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GSOC Reunion – Interns’ First Trip To Silicon Valley!

In this guest blog post, we’re delighted to have Ishan and Gaurav give a firsthand experience of their travels to the Silicon Valley for the first time to represent the Mifos Initiative as GSOC celebrated ten successful years at its Reunion. Ishan and Gaurav were awesome interns and have continued their stellar contributions in the community since GSOC – this experience was a small reward for their accomplishments. Read on for the recap and check out Gaurav and Ishan’s blog for more of their personal experiences and photos. 

fb-hqFirst off we’d like to thank Edward Cable, Community Manager @ Mifos Initiative, and all our mentors (Vishwas, Nayan, Markus, Sander, Michael, Kojo) for allowing both me and Gaurav Saini to be a part of this 10 year GSOC Reunion in San Jose, California. A dream that we lived through experiencing all the highs that you could get without the use of illegal stuffs 😀 Yeah the food, the weather, the people and the headquarters of the Big Who’s Who in the IT world.

I had travelled on the East Coast (NYC, Washington DC, Alexandria, Jersey City) of the USA for a week before we landed on the West Coast (San Francisco.) Gaurav and I planned to tour the Silicon Valley for three days before the summit. We reached SFO on 20th October, 2014. Playing smar,t we rented out beds in a house in Millbrae, CA that was just 10 minutes away from SFO using AirBnb. It was a hacker house, where we met a few entrepreneurs, a designer, a developer, a director and a teacher too. We immediately realised we were in a good company. I’ll be sharing the pre-post summit experience on my personal blog, lets get to business and explore the GSOC reunion. Read more

Google Code-In – A Whirlwind Week One

GCI-2014-b-squareWith just over a week of Google Code-In under our belts, and just about six weeks remaining, we want to collectively take a breath and thank all the students for their valuable contributions. The energy and enthusiasm of the pre-university students who’ve contributed to our cause has kept all our mentors on their feet, whipping up new tasks to keep these blossoming open source contributors busy. Looking back on this hectic week, we’ve all been impressed with the knowledge and experience of our students and the ease with which they’ve been making an impact. All in all we’ve already 80 tasks completed by 27 different students.

First off, in case you’re wondering what Google Code-In is: it’s a “contest for pre-university students (e.g., high school and secondary school students aged 13-17) with the goal of encouraging young people to participate in open source.” Students complete tasks and earn points and in turn prizes. Tasks introduce students to all the work that makes open source projects possible and can be anything an organization needs help with, from bug fixes, to writing code, to user experience research, to writing documentation. This video does a great job of explaining the program which is now in it’s fifth year.

We are proud to be participating as a mentoring organization for GCI for the first time. As the world aims to bring computer science to millions of students this week through the Hour of Code led by Code.org, students and teachers this a great way to begin coding. Read more

Mifos OSCON Recap

oscon2014_logoIt’s become an annual tradition for our Mifos team to gather in Portland for a week of reaching out to new contributors and immersing ourselves in the latest in open source technology and communities at OSCON. This year we had a busy week with the Community Leadership Summit, our quarterly Mifos Initiative board meeting, an exhibition booth in the non-profit pavilion and a speaking slot on the Business and Javascript tracks at OSCON.

Once again throughout the hallways and in our conference booth, our initiative was very well-received. In general, the sector is  familiar with microfinance and their curiosity is piqued when they discover our initiative, an open source platform for delivering financial services to the poor. This year I noted a larger presence of financial services people more heavily involved in open source, including regulators, payments providers, and those involved in alternative currencies like Bitcoin. We are interested in bringing to bear their skills in both open source technology and financial services.

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ThoughtWorks HSP team gives Mifos X community a solid footing to grow from

I’d like to give a big thank you to the ThoughtWorks HSP team. Their team has only been a part of our community a few weeks but it seems like they’ve been with us for years. They’ve helped us at a critical time in the launch of Mifos X to our developer community. They’re putting the infrastructure in place to guide a smooth transition to our community-driven development model on top of the Mifos X platform.  

Here’s a guest post from Gurpreet on what’s been keeping them busy so far.

Recently, folks from ThoughtWorks started contributing to Mifos X as part of their Humanitarian Software Program (HSP). HSP is a ThoughtWorks initiative to help Humanitarian Open Source projects by channelizing beach and volunteer time of ThoughtWorkers. Gurpreet & Deepali from the HSP team at ThoughtWorks work full-time in connecting ThoughtWorkers to Open Source projects adopted under the HSP Program.

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Aligning Volunteer Passion with User Pain

4549865709_0c58f4c739_bHead on over to the Community for Open Source Microfinance blog for a post on how we’re trying to help channel the passion and talents of our volunteers to solve the needs and pains of our users. We recently published the process for requesting new features and voting on suggestions to make their way into the product roadmap.  The product roadmap is what guides our volunteer contributors and we want it be user-driven so they can provide new features that directly meet your business requirements. Our Community Feature Requests Dashboard captures all feature requests that have come in and provides a visual glimpse of how the product management team prioritizes your feedback.

Read more on the COSM blog