Swagger API documentation. Some great bug reports and a helpful guide on submitting a good report came through on the QA front. On the UI/UX side, a number of nice mockups for our mobile and web apps were shared as well as beautiful designs for t-shirts, logos, and graphics that we’ve already been using in our marketing communications. We received strong contributions to improve our technical and user-facing documentation including detailed tutorial videos. Lastly, the students worked on incredibly thorough and detailed research including profiles on innovation labs, financial inclusion landscape studies, libraries of creative common images, catalogs of events and conferences to attend, FAQs and research briefs on topics like chatbots, competitive analysis, and more.

For all of this exemplary work, we’re trying to put it in practice and share it with the broader community so stay tuned to the code being shipped, seeing your design get implemented, reading your research on our wiki, or watching your video tutorial. A tremendous thank you to all 123 students that completed a task – your work is greatly valued and you futures are extremely bright!

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2017 Google Code-In is Underway

The Mifos Initiative once again has the honor of participating in Google Code-In, a fast-paced six-week long immersion of high school students into open source. For these pre-university students, our community provides a unique opportunity to learn about all aspects of open source collaboration, open source code development, and open source community all while helping to end poverty one line of code at a time.

For us, it’s a meaningful way to share the expertise of our community and our mentors in opening the eager eyes of these students to the many ways to contribute to open source in a technical and non-technical fashion. Since we work with so many new contributors coming in, it’s also a great way for us to improve all the points of entry to our community and have students participate in this as well. Google Code-In catalyzes a cycle creating new contributors and helps us cultivate our community to continue to grow organically.

Thank you to the hard work of all our mentors so far. So many of our past students have really been paying it forward to the next generation of contributors!

Impact Thus Far

We’re only 2 weeks into the program but we’ve already nearly surpassed the total number of tasks completed last year. In 2016 we worked with 34 students who completed 159 tasks. Just 14 days into this year’s program, we have worked with 100 students who’ve completed 141 tasks.  

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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

2016 Google Code-In Wrap-up

We had the honor of participating in Google Code-In for the second time this year. Google Code-In is Google’s program to introduce pre-university students to the world of open-source by working on a range of bite-sized (3-5 hour-long) tasks including coding, outreach/research, documentation/training, user interface, and quality assurance.  

In this year’s program, 1,340 students from 62 countries completed 6,418 tasks mentored by 17 different open source organizations. We worked with 34 students who completed 159 tasks. Participation was a bit lower than during our first year in 2014 but we still received many valuable contributions and most importantly made a lasting impact on students by showing them what it’s like to work on an open source project. Read on to learn more about our five finalists and their GCI experiences. 

Coding contributions included enhancements and bug fixes to both our Mifos X web app and Mifos Android Field Officer app. For our documentation, students helped to create training slides, record video tutorials, improve technical docs on our wiki, and update screenshots throughout our user manuals. As we push further into new geographies and pioneer new fintech innovation, the dozens of country market research briefs on financial inclusion and fintech will be immensely valuable. Students even got to try their hand at design by creating wireframes and mockups for our website and mobile self-service app.

Thank you to all the students who participated, thank you to the Google Open Source Programs staff for administering the program and thank you to all our mentors including several new community members. Our mentors this year were Shreyank, Gaurav, Rajan, Prathmesh, Adi, Nikhil, Nayan, Tarun, Mayank, Mohit, Nazeer, Santosh, Simmi, Daniel, and Saransh. Tarun, Mayank, and Rajan were an especially big help with the mobile development tasks we had available.

Read on below for a brief glimpse into our 5 finalists. Our 2 grand prize winners will be going to the Google campus along with their parents for four days in June. They will be joined by one of our mentors. So stay tuned later this summer for a recap of this fun event and amazing rewards for all these students.


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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, students and teachers this a great way to begin coding. Read more