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.



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.

This year marked the first time that we had spoken at OSCON in a number of years. James Dailey and I teamed up to deliver a talk on the Business Summit Track, Open banking: Fueling innovation on an open source core banking platform, looking at the open source journey that four enterprise institutions have traversed as they’ve adopted, implemented, and began contributing to Apache Fineract as their open source core banking system. It was well-attended and a perfect chance for us to put the spotlight on the innovative companies demonstrating what open source banking from the ground-up looks like.

The quality and diversity of the talks was superb at OSCON – the depth and range of topics that Tim O’Reilly was able to explore in his keynote, Open Source and Open Standards in the Age of Cloud AI, astounded me. Zaheda Bhorat’s keynote on Wave of Open Source was quite moving and I was delighted Myrle Krantz had the opportunity to expose the OSCON audience to the ongoing work she’s lead with Fineract and Stellar in her talk, Cloud-native open source on the blockchain for financial inclusion.


I also had the pleasure of attending the  Open Source Initiative’s gathering to celebrate 20 years of Open Source. It was remarkable to hear many of the revolutionary figures in open source recount their experience and witness the camaraderie amongst this group of pioneers that have done so much to move the software sector forward.  

The Hallway Track was exceptionally fruitful this year. James Dailey, who made his first trip ever to OSCON, was really pleased with the brilliant minds in open source he was able to strike up conversations with. It was great to reconnect with past connections and forge new ones. A few notable ones that we’re continuing to drive forward post-OSCON.

  • Seeing Myrle Krantz for the first time in a while and getting to dive head-first into a number of key issues facing the Fineract community.
  • Meeting face to face for the first time with Kim Walters and others from the Mojaloop team.
  • Re-connecting with Michael and Dave and meeting Heath for the first time from DIAL as we discuss continued collaboration
  • Brainstorming with Ross Gardler on improving our Fineract contribution model and growing financial contributions to the Mifos Initiative.
  • Getting a brain dump of industry contacts to help us with our thought leadership and sustainability efforts from the legendary Danese Cooper.
  • Discussing new models of collaboration, governance, and sustainability with Cedric Williams of Paypal.
  • Catching up with Mifos board member, Zaheda Bhorat, and getting her to sign a copy of the book she co-authored, Open Source in the Enterprise.
  • Meeting Daniel Ruggieri of MasterCard and learning more about the journey he’s helped lead them through as open source contributors.
  • Discovering some fascinating areas of collaboration around identity and the blockchain with Joyce Searls of the Sovrin Foundation and Hyperledger Indy.  She attended our talk and had just recently returned from a trip to India meeting with leaders of Aadhar.
  • Doing a brief interview for a nice spotlight from Joyce’s husband, Doc, in the Linux Journal.

We also did a soft launch of our official Membership Program to boost recurring giving through our Open Source Fintech Force. You can donate now and join!


Code for Good Week

We were honored to be selected to be one of three projects participating in the 2018 Code for Good Week hosted by SFHTML5. It was great to travel down to the Google San Francisco offices to give a brief talk to kick off our participation. While we haven’t yet gotten many contributions yet, the efforts to synthesize the available tasks in the community and funnel efforts towards our web app rewrite were very worthwhile. Now that the Mifos seed has been planted in the minds of the more than 17000 members of this meetup group, we’ll reap the rewards down the line.

Many thanks to Joshua Simmons of Google Open Source for inviting us and Googler, Vanessa Wang, for organizing.  

LinuxFest Northwest

LinuxFest Northwest is always one of the most enjoyable open source events we get to attend each year. Bill Wright and his stellar crew of volunteers put on one of the most well-run events that is completely complimentary to all attendees. It attracts a wide range of attendees from across the Pacific Northwest including a great deal of high school and college students who are just getting introduced to open source.

As usual, we graciously hosted a both as a Community Sponsor in the Expo Hall and had two full days to promote the Mifos Initiative, Fineract CN, and ways for local open source enthusiasts to become involved. Our booth was a great chance for new Mifos interns, Riley Brown and Braden McDarment, to get immersed in the open source conference scene. They were even joined by Michael Parnell so we had a well-staffed booth. The sessions were informative with a good mix of technical and community-based content – it was also a pleasure to attend Mifos board member, Zaheda Bhorat’s talk. We also got to catch up with some familiar faces like Michael Downey from DIAL and long-time Mifos alum, Adam Monsen.

This year, we gave a talk for the first time. I gave a talk entitled, Endless Summer of Code: Building The Foundation Of A Community Through GSOC.

It chronicled our 5+ years of participation in Google Summer of Code and how over the years we’ve been able to use GSOC as an organic growth engine for our community. Targeted towards both organizations participating in GSOC or students looking to participate, we highlighted what we do before, during, and after GSOC to transform our students from summer interns into long-term contributors to the project, all the while enabling and Endless Summer of Code. Watch the screencast below to see firsthand how we’ve done it so you can learn how you can too!