We Call Them our A Team – Here’s Y

Earlier this week we gave you a brief glimpse into the professional and academic backgrounds of our interns. You’ll certainly be seeing and hearing often from our interns his summer but we wanted to share a few personal details to help you get acquainted. We asked each of them a few questions – their responses show that they’re a fun-loving yet focused group that will make this summer unforgettable.
Keith came with a clever nickname that I couldn’t resist using – the “A Team”. Everyone’s first name begins with “A” except for Yanna. Send us your suggestions on how we can incorporate her name -apart from making the Y silent 🙂

When and why did you start coding?

Anuruddha: I started when I was around 14. I got a half-scholarship to a computer diploma program; which taught me the basics of computer science. Pascal was my very first programming language. I was very excited with all the fancy things which can be done using computers from then onward I tend to develop a strong enthusiasm towards programming and all the related technological stuff.


Yanna: I start learning coding in high school. At first, I just thought it cool to do the coding, but not sure I love it. I start being attracted to coding during my first intern when I was in my junior year. The job was to program some little games. I always love playing games, but making one is even more attractive. In fact, coding is a lot like gaming to me: solving puzzles, finding strategies, building virtual worlds, making things work. The most meaningful thing of all is that I can create useful products through programming.

Andreas: Probably 2005. It was fun for me to help people, simplify processes, and enable new functions by developing applications and webpages.
Avik: 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.


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


  • Wonderful community
    • To be honest this is one of the greatest developer communities which I came across. Everyone is very helpful in giving hand to the new comers.
  • Powered with the technologies which I am interested in expanding my expertise.
    • I am interested in learning web technologies and I found Mifos as an ideal place to learn them.
  • Very clean code base with no confusion at all.
    • The project architecture is really easy to understand even for a new comer.
    • The build system is also simple to use and there is no pain in concentrating on build system issues so that the developer can concentrate on the code.







andreasAndreas: Its the combination of an innovative technology stack and the idea behind enabling microfinance for institutions in poor countries. Its all about 3 Billion Maries!
Yanna: Unlike some big open source community, the goal of Mifos is clear, so that I know what I will do for the project. I have some financial background and I’m familiar with the techniques that Mifos requires, so it gets quite easy for me to start the work on Mifos. The most important reason for me to choose Mifos, however, is the quick response of the community, which gave me the sense of ownership.
Avik: The requirements approximately matched my skill set and it was more out of hate for local moneylenders than out of love for a microfinance project. Local moneylenders charge 4% per month (sometimes at Compound Interest) whereas Grameen Koota charges around 9% per annum for a home loan.


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?


Anuruddha: It is immensely gratifying to see even such a small contribution matters to hundreds and thousands of lives.

Yanna: I learned a lot in js and server-side coding, but the most rewarding thing I learned is the use of github in collaboration. It surprised me that I had ignored so many cool features of such an awesome tool before.
Andreas: Fast integration into the very active community and acknowledgment of my contributions.
Avik: To be a part of meetings where people present reports. Loved Deanna’s UX report.

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

Anuruddha: The major takeaway would be the ultimate satisfaction in being a part of serving the community.
Yanna: Most issues on JIRA have very clear and detailed description, so I could easily pick up one issue even I was new to mifos. Everytime I submit a patch, the community responds to it in no time. I felt I was a part of the community from the beginning and I owned the issue I was working on. The managing method behind such an organised open source community is what I want to learn the most.
Andreas: Gaining experience and skills in new technology while bringing Mifos X to the next level and start contributing to open source projects.
Avik: Positive experience. No kidding. The last start-up I worked with did not only fail but crashed and burned.

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?

Anuruddha: Passing the level 1 examination and getting selected to the electronics and telecommunication engineering department. It was really a tough exam with 7 subjects, among 600 of best mathematics students who got selected to University of Moratuwa, I was lucky to secure the 40th position in the deans list.
Yanna: The most memorable experience in university comes from the student associations. It is memorable not because of the friendship we had nor the achievements we got, but because that I had the opportunity to make stupid mistakes with no cost while leading a team or managing a project. Thus I learned a lot of lessons from past failure for free. These lessons always appeared in my mind when I was doing work afterwards.
Andreas: Gaining independence and discipline while having a lot of fun, meeting new people, making new friends.
Avik: Trolling internal examiner as a group (we’ll let Avik explain that personally to you when he has the time :))

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

Anuruddha: “Much of Sri Lanka’s cuisine consists of boiled or steamed rice served with spicy curry. Another well-known rice dish is kiribath, meaning milk rice. Curries in Sri Lanka are not just limited to meat or fish-based dishes, there are also vegetable and even fruit curries. A typical Sri Lankan meal consists of a “main curry” (fishchicken, or mutton), as well as several other curries made with vegetable and lentils. Side-dishes include pickleschutneys and “sambols” which can sometimes be fiery hot. The most famous of these is the coconut sambol, made of scraped coconut mixed with chillies, dried Maldivian fish and lime juice. This is ground to a paste and eaten with rice, as it gives zest to the meal and is believed to increase appetite.” – wikipedia








Avik: Durga Puja in Kolkata. Nearly half the population of the city (15m pop) can be found roaming from street to street covering as many pandals (temporary worship places) for a 5 day period. Arguably, the biggest or one of the biggest festivals on the planet.

Yanna: One of the most interesting cultures of China is its food. We have various kinds of food across the country, categorized by regional cuisines. The eating habits and flavors differ greatly by region. Not all foods are delicious, but you will find your cuisine.
Andreas: As everybody knows the german cliches, I want to underpin the one with the beer, as im living next to an beer brewery castle 😉

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

Anuruddha: Valley of the Kings, Egypt
Yanna: Silicon Valley
Andreas: Since I love beaches, it would probably be a lonely island (but with wifi :D)
Avik: Finland. Why Finland?

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

Anuruddha: My grandmother….  I think I would hug her and never let go! Something available which my grandmother would love.
Yanna: Randy Pausch. Any food is ok.
Andreas: Well at the moment i would like to meet Gunter Dueck. Former CTO of IBM, he has very innovative ideas and visions of the future using modern technology.  (And of course the Mifos community, i will perhaps meet Michael on this years devoxx in antwerp, as we both have been there last year)
Avik: Leonardo da Vinci. Chef’s Special.