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2018 Google Summer of Code Reflections

Hopefully you read our introduction to our 2018 Google Summer of Code interns. If you missed our official recap, take a look to discover what they worked on.  As is tradition, we always ask our our interns a few questions at the end of the summer to reflect back on their experiences and see how they’ve transformed over the summer. Here is what they had to say!

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

Lalit – Learning about the architecture that has been working for smaller financial institutions without fancier servers and tooling. Understanding the importance of scorecards and analytics for banking and coming up with an approach that would help financial institutions to adopt analytics for better risk management.

Ruphine –  Most rewarding experience for me was the software engineering experience I gain by working on cloud native application. It has greatly improve my engineering skills. I also acquire some experience by working in a team and contributing to the community.

Pembe – The fact that I get to work with others and to be able to give account of my daily progress. Also to have mentors who are willing to help me explain the big picture and also to have domain experts which has helped improve my knowledge in terms of financing, working with microservices and improving my coding practices.

Abhay – Interacting with the community members and my mentors was the most rewarding experience for me this summer. I got an opportunity to not only work on the new revamped version of web-app improving my knowledge but also be a part of the decision making process and learn from everyone. I am really thankful to my mentors who always believed in me.

Ankit Interacting with the community members and my mentors was the most rewarding experience for me this summer. I got an opportunity to not only work on the new revamped version of web-app improving my knowledge but also be a part of the decision making process and learn from everyone. I am really thankful to my mentors who always believed in me.

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

Courage – The most rewarding experience for me was actually working on the whole project. For a while now I have been so excited about cloud computing and with this project, I was opportune to not only work on a cloud-native project but also containerize the project for a production-ready environment and this has helped improve on my skills.

Dingfan – My most rewarding experience was learning about different aspect knowledge including technical and non-technical aspect. In the technical aspect, I learnt a lot about the architecture of Java programming. For example, I knew more about the steps to construct a project under the Spring framework pattern. In non-technical aspect, I learnt how to discuss with other people including peers and seniors.

Ebenezer – The most rewarding experience is the opportunity to build a new microservice from the ground up and to do so in an open source community. I am an open source enthusiast who believes in the potential of open source to help Africa leapfrog into technological advancement and prosperity. And so, I deem this a priceless experience;  to spearhead the development of this project within this conditions. Now, what made it even better is the sense of belonging to such an amazing open source community, and this is a dream come true.

Aksh – 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.

Saksham – I got to interact with Rajan, Ed, other interns, and other community members, each interaction rewarded me in learning something new.

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Mifos Conference Rundown

One of our goals in 2018 was to be more active at conferences in getting the word out about the Mifos Initiative and the great work our community and ecosystem has been doing. To that end, we’ve had an active presence at a number of conferences this summer and a couple on their way this fall.

ApacheCon North America 2018

Next week I’ll be traveling to Montreal to give a talk at ApacheCon. Check out my separate post on ApacheCon to learn more about the Fineract Fintech track taking place on Tuesday.

Linux Foundation Open Source Summit Europe

In October, I’m going to cross over the pond to Edinburgh, UK to give a keynote at the Linux Foundation’s Open Source Summit Europe. My talk will highlight the massive need to bring financial services to the more than 3 Billion underbanked worldwide and how we can only do that through the game-changing OPEN approach we’ve pioneered that unites open source technology, supported by open community and sustained by open business models.

This will be an awesome chance to promote our initiative and community to the broader tech community in Europe. Thanks to Dave Neary for the introduction and to Angela Brown and Jillian Hall for making this happen.

 

OSCON

We returned to OSCON once again for the 8th time and as is tradition we hosted a booth in the Non Profit Pavilion under the sponsorship of O’Reilly. 

Our booth really helped us capture and experience how big of a fintech presence there was at the conference; as compared to years past, the financial services sector has really been starting to embrace open source.  We were able to tell the story of our ecosystem and the innovation its enabled on top of our open API to representatives of companies including Square, Paypal, American Express, MasterCard, Capital One, Royal Bank of Canada, Farm Credit, Decred, Thomson Reuters, IBM, HyperLedger, Sovrin Foundation, and more. Read more

2018 Google Summer of Code Wrap-Up

It seems like each year Google Summer of Code passes us by even more rapidly than the last year and this year it was no different We worked with another stellar class of interns, and once again grew our participation to our highest levels yet with 13 Mifos Initiative interns and 4 Apache Fineract interns. With the large intern class and taking on multiple projects on Fineract CN for the first time, this was our most challenging year to date. Our mentors were stretched to their limits and our interns did a great job producing impactful code on all fronts – on the mobile app front, we’ve significant enhanced our mobile field operations app and both our mobile banking app and mobile wallet app. We even built the first client-facing banking app on Fineract CN and evolved Fineract CN Mobile. On the web and front-end we made substantial progress in completely re-writing our Mifos X Web App onto Angular 6 and advanced our online banking app. On the Fineract back-end, we implemented much needed scalability enhancements, rolled out a robust architecture for our payment gateway, and explored new frontiers with scorecards for machine learning and a Mifos chatbot. Lastly on top of Fineract CN our Mifos intern enabled containerization via Docker and Kubernetes while the Apache Fineract interns implemented a new microservice for email and SMS and began implementing the first functionality for group lending and group management. 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.

Thank You!

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 to participate once more in both Google Code-In and and Google Summer of Code. For our community, GSOC has really become a life-blood of our project. In our talk at LinuxFest Northwest, we documented how GSOC helps us organically grow our community year after year. While we unfortunately missed the GSOC meetup at OSCON, it was a pleasure seeing Stephanie, Mary, Josh and Helen at the GCI grand prize trip and we look forward to hopefully seeing Cat too at the Mentor Summit in October.  We are always impressed by the awesome job they do in coordinating such a massive global collaboration handling all the moving pieces so smoothly. We look forward to participating in GCI and GSOC for many years to come!

Mentors

A huge thank you to all our mentors who are the most critical piece of the puzzle in having a successful Google Summer of Code. Without our mentors being there at each step of the way to help guide our students in their journey, we couldn’t get through the summer. Some of our mentors really had to step up big time as a couple of our mentors had to step away due to unforeseen conflicts. We value this redundancy but need to grow our mentor participation for next year so are eager to welcome any community members who’d like to make the leap, to step forward now!

Thank you to our mobile development mentors – Rajan Maurya, Tarun Mudgal, Puneet Kohli, Naman Dwivedi, and Ishan who had some limited time to review code.  Thank you to our web development mentors – Gaurav Saini, Pranjal Goswami, Raunak Sett, and Mohit Bajoria.  Thanks to our mentors on the platform side – Avik Ganguly, Nayan Ambali, Aleksandar Vidakovic,  Steve Conrad, Rahul Goel, and Victor Romero. Thank you to our Fineract CN mentors – Yannick Awasum, Isaac Kamga, and Myrle Krantz. A big thank you to other community members and volunteers like Sundari Swami, Santosh Math, and Shruthi Rajaram.

Our Interns

Last, but certainly not least, thank you to our interns from across the globe who poured their energy into their projects. This year they were ever-perseverant in working on brand new codebases, changing requirements on the fly, and working on experimental solutions. 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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Star Contributor of the Month – Aleks Vidakovic

We are recognizing Aleks Vidakovic from Belgrade, Serbia as our newest Star Contributor! Aleks is one of our more seasoned community members who has had a major impact on the project through multiple generations of the code. Aleks first came to the community by way of Robert Jakech, helping build a brand new Mifos X UI for FINEM in Uganda. He then kicked off a major project with Gentera in Mexico. Apart from helping deliver a rock-solid customer experience for these institutions, Aleks has been an anchor in our community, both contributing and passing on the torch to new contributors. He’s been a sage and empathetic mentor for the past two Google Summer of Codes, first mentoring Sanyam Goel on Swagger integration and most recently Dingfan Zhou on the chatbot project. The patience and passion he puts into mentoring astounds me; it’s moving to see how dedicated individuals like Aleks are. Most recently, Aleks has also earned committership to Apache Fineract and is now finalizing the setup and configuration of the much-needed demo server for Fineract CN.

Join in giving congrats to Aleks who is one of the chillest guys around and would love to hear from you!

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Star Contributor of the Month – Sundari Swami

We are recognizing Sundari Swami from Los Angeles as our newest Star Contributor! Sundari has more than 8 years of experience of working in marketing and dealing with big-data SaaS products; she currently serves as a Technical Product Manager at DataScience.com. Sundari has been with Mifos for several years now, playing a crucial role in the development of the Mobile Wallet 2.0 Framework. Since last year, Sundari has been helping write and gather requirements for the Mobile Wallet 2.0, and we cannot thank her enough for her continuous hard work! We commend Sundari for her persistence in continuing to volunteer with Mifos even after a gap between projects she was assisting on. She can always be counted on to be thorough and highly attentive to detail so we get our use cases right. Sundari’s commitment to serving those in need along with her tech and product management expertise makes her a triple threat that we could not be happier to have as a part of our Mifos community.

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Star Contributor of the Month – Steve Conrad

We are recognizing Steve Conrad, a full-stack developer at Dassault Systems in Minnesota, as our newest Mifos Star Contributor. Steve only came to our community in early January of this year but in that short time has become an anchor of the community and been adding vital support to the Fineract platform when we need it the most. He fixed a number of critical bugs in the most recent release, made Fineract compatible with MySQL 5.7 and is now leading efforts to integrate the Payment Gateway project into Fineract and build a lab environment integrating Fineract with Mojaloop. Steve’s passion and commitment to poverty alleviation along with his deep expertise has been on full display. He’s one of those transformative volunteers that can have a tremendous impact on our project and we look forward to his leadership in the community as a recently added Apache Fineract committer.
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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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Star Contributor of the Month – Sanyam Goel

We are recognizing Sanyam Goel, our recent 2017 GSOC intern who worked on implementing all of the Fineract APIs into Swagger Open API format, as our latest Star Contributor of the Month. Sanyam took on this highly complex project with ease during the summer and then during Google Code-In worked extensively with our participants as a mentor to wrap the remaining Swagger work as well as mentor other tasks related to documentation and research. All in all, he helped to review or give feedback on nearly 60 tasks. Join us in recognizing Sanyam for his hard work as a GSOC intern, GCI mentor, and contributor the Fineract and Mifos communities for many years to come.
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Open Source from the Eyes of a GCI Student

This guest blog post is from Matt, one of our 2017-2018 Google Code-In participants. He penned this impressive piece for one of the tasks he claimed, “Write a blog post on why open source is valuable”.

Open source software is vitally important to the world of computer science and technology in general as it allows for many beneficial things to happen that are simply not possible with proprietary code and non open source code.

Firstly, open source benefits students and anyone interested in coding or technology as through this valuable resource they are easily able to study sample code and learn. If there were no open source software it would be much harder for them to learn well and get a good understanding of what coding looks like in practice. If young people learn how to code well they can apply that knowledge later on to help benefit all facets of society. It will not only benefit society but also the workforce as there will be more talent on the market meaning that companies should have the incentive to create more open source material as that is a way they could be investing in future talent. One last note on the economic side that is very important is the fact that since open source software is not made for profit and is usually free it allows for many people who cannot afford to experience technology to its fullest due to
financial issues to not only use it but also learn how it works. Read more

Star Contributor of the Month – Dilpreet Singh

We are recognizing Dilpreet Singh, our recent 2017 GSOC intern who worked on our mobile banking app, as our latest Star Contributor of the Month. Dilpreet has become an anchor in our community of mobile developers starting with the exemplary he work during GSOC in which he went above and beyond the requirements of his project. Since GSOC has concluded, despite a busy schedule with university, Dilpreet has continued to actively work on our mobile banking app and we look forward to his presence and leadership in helping to guide continued innovation on our mobile banking apps and more across the community.
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