Specialist Spotlight – Sol Develo

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This regular blog series will shine the light on some of our top Specialists. Not only do we want to recognize them for their accomplishments, we want others to learn from the approach they’ve taken to promote and implement Mifos.

Mifos Specialists are one of the most crucial links in our community – they are the driving force that is promoting and supporting Mifos worldwide.  Aside from championing our product and bringing the Mifos technology to new markets, they act as the fundamental bridge feeding in MFI requirements to be developed by the community. Specialists don’t stop there as many are also developing and localizing the product to fit their local market.  For all these reasons, COSM is focusing it energy on making these Specialists successful – they are the primary channel to market, the eyes and ears on the ground, and the entrepreneurial force that will help us sustainably scale.

We’ve highlighted various members from SolDevelo over the years so wanted to sit down with Natalia from their team to see what they’re focused on now and take a more personal look at some of the team.

Meet SolDevelo

SolDevelo is a dynamic software development and information technology outsourcing company from Poland. We are focused on delivering high quality software and innovative solutions. Our team is specialized in the Java/JEE platform, but also have experience in mobile solutions and other languages. We have continuously supported the Mifos project for several years and after the transition to the Community for Open Source Microfinance have taken over ongoing development of the Mifos 2.0 codebase. In that time we have implemented new features, provided quality assurance services and greatly improved stability of the product. Our work was recognized by the community both in 2010 and 2012 when SolDevelo team members – Jakub and Lukasz became Mifos Star Contributors.

For new and current Mifos users, SolDevelo provides a managed hosting service – MifCloud. It is a great solution for all MFIs and individual users who need support with deploying Mifos, data migration and software customization.

SolDevelo is also engaged in other projects, not connected with microfinance. For more information about our projects, you can visit our web page: http://www.soldevelo.com/projects.

What Motivates SolDevelo’s Contributions?

We are contributing to Mifos because it is a pleasure to be part of a fast-growing community from all around the world. We are motivated by that special goal – fighting poverty in third world counties by using technology to develop a high quality software.

Participation in Mifos community gives us a great opportunity to receive and respond to the challenges.

Who are you working with right now?

In addition to our MifCloud managed hosting services, we also offer custom Mifos development services. We just finished building out some custom features for Al Majmoua in Lebanon. Recently we have deployed a new MifCloud client: REDmutual in Uganda and have several new potential new clients in Africa that are also interested in our service.

What is your focus now and heading into 2013?

In 2013 year we are planning to continue our work with developing Mifos and MifosX projects. This is particularly important to extend the software functionality if we want to meet the needs of current customers and new users. We will make every effort to ensure user-friendly interface and high-quality data at any stage. We are especially excited to be a close part of the Mifos X, the next evolution of the platform for our community. Moreover we would like to extend MifCloud promotion and contribute to increase the number of Mifos users by supporting implementation, data migrations and assistance in regard to the Mifos functionality by performing trainings for all users who will need such opportunity.

SolDevelo’s Words of Advice for Others in the Community

SolDevelo team has been working with the Mifos community for several years. In that time, we have become more experienced and confident. For all new users and specialists in community of Mifos, we advise to cooperate with rest of the Mifos team, especially those who worked on creating Mifos from the beginning, and to share new ideas and plans. Together we can make more effective microfinance software, which fully covers the needs of customers, is easy to use, and always reliable.

Now Let’s Meet the Team Personally

From the left on the photo: Marcin Sienkiewicz, Kasia Piecielska, Lukasz Chudy, Natalia Szprega, Kamil Kalfas, Michal Dudzinski, Jakub Podeszwik.

From the left on the photo: Marcin Sienkiewicz, Kasia Piecielska, Lukasz Chudy, Natalia Szprega, Kamil Kalfas, Michal Dudzinski, Jakub Podeszwik.

Kamil Kalfas: For him, the most important area to change in Mifos is GLIM (Group Lending with Individual Monitoring) so he’s constantly working to improve it. In his free time he likes to stack his Rubik’s cube. For new contributors he advises: “never give up”.

Jakub Podeszwik: Together with Kamil, he works to improve GLIM. In his free time he goes to gym.

Michał Dudziński: It’s a good thing Michal is working on Mifos X because he would like to get rid of old technologies in Mifos. He advises new contributors to create code in a smart way so the others can easily work with your code. In his free time, he likes reading books and play games (also board games and card games), his hobby are travels and sport. (Note from Ed – Michal demonstrated his competitive nature during the Summit in India!)

Łukasz Chudy: Apart from Jakub, Lukasz has worked with Mifos the longest; in January 2012, he became Star Contributor. His advice for others in the community is “Testing Mifos to see if it does not do what it is supposed to do is only half the battle; the other half is seeing whether it does what it is supposed to do.” Interesting facts: I always start my working day with the feeling that a day without finding a bug is a wasted day. He’s favorite food is Polish and Mexican, and everything what is sweet. In free time he likes play basketball and table soccer. (Another note from Ed: Lukasz demonstrated his prowess in basketball and table tennis at the Summit in India).

Kasia Piecielska and Marcin Sienkiewicz are our new employees. Kasia inher free time likes to read books and watch movies; she advises new employees to ask as many questions as they can. Marcin likes drawing, developing himself and learning new interesting facts. Marcin: “Mifos is interesting application for all developing countries and provide real possibility for new life”.

Natalia Szprega: I focus on documentation so that new Mifos community members and individuals wishing to became specialists, can get through any difficulties straight from the beginning. In my free time, I spend time riding bike or rollers, swimming and during winter, ice skating. “You can learn everything, just sometimes you need more time”

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