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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

Meet the 2017 Mifos Google Summer of Code Class of Interns

Google Summer of Codegsoc2016-sun-373x373 2017 will soon be underway. GSOC is now in its 13th year and we’re proud to be participating in GSOC once again for the fourth time as the Mifos Initiative and the sixth year overall. This year will be our biggest year to date. We were able to select twelve interns from our pool of more than 90 applicants. We are very grateful for Google to allocating us so many slots to allow us to pick from the many impressive students that applied, especially amongst mobile and web developers where we had an overwhelming number of applicants. As the voice for the financial inclusion community within Apache Fineract, the Mifos Initiative looks forward to participating in GSOC for many years to come to deeply engage with the high number of students interested in Fintech and captivated by our mission.

This year we’ll have interns representing six different countries and four different continents, once again working on all components of the Mifos X stack that’s powered by Apache Fineract. On the front-end we have 4 students that will be working on various features of our AngularJS web apps under the mentorship of Gaurav Saini, Pranjal Goswami, and new mentors Maulik Sonaji and Vinay Saini. On the mobile apps side of things, we have 4 students working on various Android apps powered by our stack; they’ll be mentored by Ishan Khanna, Satya Naryan and first-time mentor Puneet Kohli. On the back-end, working on either new platform features, analysis, or modules integrating with Mifos X, we have 4 students as well being mentored by Antony Omeri, Avuk Etta and new mentors, Kyriakos Patsias, Avik Ganguly, Dhirendra Pratap, and Mark Reynolds.

Tarun Mudgal and Mayank Jindal, both 2016 Mifos GSOC aspirants, will be continuing the work that Rajan led in 2016 and extending offline functionality, building new features like the collection sheet and more to deliver Version 4.0 of our Android Field Officer App. Dilpreet Singh will be building on top of the Android self-service app by improving its usability, and adding in  additional features like mobile money integration. Naman Dwivedi will be working on a brand new project, building out a modular mobile wallet framework that integrates with the UPI in India.

Gopala Krishnan will be working on our re-skinned community app by increasing usability and redesigning screens and workflows. Raunak Sett will use our self-service APIs to build the first self-service web app for Mifos X. Mohit is going to be completing making the web app available offline in Chrome browsers and Courage Angeh is extending the notifications framework further throughout the web app and integrating with other Mifos X interfaces.

On the back-end we have quite a bit going on. Alex Ivanov, our 2014 GCI grand prize winner, has returned to the community and will build out two-factor authentication. Kumaranth Fernando, another 2016 GSOC aspirant, will be working on the oft-requested enhancements and integration to our data import tool. Vladimir Fomene will be genericizing and enhancing the mobile money gateway kicked off by Daniel in 2016. Thisura Phillips will be conducting extensive static analysis and fixing the vulnerabilities he finds on Apache Fineract.

A big shout out to all our mentors without whom Google Summer of Code couldn’t be possible. They’ve already dedicated many hours interviewing candidates, reviewing pull requests, and helping refine the scope of the various projects. But their work has just begun and they’re eager to help introduce another generation of software developers to open source while fighting poverty with financial inclusion.

While not officially part of the Mifos Initiative for Google Summer of Code, we have three other projects as part of Apache Fineract including the first mobile field officer app on Gen 3 being led by Rajan Maurya, phase 2 of the credit bureau integration module being led by Nikhil Pawar, and live REST API documentation using Swagger being led by Sanyam Goel.

For all of these projects, we’re still nailing down the exact use cases and scope of work, so please respond to the ongoing discussions on our mailing lists to provide feedback and suggest what you need.

As we do each year, here’s a brief intro on each of our interns and stay tuned for a follow-up post with some fun facts on each of them.

Mobile Apps

Tarun Mudgal – India

  • Android Field Officer App 4.0
  • Mentor: Puneet Kohli
Mayank Jindal – India

  • Android Field Officer App 4.0
  • Mentor: Puneet Kohli
Dilpreet Singh – India

  • Android Self Service App 2.0
  • Mentor: Ishan Khanna & Puneet
Naman Dwivedi – India

  • Mobile Wallet Framework for UPI in India
  • Mentor: Ishan Khanna

Front-End & Web Apps

Gopala Krishnan – India 

  • Web App Enhancements
  • Mentor: Maulik Sonaji
Raunak Sett – India

  • Web Self-Service App 1.0
  • Mentor: Vinay Saini
Mohit Bajoria – India

  • Browser-based Offline Access
  • Mentor: Gaurav Saini
Courage Angeh – Cameroon

  • Notifications Framework
  • Mentor: Pranjal Goswami

Back-End & Modules

Alex Ivanov – UK/Bulgaria 

  • Two-Factor Authentication
  • Mentor: Avik Ganguly
Vladimir Fomene – Ghana

  • Mobile Money Gateway
  • Mentor: Ayuk Etta & Antony Omeri
Kumaranth Fernando – Sri Lanka

  • Data Import Tool Integration & Enhancements
  • Mentor: Kyriakos Patsias and Dhirendra Pratap
Thisura Phillips – Sri Lanka

  • Static Analysis of Apache Fineract
  • Mentor: Mark Reynolds

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Star Contributor of the Month – Maulik Soneji

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We’re recognizing Maulik Soneji  from Gandhinagar, India, as our Star Contributor for March. Maulik has only been a part of the Mifos community for a couple of months but in that time he’s really demonstrated his commitment to our cause for many years to come. It’s rare when you get volunteers that proactively come and are eager to contribute. Maulik showed up with an interest in mentoring for GSOC and immediately begin working with Mohit on the re-skinned Community App. He’s been an enthusiastic supporter of other contributors and always has great ideas to help improve our apps and our collaboration. He’s deeply aware of Fintech from his experience at Morgan Stanley and is eager to use that knowledge to help those at the Base of the Pyramid. We’re looking forward to working Maulik as a mentor for this GSOC and seeing all the impact he’ll have on our community.  Read more

Star Contributor of the Month – Mohit Kumar Bajoria

screen-shot-2017-02-24-at-10-52-45-pmWe’re recognizing Mohit Kumar Bajoria of Jammu, India. Mohit has been a member of our community since he joined us a GSOC intern in March of 2016 and worked on adding browser-based offline access to the Community App underneath the mentorship of Gaurav. Since then he’s continued to excel and be an active part of the community first by acting as a GCI mentor and now by taking the initiative to fix the remaining bugs in the re-skin so it can be shipped to the community. These past couple of weeks, Mohit has really demonstrated his leadership by stepping up to become maintainer of the re-skin branch all on his own doing – he’s been mentoring other contributors, squashing lots of bugs, and reviewing and merging incoming pull requests. This call to leadership has been opportune as we seek empowered individuals from the community to stabilize and maintain Generation 2 as we transition to Generation 3. 
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User in Focus – Chaitanya

This regular blog series will shine the light on the financial institutions that are using Mifos or partner-led solutions powered by Mifos? We want to share the impact and benefits Mifos is helping you have on your clients as well as the personal experiences and lessons you learned while deploying your solution.

Chaitanya – Bangalore, India 

Chaitanya is an NBFC serving more than 170,000 rural clients in the states of Karnataka and Maharashtra. Their mission is to improve the lives of low income families through the provision of Financial Services. They are using FinFlux, a core banking solution powered by Mifos built by Conflux Technologies.

Chaitanya has its roots as a local NGO working in the rural parts of Central Karnataka. It was founded in 2004 by the late Mr. Ramesh Paineedi, a school teacher. It started work in chaitanyafinfluxthe area of children’s education and gradually moved into supporting rural microenterprises through its partnership with Small Scale Sustainable Infrastructure Development Fund (S3IDF), a US based NGO. Anand Rao (a Promoter in Chaitanya), built the partnership between the NGO and S3IDF while working with the latter.

The S3IDF and Chaitanya partnership helped create more than 25 microenterprises in rural Karnataka in the area of electricity supply to un-electrified households, Self Help Group (SHG)-owned and operated enterprises and IT based enterprises. Through the partnership, equity support, bank guarantees and debt financing support was provided to these microenterprises. Additionally they also arraned microcredit through the local regional rural bank, Pragathi Grameen Bank, to self help groups for activities such as LPG and electricity connection. Arranging financing for SHGs helped Chaitanya gain experience in the microcredit space and laid the foundation for starting Chaitanya, the MFI, as an NBFC.      

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Chaitanya was incorporated in March 2009 and MFI operations started in October 2009 after obtaining a fresh NBFC license from RBI. The initial promoters of the MFI were Anand Rao and Samit Shetty. As the MFI operations started, the NGO activities were completely wound down.

Chaitanya now reaches 170,000 clients with a portfolio of 3 Billion INR or about $45 Million USD. They hope to grow by 50% CAGR for the next two to three years. Chaitanya focuses on the rural markets, reaching 20 of the 30 districts in the state of Karnataka and 2 districts in the state of Maharashtra. Chaitanya offers a variety of Group Based Credit Products in the form of JLG loans ranging form INR 5,000 to 35,000 and Business and Housing JLG loans from 35,000 to 60,000.  Individual Loans for 2 Wheelers, Housing and Small business loans varying from 100,000 INR to 500,000 INR. 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.

gci-map

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Star Contributor of the Month – Gaurav Saini

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We’re recognizing Gaurav Saini, from Chandigarh as our Star Contributor for December 2016. Gaurav has been one of our most active and loyal community members since he graduated from GSOC in 2014. He’s championed the evolution and developoment our Web UI since then. He’s a regular on the mailing lists, is often found speaking about Mifos around the world, and never hesitates to help the community when in need. Gaurav has had a busy 2016 – he started out presenting at TechDays in Amsterdam, mentored two projects for Google Summer of Code, helped a fellow partner in the community by doing hybrid mobile app development, continued to extend our Mifos X web app, attended ApacheCon in Seville, attended the GSOC Mentors Summit in Mountain View, served as a mentor for Google Code-In, and is helping to get our web self-service app off the ground. 

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Star Contributor of the Month – Pranjal Goswami


screen-shot-2017-01-09-at-9-54-32-pmWe’re a little behind on recognizing Star Contributors so we’re going catch up for 2016. For November, we’re honoring Pranjal Goswami from Bangalore, India. Pranjal is one of our most gifted and talented community members and it was only in 2016 that we were finally able to get him directly involved with the community. He mentored two students for Google Summer of Code, lending his expertise and graphic design skills to assist in refactoring and re-skinning our web app and also mentoring Adhyan in building out a notifications framework for the web app. He was also chosen to attend the 2016 Google Summer of Code Mentor Summit along with Gaurav. Pranjal will be busy throughout 2017 but we look forward to making him an active contributor to the Apache Fineract community.

Pranjal Goswami – Bangalore, India

Brief Bio (in the words of Pranjal):

Currently working as Head of Product for tnpsuite.com which we ideated during graduation to streamline the process of campus placement drives in India. The platform helps colleges recognise gaps in placements using the student specific analysis.

When not in front of my laptop coding, I like spending time traveling, reading or playing sitar (an Indian classical music instrument)

Relevant Skills & Experience: Full stack developer for three years. Worked on big scale web applications built on Angular JS.

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Star Contributor of the Month – Rajan Maurya

We’re recognizing Rajan Maurya, recent GSOC graduate, from Delhi as our Star Contributor. Rajan didn’t wait a moment to continue excelling as a contributor even as GSOC concluded. He has continued his development and bug fixing for the Android field officer app and has graciously helped to mentor any new contributor that has come along. He has also taken the initiative to lead the Android Self-Service App by putting in place a strong architecture and guiding fellow volunteers to contribute. It’s been a pleasure to work with Rajan to see how tirelessly he dedicates himself to the Mifos community at all hours of the night. Join us in congratulating Rajan and follow his lead so you too can be recognized as Star Contributor in an upcoming month. 
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2016 Google Summer of Code Wrap-Up

Google Summer of Code has come and gone in a flash…of brilliance that is. It seems like it was only yesterday that we were flooded with applicants for GSOC – now that we’ve concluded, our seven interns did not disappoint in their contributions throughout the summer. This marked our fifth year as a mentoring organization and each year GSOC continues to unite and grow our community in different ways. Once again, we received incredibly valuable contributions to our Mifos X web and mobile clients this summer; most importantly we have cultivated numerous passionate contributors that will be a part of our community long into the future. This year’s program also taught us many valuable lessons of how we can improve our communications and collaboration to realize the full potential of each of our interns.

imag7587Before we recap the new features that the community will soon be able to benefit from, a round of thank you’s:

  • Thank You to our GSOC Interns – persistence, patience, and passion were all critical factors needed along with your programming skills to help you succeed in navigating the complex FinTech domain. You have used cutting edge technologies to develop valuable innovation to help move millions out of poverty
  • Thank You to our Mentors – thanks to Nayan, Ashok, Pranjal, Antony, Ayuk, Ishan and Gaurav – you are the lifeblood of GSOC – your tireless commitment, your wise advice and your visionary insight have helped shape this next generation of open source contributors. We welcomed five new mentors this year including 2 of our former GSOC participants – Ishan and Gaurav.
  • Thank You to Google Open Source Programs – thanks to Stephanie, Cat, Joshua, Mary, and the entire team. Year after year, you continue to make the program more effective including the rollout of a brand new program website this year. We appreciate the attention and commitment you give to the hundreds of orgs and thousands of students you impact in so many ways.

Here’s a brief recap on what the interns worked on over the summer followed by a closing interview on their experiences over the summer.

Want to see all of the brand new features and innovation in action? Register and attend our GSOC Demo Day for a showcase of all their work via GoToTraining. GSOC Demo Day is Thursday September 15 at 1400GMT.

 

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