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.
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
Next week ApacheCon descends upon Montreal – we’ll have a large contingent of our community in attendance and Fineract will take center stage with PMC VP, Myrle Krantz, giving a keynote entitled Banking on Open Source.
I’ll be giving a similar version of the talk James Dailey and I delivered at OSCON, Open Banking: Fueling Innovation on an Open Source Core Banking Platform. In this talk, I’ll show firsthand what Open Source Banking truly is by presenting four enterprise case studies on Fineract adoption, implementation, and contribution at financial institutions ranging from fintechs to microfinance banks.
This is my first ApacheCon and I’m looking forward to it – for the chance to put faces to names for the many ASF members I’ve interacted with on the lists and to attend sessions to further immerse myself in the Apache Way.
For any of the Mifos or Fineract community in North America, I’d highly recommend you try to make it the conference because Tuesday, Sept 25, will house the Fineract Fintech track. Thank you to Rich Bowen for making this dedicated track happen.
Myrle Krantz, Apache Fineract VP will kick things off with a keynote that morning entitled “Banking on Open Source”. Next up will be Rajan Maurya sharing his experiences as an intern on Branchless Banking and Promoting Financial Inclusion in the Fragile States. My talk on Open Source Banking will then follow and later in the day, Gaurav Saini will speaking about building an Offline-First Expense Manager App with Apache CouchDB. Daniel Ruggeri of Mastercard will be giving his talk, Bringing Enterprise into the Open Source World that fits nicely into the theme as it chronicles Mastercard’s Open Source contribution journey.
A big thank you also to the Apache Travel Assistance Committee whose generous travel sponsorship is enabling Rajan Maurya, Kumaranath Fernando, and Sanyam Goel to travel all the way from India to attend.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
Now that you know a bit more about our interns professionally and what they’re working on over the summer, let’s take a more a personal look at their lives with some fun facts about each one of them.
When and why did you start coding?
When and why did you start coding?
Sanyam: I was introduced with computer science and coding at my school level, where students were introduced with website designing using HTML, CSS. and also experienced to do hands on development on some very basics robotics projects. Then I was introduced with some more languages like C, C++, Java in my freshman year at my college in August 2014. I started developing more skills with programming because it really helps me to think the solution of problems in a slightly different way and programming is a skill that we can apply in life in general.
Courage: I started coding in my first year at the university, 2014. At that time we had a club called elite programming club, I studied C programming daily and with each day I learned something new. It was amazing to know what I could do with code.
Ebenezer: I started coding with understanding in January 2017. This is because I started taking the programming course in my class. But prior to this. I was coding by following tutorials since 2015 and this was because I was passionate about creating softwares.
Aksh: I started coding in August 2015,Being admitted in CSE branch at IIT Mandi, doing coding at some point was inevitable so I started learning as soon as I got admitted. I started coding with C as my first programming language and the ever famous “Hello world” as my first program which I successfully ran after several compilation errors, “;” being the pesky one again.
Anwesh: I started with learning coding fundamentals in school days. Then after joining University I started diving deeper and started exploring many areas in Computer Science. Web development and UI/UX designing piqued my interest the most and I am carrying on with the journey till date.
Kumaranath: It was in the year 2013,when I took my first software engineering and programming lessons. I was intrigued to find out what and how we as engineers we would solve problems in real life and make an impact to the world.
Dilpreet: I learnt the basis of web development in 10th grade and after studying c++ in 11th and 12th grade. I fell in love coding when I was introduced to Android Development during 2nd semester of my college.
Lalit: I learnt basics of programming on FORTRAN in 1993 as part of my academic curriculum. My serious programming started in 1997 and continued till I took project management role in 2004. My programming stint was in C, C++, Java, Visual Basic and COBOL. I again started programming in 2014 after getting back to academics, this time it was primarily focused to complete assignments using Java and/or Python.
Ankur: I started coding from 11th standard. I wrote my first program in JAVA outputting “Hello World :)”. It was the first time I realized I can make computers do what I want. I chose programming course in my school which introduced me to basics of programming
Saksham: I wrote my first “Hello World” program when I joined college. Initially, I struggled a lot but gradually improved and enjoyed my struggles. Making stuffs to help others, was something I always wanted to do, and hence I started my career in Development.
Ankit: I started coding when I was in class 4th. I started it as it was in my school curriculum and from that time I got interested in coding. The first programming language I started coding was with BASIC( Beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) and from there my story with coding started. After that, I learned GW-BASIC, HTML. I took Computer Science in my class 11th and 12th where I learned C++. After coming to college I learned Python, AngularJs, C, and Java.
Manish: My first exposure to coding was in my freshman year where we have to do a course to grasp the basics of c++ . I started coding because I love to develop things which solves real life problems either through an app or a machine learning model.
Dingfan: I start coding when I was in senior high school. I attended the class which taught basic algorithms in my senior school. The reason that I continue learning Computer Science in university is that I like to solve problems in a systematic way. Coding can be used to solve the problem step by step, which is a systematic method.
Ruphine: I started coding in my second year at the university during the summer holidays when I was doing internship at Skylabase Inc. My mentors used to talk about the power of coding so I decided to get involved into it to see what i can do with some lines of codes and now am seeing the output which is pretty amazing.
Pembe: I started coding 3 years ago at my first year in the university. At first it was because coding was part of the school requirements to graduate but later, I grew fond of it and began to do more research and grew deep into coding .[/av_one_half]
Google Summer of Code 2018 is well underway so this blog post is admittedly a bit late. GSOC is now in its 13th year and we’re proud to be participating in GSOC once again for the fiftth time as the Mifos Initiative and the seventh year overall. 1264 students from 62 countries are working with a record 206 open source organizations this summer. This year will be our biggest year to date. We were able to select thirteen interns through the Mifos Initiative who are working alongside four interns from the Apache Software Foundation. Our students are working on mobile apps, web apps as well as back-end innovation and new modules on top of Fineract and Fineract CN. 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, our interns are coming from five different countries with both India and Cameroon heavily represented and interns from Singapore and Mauritius for the first time. We have six interns working on mobile apps, three interns working on web apps, four interns working on new modules or the back-end for Fineract, and four interns working on the Fineract CN framework.
For our suite of Mifos X Mobile Apps on Fineract, we have three students continuing to extend them. Aksh Gautam, under the mentorship of Tarun Mudgal, will be extending our Android Field Operations App to Version 5.0, adding in additional offline capablities, new features, and enhancing the user experience. Saksham Handu, under the mentorship of Rajan Maurya, will be building out Version 3.0 of our mobile banking app, Mifos Mobile, adding chat/messaging support and additional functionalities. Lastly, Ankur Sharma, under mentorship of Puneet Kohli and Naman Dwivedi, is extending the two applications on top of our mobile wallet framework.
As Fineract CN begins to reach a point of stability, we’re focusing on building out client and user-facing mobile apps. Dilpreet Singh and Mohak Puri are both working with Rajan Maurya to build out Version 2.o of Fineract CN Mobile. Manish Kumar is working on the first client-facing mobile applicaition on top of Fineract CN.
On the back-end for Fineract, we’re looking to wrap up some eagerly awaited projects and release some new Mifos X innovation,Sanyam Goel is completing our much-anticipated Mifos payment gateway providing mobile money integration, under the mentorship of Steve Conrad and Rahul Goel. Kumaranath Fernando with the expertise of Avik Ganguly is tackling scalability enhancements to enable better performance for high client volumes. Dingfan Zhou is experimenting with some bleeding edge fintech applications by building out a chatbot and adapter for Fineract under the guidance of Aleks Vidakovic and Thynn Win. Likewise, Lalit Mohan, is helping us explore Machine Learning for the first time guided by Nayan Ambalia, Avik, and Mark Reynolds.
For the first time, we have students through both Mifos and Apache working with the core Fineract CN framework for the first time. Ebenezer Graham is building out a brand new SMS/email microservice with the mentorship of Isaac Kamga and Myrle Krantz. Courage Angeh is helping enable the rapid deployment of Fineract CN in the cloud through her containerization project with support of Victor Romero & Viswa Ramamoorthy. Ruphine Kengne and Pembe Miriam are developing out group lending and management features in Fineract CN at both the back and front-end with support from Awasum Yannick.
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 – Mifos X (Fineract)
|Saksham Handu – India
|Ankur Sharma – India
|Aksh Gautam – India
Mobile Apps – Fineract CN
|Dilpreet Singh – India
|Mohak Puri – India
|Manish Kumar – India
Mifos X Web Apps
|Anwesh Nayak – India
|Ankit Ojha – India
|Abhay Chawla – India
Fineract & Mifos X Modules
|Sanyam Goel – India
|Dingfan Zhou – Singapore
|Kumaranth Fernando – Sri Lanka
|Lalit Mohan – India
|Courage Angeh – Cameroon
|Ebenezer Graham – Mauritius
|Ruphine Kengne – Cameroon
|Pembe Miriam – Cameroon
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.
The Mifos Initiative is excited to announce that we have been selected as one of the finalists for the 2018 PayTech Awards! After entering in the Paytech for Good division, we are among the likes of DCR Strategies Inc, GoodBox, and NetSpend for the winning spot, which will be announced on July 13th in London.
The PayTech Awards, led by Fintech Futures and its renowned Paybefore brand, are used to recognize excellence and innovation in the use of IT in the finance and payment industry worldwide. So that being said, we could not be more thrilled to be short-listed for such a fantastic program!
The specific award that Mifos is up for, PayTech for Good, aims to honor a financial service or technology organization for its outstanding contribution to the community it serves. Just like Mifos, this award celebrates the use of collaboration, connection, and community to make a positive impact in the world.
While we strive to make financial inclusion more efficient and effective through our open source platform, our focus on innovation is what sets us apart from other finalists. We not only provide a world-class solution, but through taking advantage of open source technology, we can invite members of the community to innovate and stack on top of our platform. This way, instead of just creating one amazing solution by ourselves, we can harness the power of our greater community to innovate hundreds of incredible solutions. The unbeatable combination of technology and community creates such a meaningful impact, which then allows us to do as much good in the world as possible.