The Mifos Initiative had the honor of being at OSCON hosting a booth in the non-profit pavilion of the Expo Hall for the ninth year this past month in Portland, OR. We also were able to continue telling our transformative story around Open Source Core Banking through a talk on the Business Summit given by Edward Cable, on Democratizing Financial Services and how Open Source Core Banking is enabling a multiplier effect. As we’ve done in the past, we like to share the firsthand experience of our Business Development intern at their first OSCON – read on below for a glimpse into Jackson Reed’s first time at OSCON.
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
It’s now time for our official wrap-up blog post for the 2017 Google Code-In, our third year of participation. This year’s program was so fast-paced and frenetic that I’ve needed to catch my breath before recapping. Coming up for air and reviewing all the completed tasks, I’m blown away by how much our students were able to get done and how valuable their work is for our community. As a whole across the entire program, participation in Google Code-In from pre-university students, grew by 265% versus last year with 3555 students from 78 countries completing 16,468 tasks. For the Mifos Initiative, individually, our growth was even greater with participation growing by 362% with 123 students completing 458 tasks, nearly three times as many as the 159 that were completed in the competition last year. A huge thank you to all of our mentors, many of them former GSOC students and even some former GCI participants for helping us handle this huge volume of contribution.
We’ll do two blog posts to commemorate the awesome energy and passion for open source that we have catalyzed in these students. Today’s post will highlight the impressive contributions that were made across all five categories – code, documentation, QA, user interface, and outreach/research while our second one will give a closer personal look at our top five finalists – grand prize winners, Chirag Gupta with 66 tasks completed and Matthew Katz, and remaining finalists Janice Kim, Muhammad Rafly Andrianza, and Shivam Kumar Singh.
The level of detail and commitment to these tasks demonstrated by not just our grand prize finalists but our top fifteen students was astounding. They contributed numerous code fixes to the platform, our web and mobile apps including completion of all the remaining work for our Swagger API documentation. Some great bug reports and a helpful guide on submitting a good report came through on the QA front. On the UI/UX side, a number of nice mockups for our mobile and web apps were shared as well as beautiful designs for t-shirts, logos, and graphics that we’ve already been using in our marketing communications. We received strong contributions to improve our technical and user-facing documentation including detailed tutorial videos. Lastly, the students worked on incredibly thorough and detailed research including profiles on innovation labs, financial inclusion landscape studies, libraries of creative common images, catalogs of events and conferences to attend, FAQs and research briefs on topics like chatbots, competitive analysis, and more.
For all of this exemplary work, we’re trying to put it in practice and share it with the broader community so stay tuned to the code being shipped, seeing your design get implemented, reading your research on our wiki, or watching your video tutorial. A tremendous thank you to all 123 students that completed a task – your work is greatly valued and you futures are extremely bright!
The Mifos Initiative once again has the honor of participating in Google Code-In, a fast-paced six-week long immersion of high school students into open source. For these pre-university students, our community provides a unique opportunity to learn about all aspects of open source collaboration, open source code development, and open source community all while helping to end poverty one line of code at a time.
For us, it’s a meaningful way to share the expertise of our community and our mentors in opening the eager eyes of these students to the many ways to contribute to open source in a technical and non-technical fashion. Since we work with so many new contributors coming in, it’s also a great way for us to improve all the points of entry to our community and have students participate in this as well. Google Code-In catalyzes a cycle creating new contributors and helps us cultivate our community to continue to grow organically.
Thank you to the hard work of all our mentors so far. So many of our past students have really been paying it forward to the next generation of contributors!
Impact Thus Far
We’re only 2 weeks into the program but we’ve already nearly surpassed the total number of tasks completed last year. In 2016 we worked with 34 students who completed 159 tasks. Just 14 days into this year’s program, we have worked with 100 students who’ve completed 141 tasks.
Here’s another blog post from our community development intern, Alex Moses, as we returned back to OSCON for the 7th time.
I’m back again with another post about another conference! Just two days after I returned home from LinuxFest Northwest, I was boarding a Boeing 737 destined for Austin, Texas. I was heading down to the Lone Star State for OSCON (Open Source Convention).
When I arrived in Austin, I was finally introduced to our President/CEO, Ed Cable. Ed and I ran a booth in the Expo Hall, which was located at the Austin Convention Center. Now I would say that OSCON is like LinuxFest Northwest but on a greater scale, but that wouldn’t do it justice. The Convention Center is enormous and there were times I feared getting lost!
Ed and I were joined at the booth by two great colleagues, Isaac Kamga and Nikhil Pawar. Isaac lives in Cameroon where he works for Sky.labase, one of our outstanding partner organizations. Nikhil is currently a student that has previously worked with Mifos during Google Summer of Code, and he is working with Apache Fineract this summer.
For those whom I have not had the pleasure to meet yet, my name is Alex Moses! I am a freshman studying Finance at the University of Washington Seattle campus. I began my internship with The Mifos Initiative a little over a month ago and they are already sending me off to conferences!
For the first weekend of May I traveled north to Bellingham, Washington for LinuxFest Northwest with a previous Mifos intern, Drew Fass. The event was graciously hosted by Bellingham Technical College and introduced me to an array of interesting and inspiring individuals.
Drew and I conducted a booth where we spread the social mission of Mifos and informed the attendees about the work of Mifos. The attendees of the conference asked insightful questions and were eager to grab our paperwork to learn more about the Initiative. Additionally, we met motivated individuals seeking to contribute to our mission through volunteering.
Hello Mifos Community!
I’m back again with another post about yet another conference.
Over this past weekend, I was blessed with the ability to go to OSCON, an Open Source conference centered on the power that open source technology can have over a variety of industries, countries, and methodologies. From healthcare reform to open source cloud computing, this conference had an amazing variety of industries that were positively impacted by open source technology. To give you a glimpse of our weekend, I would like to both highlight a few of my favorite moments and give some insight into how the Mifos Initiative has both been a beneficiary and contributor to the open source movement.
Unlike most years, this year OSCON was held at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas. Personally, I thought it was very powerful holding the conference in Austin, (a vastly different city than its predecessor Portland) as it shows how open source is now truly a national movement and is being embraced across the country, even in areas that are historically more resistant to change. With the new venue came a host of new organizations and new speakers, all with new views and stories on how open source has helped advance their respective fields in one way or another. Below are a few of our favorites:
Performance Case Study: Capital One’s quick shift from closed source to open source
This session was especially intriguing to me, as a large bank (Capital One) is finally starting to embrace the open source movement that we at the Mifos Initiative have been a part of since 2006. After the first few minutes of the session, it was easy to see the commonalities between the big banks and our open source initiative. One common thread was the idea that banks must be a technology company first. In other words, in order to be a successful organization, the bank had to produce a banking platform that was easily scalable, user-friendly, and customizable to suit client needs. Sound familiar? All of these features are what we at the Mifos Initiative hang our hat on and are what makes the open source movement so powerful. In our age of agility, scalability, and customization, big banks are beginning to realize the power that the smaller open source initiatives, like the Mifos Initiative, are starting to have on a global scale.
This session was more technical than the other sessions I went to but nevertheless fit very well with the third generation of our Mifos platform. For those of you that don’t know, the third generation of our platform encompasses taking our current MifosX platform and converting it to a series of microservices that we will containerize and navigate using a variety of cloud-based apps. So, as you can already tell, this talk directly correlated to the work we are doing in the conversion from our current Mifos X platform to the third generation of our open source platform. While I am currently on the business side of the Mifos Initiative, this talk helped me visualize how our platform will be set up at the developmental level. It was a great way to learn more about the inner workings of our platform and see how and why we are following the popular trend towards microservices and cloud-based apps.
Want students who are ready to contribute? Here’s what they should know.
As a student at the University of Washington, this session also struck very close to home for me. I’m lucky to have gotten the opportunity to intern for a great organization that works in the open source community, but not everyone is as fortunate as I am. For those that do not get exposed to the power of open source technology, how do we, as teachers and industry professionals help mold the future developers of the world? As a Google Summer of Code mentoring organization, the Mifos Initiative deals with this issue quite often. While we hope to get interns that are well equipped to take on any project we give them, we realize that not everyone is set up for success coming out of college. In order to maximize the production of these interns, we realize that we have to utilize the techniques given in the session to make sure all our students are ready to contribute right away so our projects will get done faster and more developers will be getting necessary experience to help them start their open source development careers.
In addition to the new speakers and exhibitor crowd, we were happy to see that a few members from our Mifos community made the trek from Cameroon to learn more about our organization and our industry. Among them was Nyah Check, a good friend of Ayuk the head of Skylabase Solutions, our partner organization in Cameroon working on creating a customized Mobile Wallet/Mobile Money application integration with Mifos. Nyahis currently in the States trying to learn as much as he can about open source technology from the various conferences he’s attended. He hopes to bring this knowledge back to Cameroon so he can build on top of the Mifos banking platform to give needed support to his community back home. He is truly an inspiration to everyone at Mifos and is living proof of just one of the millions of people that we have reached through our open source banking platform.
To wrap up, I would just like to say a quick thank you to our very own director Director of Community Programs, Ed Cable. It was a pleasure running the booth with you and I had a great OSCON experience. I look forward to many more exciting adventures with the Mifos Initiaitive over the summer!
4th Generation Mifos Intern
2014 was a breakthrough year for our community as the Mifos X platform established a foothold around the globe and we proved that a platform-centric and partner-driven approach can achieve tremendous scale and impact. Take a few moments to look back at the major milestones from the past year and all the community members who made these accomplishments possible.
At a glance in 2014
- 2.6 million clients were reached by 110 financial institutions supported by 40 local tech partners across 33 different countries.
- 80,000,000 transactions were processed on the platform with more than $791,000,000 in loans being managed.
- 11,630 downloads of our software from 150 countries
If you haven’t seen it, check out the blog of Michael Vorburger for a recap of the day-long hackathon, he and Markus Geiss facilitated at the tail-end of our Global Summit back in March. Decked out in their new Mifos hoodies, our coding Ninjas led a productive day of development on the platform, the community app, and our Android app. They hacked out some solutions to needs that came up during the summit and were able to train and bring up to speed some of the newest developers within the Mifos community.
Contributing the first post in our summit wrap-up blog series is Markus Geiss, who attended his first Mifos Summit, and will soon be joining the team full time as Chief Architect. Read on to hear Markus’ tale of his time in Sharjah.
On Monday March 9th I boarded the plane to fly to Sharjah and meet with the Mifos Community at our annual summit. I was all alone and didn’t know what to expect. As I left Sharjah on Friday March 13th my heart was filled with impressions and new friends. What happened?
It all started immediately upon my arrival in Sharjah. I met the Conflux Gang right at the airport. As we reached the hotel a crowd of people from all over the world already awaited us and gave us a hearty and warm welcome. During the course of the following three days it simply felt like meeting good old friends who we have not seen for a while. Read more