Google Summer of Code 2014 – End Poverty. One Line of Code at a Time.

GSOC 2014 logo-blogThis 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 fourth time and our second consecutive year as an independent project. Mifos X is an open source technology platform 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 19 to August 22nd and upon successful evaluation receive a $5500 stipend provided by Google. For full details on GSoC, read the FAQ and browse the program timeline – student applications open March 10! You can apply from our organization page.

In 2013, we graduated four amazing interns who came to us from across the globe and contributed substantially all across the platform. Throughout the summer and beyond, they’ve blossomed into regular contributors in our community, attending our summits, evangelizing the project, and becoming current GSoC mentors.

What is Mifos X?marie_rwanda

Mifos X is an open-source cloud-based platform for delivering financial services to the poor. We use open source technology and the power of community to scale financial inclusion worldwide to achieve our shared vision of creating a world of 3 Billion Maries, a world where each individual has access to the financial services to create a better life for themself and their family. We connect the on-the-ground organizations serving the base of the pyramid with open source contributors building applications on top of the platform to enable financial inclusion to the poor.

Mifos X is our next-generation software providing a completely extensible platform with a full API so anyone can build applications to fight poverty. Throughout our community, 50+ microfinance institutions serving more than 1.1 million clients use Mifos as their back-end information system to process, track, manage, and report on the portfolio of financial services they’re delivering to their clients.

Financial inclusion is a proven tool for helping the poor escape the grips of poverty and create a more dignified life for themselves and their families. You may wonder how technology can help a loan officer traveling out on a motorbike collecting payments on a tiny loan to a group of women. You’ll be astounded at the dramatic impact technology can have and as part of our project you have the unique chance to utilize cutting-edge technologies like cloud computing and mobile banking to scale the impact of financial inclusion.

Why We Want You

If you join our community for the summer, you’ll be hooked for the rest of your careers, as part of a project and community, you’ll:
  • Be part of the broader HFOSS community working on projects to advance social good in the world
  • Collaborate with a diverse global community of developers, local technologists, and on the ground financial-service providers.
  • Develop a fond awareness of the challenges in bringing financial services to the poor and play a key role in helping to overcome them.
  • Work on top of a modern technology stack built with leading open source frameworks like Java, Spring, MySQL, RESTful services, and more.
  • Flourish professionally and culturally as you communicate and interact with our community and team of rockstar mentors.

Who We’re Looking For

We’re looking for students who are not only going to come and make a big impact over the summer but most importantly grow into a long-term contributor that is a part of our community long into the future. Udai and Kojo, two of our current mentors were graduates of our 2009 and 2010 programs respectively. All of our interns from last year have been continuing to contribute in one way or another. Yanna helped to demo her XBRL integration work to potential customers long after the summer was finished, Andreas continued got to meet up face to face with his mentor, Michael, at DevOxx. Avik attended our four-day global Mifos Summit in Jaipur, India and has been making contributions the entire past year including now working on a data warehouse for Mifos X as part of his senior project. Likewise, Anuruddha has continued contributing long after he graduate Summer of Code and university – he’s been assisting with mobile app development as is now one of our mentors for 2014.

So when we bring you on for the summer, we’re looking to invest in you for the long term, so you can be part of achieving our mission for many years to come.

Keys to a Successful Application

  • Immerse yourself in the community – introduce yourself, participate actively on the mailing lists, online and in our community meetups. We want to know what it’d be like to work with you so during the bonding and application period make sure we get to know you and how you fit into our community.
  • Submit code – in addition to being an active participant to show how you’ll interact in the community, each student who wants to be seriously considered as an intern should submit at least one patch or code submission for a bug fix or volunteer enhancement.
  • In-depth and thought-out application – show you’ve taken the time to understand financial inclusion and the challenges yet enormous potential of technology for our customers.

What You’ll Work On

Here’s just a few of projects we’re looking to work on:

  • Mobile & Offline – Mobile technology is a defining force that’s changing the way financial services are brought to the poor. We have a number of different projects ranging from mobile field operations applications to providing inbound SMS integration for the direct clients of our users.
  • Client Management – Apart from offering their customers a complete range of in-depth and immediate financial services, financial inclusion providers need to deeply understand and respond to their customer needs. Capturing and proactively responding to this information is a critical feature technology must support:
    • Workflows Engine to attach actions and activities to pre-defined workflows in Mifos X
    • Business Rules Engine to give our customers the power to configure and define business rules which automate condition and compliance their services must adhere to.
    • CRM Functionality and Notifications and Alerts to deepen the client relationship, be more activity-driven and proactively respond to client concerns.
    • Credit Bureau Integration – Minimizing over-indebtedness is core part of responsible financial inclusion – this will allow MFIs to easily send and pull data from their national credit bureau to encourage responsible lending amongst their clients.
  • Business and Social Analytics – Measuring performance and managing a well-run organization is fundamental to providing financial services to the poor. Most critical is measuring and continuing to maximize the social impact on its clients. Social Impact
    • Client Impact Portal – Working under the mentorship of one of the true pioneers in the financial inclusion industry, Musoni, you’ll get extend and advance our new client impact portal. This portal for the first time provides a multi-organizational view that allows external funders and stakeholders to see the overall financial and social performance of an organization and drill directly down into each individual client and their impact.
    • Ad-Hoc Reporting and Advanced Business Analytics (OLAP) – management of the financial institutions using our software need both more simple to use reporting tool as well as more advance business intelligence solutions to analyze and optimize their operations.
  • Technical Enhancements– Mifos X is already build on the most modern and advanced technology stack amongst software solutions available to financial including providers. However we need to continue to grow on top of the architecture to make it more accessible to smaller users and more scalable for our enterprise customers.
  • Community Collaboration – Just as important it is to build new features, new delivery channels and a more robust technical infrastructure for Mifos X itself, we also need help furthering collaboration in the community
    • Mifos X SDK – introducing an SDK and plug-in concept to make extending the core Mifos X platform easier for new partners and contributors.
    • UI Meta Modeling, Testing Infrastructure, and cross-browser UI Quality testing –  Making it easier or new developers to make changes to the Mifos X community app UI and building out the testing across the UI and the platform to ensure long-lasting quality and performance of contributions as they come in.
    • Unified Community ID – Identity and recognition is a key part of becoming a loyal member of the community – you can help build out one unified ID that links together all our community tools along with one common user profile.
  • New Innovations – More and more financial inclusion providers are also offering clean energy products to their clients – we have a couple projects onClean Energy integration and Pay as You Go Solar so MFIs can more easily integrate into 3rd party systems to track clean energy delivery and to build out a module to track pay as you go solar in Mifos X.
For a full list, browse our 2014 Google Summer of Code Ideas page.
What are you waiting for? Join us this summer. Introduce yourself on our mailing list and get started contributing to Mifos X. Applications will be accepted starting March 10.