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GSOC Mentor Summit – A First Timer’s Experience

Each year at the conclusion of Google Summer of Code, Google invites all mentor orgs to send two mentors or org admins all-expenses-paid for a weekend-long unconference at Google’s offices in Silicon Valley for mentors to share their GSOC experiences and collaborate on growing open source together. Since I’m so close by, I’ve always deferred to allowing our mentors from abroad this great privilege and reward. But this year when I learned four of our mentors would be coming from abroad (we got a bonus attendee for GCI participation and one more from the waitlist), I figured it was my worth my luck to try and get picked from the waitlist and make the 7 hour drive to Silicon Valley to attend.

Lucky enough to get chosen from the waitlist, I was so glad I had the opportunity to attend my first mentor summit as it was a memorable and eye-opening experience and I regret that I’d missed out on attending all the years before. Here’s a few reflections on the event and my hope that all of our mentors get the chance to experience the mentor summit for the first time as well.

Overall the event was unforgettable in that it was incredible to see how passionate so many individuals and organizations were about open source, to witness firsthand the breadth and diversity of the many GSOC projects, and to see firsthand how much impact GSOC has had over the years.

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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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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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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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Mifos Android Client Version 3.0 Now Available on Google Play

Screenshot_20170302-001322We’re happy to announce that our latest version of the Mifos X Android Field Officer App is now available on the Google Play store. This release is a culmination of the efforts of many volunteers and interns over the past year and a half but couldn’t have been possible without the leadership and dedication of Rajan Maurya. He poured his heart into refactoring the codebase and implementing offline functionality during Google Summer of Code and has continued that dedication since then. Through all hours of the night, he’s been continuing to add new features and fix bugs to get this release out to the community.

Work has not stopped as we have a ton of ongoing functionality to add that we’re targeting as a 2017 GSOC Project for Android Field Officer App Version 4.0

Read on for a deep dive on each of the new features but here’s a small snapshot of all the new functionality in Version 3.0:

Technical Enhancements

  • Implementation of Material Design (Thanks to Olya Fomenko!)
  • Refactoring into MVP architecture for improved performance

Functional Enhancements

  • Create center new groups & centers
  • Improved navigation & advanced search
  • Open, approve, and disburse new loan & savings accounts
  • Attach documents to loan & savings accounts.
  • Offline Data Collection & Synchronization
    • Synchronize clients and groups for offline data entry
    • Enter repayments, deposits, and withdrawals while offline
    • Create new clients, loans & savings accounts while offline
  • GIS Features
    • Pinpoint client GPS location
    • Track route of field officer

Thanks to the Contributors

Thank you to all of the following contributors who made this release possible: Rajan Maurya, Ishan Khanna, Olya Fomenko, Mayank Jindal, Tarun Mudgal, Ahmed Fathy, Nelly Kiboi, Illia Andrieiev, Padmal, Vishwajeet Srivastava, Nasim Banu, Chhavi Gupta, İhsan Işık, Vatsal Bajpai, Alex Chege, Justin Du, Prempal Singh, Rowland Oti, Siddhant Kumar Patel, Suhaib Khan, Chashmeet Singh, Ashutosh Dadhich, Aashir Shukla, R Harikrishnan, and Vishwesh Jainkuniya.

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