A Light-hearted Look at our 2014 GSOC Interns

At the start of the program, we gave you a quick look into the professional and academic backgrounds of our intern class. Now we want to take a more personal and lighthearted look into the lives of our interns. We’ve got an interesting class that comes from various backgrounds with some intriguing standout personalities – make sure you get the chance to know them over the summer.
Some common threads in their fun facts – several of them love to eat and one of them loves to drink – it even makes him more productive. They’re all drawn to our project because it’s so unique – not only do we have a technology stack that’s in-demand, we’ve got a diverse and active community that embraces its newcomers, and our social mission tops it all off nicely.
Here is a sampling of random facts from the interns – you try and guess who the fact applies to: one of our interns gets mistaken for a kid because his lack of a mustache, another found a creative way to master a video game, one has a penchant for long-distance bike rides, another can sleep and wake up with no effort, one wise intern looks up to Elon Musk, while another found a way to celebrate Holi with eggs, and Marissa Mayer needs to watch out for one of our interns as he’s got his sights set on her.  🙂


We’re also looking for an anagram out of their first names that nicely describes our 2014 intern class D G R I C O A are the letters you have to work with. Let us know what you come up with in the comments – GIRCODA? RICADOG?

When and why did you start coding?

DiunugeI start coding when I’m 9 years old(1999). My cousin brother(Robbin) had a Pentium 2 computer & he was doing a computer course in HTML. In that time he was testing image handling with HTML(Obviously, I didn’t know what he was doing at that time). His reference image was a penguin at the sea.  I was a curious kid and wanted to learn how that penguin is travelling horizontally on the screen. So, after a great effort he agreed to teach me “how to teach that penguin to run” to get rid of me. That’s how I made the first program(HTML) which is saved in a 3.5 Floppy Disk(I have the disk with me, even though I don’t have functional Floppy Reader to read it). Since then I’m coding & attached to computers and technologies.
27656_nOleg: I wrote my first perl script using OpenKore for the game Ragnarok in 8th Standard so that I could automate a couple of repetitive steps to produce a rewarding quest item while I slept peacefully. Gaurav: I started coding after passing my 10th grade. There was a HTML project for school assignment of a student, I worked on that project and designed 12 web pages in html editor. The way I change colour fonts and play with html was really enjoying part. I love to play with code and all this stuff excites me a lot.
Rishabh: Although I was very much fascinated with computers since my early years, but I started coding only when I was about 14. I remember the first program that I coded was to find the area of circle using C. It was so exciting to see how a code of some 2-3 lines can automate any task. I think the major reason I started coding was because it was fun and obviously it could help to amaze your friends by showing them cool stuff you just made. 😉
Ishan: Since I was in 5th grade I was fascinated towards computers & technology. Till the time I was into High School I had decided that I want to be a software engineer. I started coding in HTML,CSS & JS way back in 2009 when I even learnt some PHP & MySQL. As I passed out of my school and while I was still to join my college I wanted to do something. But all I knew was C++. I didn’t quite like developing in that language as the output for me was always in the Terminal. I then found some tutorials for Android and decided that I’ll start learning this as I could feel my code in my hands and could show it to people every where. That’s the reason that still after 2 years drives my passion to develop apps for mobile & handheld devices.
Channa: I started coding when I was 18 and C is the language that brought me to computerprogramming. From the childhood I enjoyed myself with the technology as well as mechanical instruments. That brings me to the computer science and I’m still enjoying coding with passion.
Antonio: 3 years ago. I started writing VBA macros for an employer to help automate a lot of the manual work we were doing in Excel.


Of all the projects, you could have applied to for Google Summer of Code, why Mifos?

Diunuge: I wanted to contribute a project where I can make a significant impact to the project and make a different. Also at that time I was learning AngularJS. When I encountered with mifos I saw there is lot of to done and good reference to learn. So, I chose Mifos. I’m happy for it. ChannaGayan_0ChannaTechnology – Mifos community uses technologies that I love to work with and this is a project that offers benefits to community, not to programmers. Even though I’m a programmer, I like to serve society where end users are in society not in technology. People will then feel that their lives become more comfortable with the technology.Community – Mifos is a place where I can feel like they are waiting to help me. Once I got a reply from community with an apology for taking that much of time to respond. That is why I feel Mifos community is set of friends who thinks their job is to help others.
Gaurav: Initially I searched for projects with client side scripting involved. I end up finding mifos and was really interested in AngularJS and CommunityApp which is a large SPA in Angular, As I have been working recently on Angular and Ionic on Android Apps so I decided to choose this project.
Rishabh:  Mainly because of my love for JavaScript and AngularJS, I was looking for some project with similar requirements and once I landed on the GSOC ideas page of Mifos, I was really amazed to see how mifos is helping poverty stricken areas by the help of open source. The objective of mifos is in itself one of the most noble ways to utilize the power of open source world. It was also fairly easier to work with mifos codebase since it is well structured and elegantly documented.
Ishan: One Big Reason, Java. I am a fan of Java. Of all the organisations that I was searching for prior to GSOC 2014 announcements I just found a few Orgs. that were likely to have an android project. Mifos Dev Community was the most active one. I decided to focus on getting my hands dirty with just one community as I didn’t want to divide my focus with amongst different proposals/orgs.
Oleg: I want to get as much experience as possible in working with financial software and also get in touch with modern technologies that Mifos uses. Moreover, Mifos has a great community.
Antonio: Knowing that code I’ve written will help MFIs serve their clients is a pretty good felling. As a relative newbie to software development, knowing that I can jump in, understand and contribute to a larger project is a confidence booster as well. Finally, applying my studies to a real-world project that is aligned with my values has been the most rewarding way to learn software development so far.


You’ve only been a part of the community for a few weeks now but you all have made such great contributions, what’s been most rewarding for you so far?


IshanMy code that I submitted for an API change was finally accepted after many alterations in the perfect manner that was the most rewarding moment. I had never worked with Java APIs before that. Getting it right in the first attempt is really a proud feeling. In this process I also filed a bug with Google for the Android Studio that was taken up overnight by their team which was another good experience. 

Diunuge: I contributed to few issues in the Mifos. Fixing User Interface errors and adding a feature of capturing meeting location and duration to the Mifosx and the Community App.
Gaurav: Completion of my task “Upgradation to Bootstrap 3” of Community App is most rewarding for me. As it taught me how to work on projects that have so frequent changes. It was a big task which took me around 1 month due to the number of files I had to work around.
Rishabh: I think the interaction with such a lively community was the best thing about working with mifos. That feeling of making a contribution which is going to affect such a large number of people is just indescribable.
Channa: Having a chance to Interact with a group of people where they thinks their passion is to help newcomers.Oleg: I learned lot in Angular and pentaho reporting.Antonio: Knowing that code I’ve written will help MFIs serve their clients is a pretty good feeling. As a relative newbie to software development, knowing that I can jump in, understand and contribute to a larger project is a confidence booster as well. Finally, applying my studies to a real-world project that is aligned with my values has been the most rewarding way to learn software development so far.

What is the one thing you’re hoping to learn or take away from your Google Summer of Code internship?


Rishabh: Other than all the obvious technical skills that one acquires after working on such a large codebase, one of the most important thing I’ll learn is how to manage a big project like this one and to collaborate with developers from all around the globe.

Diunuge: Professionalism
Gaurav: Gaining experience in client side technologies and help improving mifos platform with my experience and knowledge.
Ishan: One thing I am looking forward to learn this summer is to write Unit Tests for Android apps that I have never written before. Also I’ll be keenly researching on ways to Cache data, Retry requests and Optimize the apps because we’ll be dealing with huge data here.
Channa: Major take away would be the pleasure of working with a community where people are from different parts of the world.
Oleg: Gaining experience and skills in Pentaho reporting, getting to know with the financial software.
Antonio: There are a lot of things I’m looking for between now and the middle of August but most of all I want to be able to develop a relationship with the Mifos community and a knowledge of the platform that are deep enough that I can continue to contribute and help out down the line.

Most of us on the project have been away from college for a number of years but we all have fond memories – what’s your most memorable experience from university thus far?


DiunugeI was working on a community project called “Randaru” while working as the committee member of the IET(Institution of Engineering and Technology). Project plan was to provide a library and a computer lab to a rural school. I was responsible for collecting & assembling computers for the lab. And it was very exhausted. But after the work done, heart was filled with such a joy. That’s unforgettable.

Gaurav: Most memorable and enjoying part was when we played Holi(festival of colours) in our university. We went around whole university fully coloured on bikes. We played holi even with eggs, ink and so many weird things.
Rishabh: I think the one thing I am always going to miss about my university is it’s surroundings. Being located in the foothills of Trikuta mountains of Jammu and Kashmir state of India, this is unarguably one of the best place to have your university at. Every other day one can have a “mini-trip” to a nearby stream in the valley or a short hike to the hill beside the university.
Ishan: Night outs with seniors during college fest is the best experience from my college life thus far.
Channa: Having a chance of been a invigilator for a university exam for one of the junior batches.
Oleg: Meeting new, interesting people and working on interesting group projects with groupmates.
Antonio: Last summer I started to feel I’d gotten a solid enough grasp of software engineering basics that I started building things on my own, outside of my course assignments. These were mostly tiny programs that did silly things, but it was a great feeling to have an idea and then also have the know-how to realize it.

Share something about your local culture that the community and other interns might like to know

Diunuge: We have a family oriented culture which has a rich artistic tradition with great effect of the Buddhism and the long history.


Antonio: My local culture is pretty diverse. Walking down my block you are just as likely to run into someone speaking Ukrainian as someone speaking English. If you continue walking a few more blocks, you may hear more Spanish than English. In different pockets of the city, the same could be said for Hindi, Chinese, Urdu, Polish, and Korean, just to name a couple. Even the folks speaking English are often from other parts of the US, and not necessarily from the city of Chicago.

Gaurav: Our local punjabi culture is most interesting culture in India. Mostly the spicy food like rajmah chawal are really famous. Bhangra and Gidha a dance forms are performed in celebrations. Punjab is a land of 5 rivers and is agriculture land.
Rishabh: There are numerous things which “only happens in India”, lots of festivals, lots of colors, lots of languages, diverse religions, lots of different geographical regions and variety of cuisine. India is called a sub-continent for a reason.
Ishan: Great Food! You shouldn’t leave Delhi without tasting it all.
Channa: “If you a visit a rural Sri Lankan home and you are served a cup of tea you will find it to be intolerably sweet. I have at times experienced this and upon further inquiry have found that it is because the hosts believe that the guest is entitled to more of everything including the sugar. In homes where sugar is an ill-affordable luxury a guest will still have sugary tea while the hosts go without.” Kumar Sangakkara, Sri Lankan Cricketer.
Oleg: Georgia is multi-cultural country and it has one of the oldest alphabets with was invented in the 3rd century BC.

Share one fun fact about yourself


Gaurav: I love eating

Diunuge: When I was at college I didn’t have moustache like other colleagues. So, I looked like more of a kid rather than Advanced Level student. I got into some hilarious situations of that. So, I was hoping that it’ll grow fast. But when I have it, I hate it. It’s annoying.
Rishabh: I like to eat a lot when I am feeling down. 😀
Ishan: I become more productive after a two pints of Budweiser.
Channa: Friends say I can sleep and wake up without any effort. Just going to bed is enough to sleep and just calling my name will wake me up.
Oleg: In childhood I liked to play with LEGO bricks and later I noticed that LEGO was anagram of my name.
Antonio: I enjoy long distance cycling, and cycletouring. So far I’ve done 4 trips that have covered more than 250 miles each. Last summer my friend and I rode 105 miles in one day with about 60 lbs of gear each on our bikes. More recently, my fiancé and I rode 280 miles over 5 days across the Florida everglades and down the Florida Keys, where we got engaged.

If you could travel to one place in the world where would it be?

Diunuge Can’t say specifically a one. I have a bucket list of places where I want to go. But probably it’ll be some place which is peaceful and quiet.
Gaurav: Santorini, Greece
Rishabh: Alaska, USA. There’s nothing like mountains, winters, nights and wilderness.
Ishan: A beach that had unlimited supply of American & Italian food, Beer & High Speed Internet.
Channa: New Zealand
Oleg: USA
Antonio: I lived in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil for 8 months as an undergraduate. Anytime I think about traveling I think about going back to Bahia. Someday I want to make the trip from Chicago to Brazil by bike.

If you could have lunch with anybody (living or deceased) in the world, who would it be? What would you have for lunch?

Diunuge: Probably, with my crush. She is a batch-mate in the university. I am waiting for since more than 3 years. Haven’t figure it out yet.
Gaurav: Sachin Tendulkar. Anything for lunch.
Rishabh: Elon Musk. Anything that can be cooked quickly, considering that he wouldn’t have a lot of time for that.
Ishan: Marissa Mayer, for she is the hottest programmer alive.  Anywhere she likes, because who’s gonna eat when she’s around :”D
Channa: My mother, whatever she decides.
Oleg: I would meet Nikola Tesla and have fried fish for lunch. 
Antonio: Ramen noodles with Donald Fagen