Featured Contributor

Translatewiki.net Community

Our spotlight in October and November was shown on key members of the Translatewiki.net community. Transitioning the Mifos user interface to FreeMarker pages meant re-translating our entire software. The switch to Translatewiki.net provides us with a stable and actively maintained translation infrastructure smoothly syncing with our Git repository.  With an enthusiastic community of translators, we've been able to maintain our existing translations and are beginning to translate Mifos into an array of different languages.

From around the world the TWN community is deeply impacting the poor. Niklas Laxström, the TWN founder, keeps our infrastructure up to date and performing well. Gerard Meijssen spreads the word rallying translators to support Mifos. Béria Lima and Philippe Verdy are some of the many volunteer translators who offer up their time and talent.

 

The Conductor: Niklas Laxström - Helsinki, Finland

Pending his M.A. in Language Technology, Niklas is founder of Translatewiki.net as well as long-time MediaWiki volunteer and developer and president of Wikimedia, Finland.

Niklas discovered Mifos from the TWN IRC channel which promotes community supported causes.

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Gayl Kennedy

Gayl Kennedy was our Star Contributor for August. She led the deployment of Mifos at Fantsuam Foundation in Nigeria and is being recognized for providing a discerning voice to help us improve the Mifos product. Our first member of the Mifos implementer community to be a Star Contributor, Gayl has been an integral part of design usability and locating bugs on the mailing lists and new feature requests.

Gayl Kennedy - Tipperary, Ireland 

Working as a volunteer through the international NGO Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO), Gayl’s assignment at the Fantsuam Foundation in Nigeria was to implement an MIS system including Mifos. Previously she had been in the EMEA Operations Centre for a large software company based in Dublin where she worked as a project manager on many system implementations.

Fantsuam Foundation had already incorporated Mifos when Gayl arrived. She has been using it ever since.

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Jim Stamper

Our July Star Contributor, Jim Stamper, has lent his Drupal expertise to improve the Mifos web presence. Jim is not our typical contributor working directly on the Mifos codebase. He helped us out getting a solid working community infrastructure in place by project managing the redesign of the Mifos.org community site on Drupal.   

Jim Stamper - Seattle, WA

Jim is a PHP Developer currently working at Seattle’s public television station,  KCTS. He has been in the web industry for 11 years architecting apps and doing Drupal development among other things. Prior to Seattle, he worked at CentreSource in Nashville, TN as well as his own freelance studio, SouthSide Media.

He discovered Mifos through a friend, also a volunteer at Grameen Foundation.

Jim's Impact:

Although Jim volunteered just to project manage the Mifos.org rollout, he went well beyond the call of duty. He assisted with system administration of both the Mifos.com and Mifos.org sites. The Mifos.org community site would not be possible without Jim's wise guidance and oversight.  His technical contributions smoothing out site development, fixing bugs, styling, and developing new features, all went beyond the original scope of the site and his responsibilities. 

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Bharathi Ramasubramanian and Donnie Tuck

 

Our January and February Star Contributors are Bankers without Boarders volunteers, Bharathi Ramasubramanian and Donnie Tuck who give voice to the complex new features in our most recent releases. They have updated our user manual so you can use and understand these features and the value they provide.

This is the first time we are recognizing Star Contributors for their crucial documentation work in the successful adoption of open source software.

Kudos to Bharathi and Donnie for documenting how to use our Floss user manuals!  With little knowledge of our product, they crafted easy to follow documentation so you can use the features on a day to day basis. From installing Mifos and configuring it, to full support for PPI, and beyond, their work has been indispensable.

Bharathi Ramasubramanian - Boston, MA (currently India)

Bharathi was a software developer and IT analyst, before switching the focus of her career to the social sector. She has been involved in research for international microfinance development while working with NGOs in the US and India. Mifos is her first open source project which she discovered through a news article on a microfinance website.

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Stanley Kwok

Stanley Kwok is our September Star Contributor, a volunteer who's stepped into the role of i18n (Internationalization) champion for Mifos as we migrate our UI to FTL pages. 

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Keith Woodlock

Keith Woodlock has been an instrumental contributor helping to refactor the Mifos platform so it can be easier for other contributors to participate and build on top of Mifos.

Having graduated at University of Limerick, Ireland, he’s spent most of his professional life working on Java/Spring, web-based systems. So far his work has taken him from Ireland to UK and Australia working in application domains such as telecommunications, transportation, directory search and now microfinance.

Having taken an interest in Software Craftsmanship and the agile approach of ‘…uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it.’, Keith was looking for an open source project to get involved in and Mifos and microfinance was the perfect fit.

Keith started off by fixing some bugs and then moved onto tackling some core problems that existed around ‘Collection Sheet’ functionality, an important bulk data entry mechanism used by several of the MFIs on Mifos. He is presently doing work that is part of the whole push to EvolveMifosCodeBase which involves moving to a spring based application with a defined set of SPI and APIs.

What’s Rewarding about Working on Mifos:

“It’s very satisfying to know that the software that you help to produce can be used to help impact peoples lives in a positive way.”

Fun Facts about Keith:

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Sam Birney

Sam Birney has played a number of roles from Engineering Manager to Project Manager for the Al Majmoua deployment.  As a volunteer, he's helped to fix bugs and answer questions on the mailing list to keep Mifos code at its highest quality. 

Sam Birney - San Francisco, CA

After graduating from Stanford in 1998 with a degree in Computer Science, Sam worked as a software developer and architect for various Silicon Valley startups. He was a cofounder of Merced Systems and managed engineering teams and software releases there as Director of Technology.  He became interested in Open Source and joined JasperSoft, working on Business Intelligence software.  From there, looking to find a socially meaningful application for his skills, he joined Grameen Foundation as Engineering Manager of Mifos.  After working full time on the Mifos product for a while, he ended up becoming a contractor, which brought him to his current project of deploying Mifos at an MFI in Lebanon.

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Graeme Ruthven

Graeme Ruthven has shared his knowledge of operational and implementation topics to help develop best practices and guides on VPN, security, and on installing and running Mifos on Debian-based distributions.

Graeme Ruthven – Wellington, New Zealand

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SunGard

The entire team at SunGard Technology Services in Bangalore, India  have been working closely with the Mifos team for the past year helping to strengthen the core Mifos platform, dramatically increasing the performance of Mifos for our customers, and providing direct implementation services to our community.

Star Contributors of the Month for February: SunGard Technology Services of Bangalore, India (From L-R): Lakshmi, Rajesh, Partha, Chandan, Aravind , Raghavendra, Sreevani (Inset Left: Deepak, Prabaharan; Inset Right: Prachi)

SunGard Technology Services – Bangalore, India

SunGard is one of the world’s leading software and IT services companies, serving more than 25,000 customers in more than 70 countries. Their SunGard Technology Services unit provides full software development lifecycle support for SunGard’s products across the financial systems, higher education and public sector businesses.  Over the past year, we’ve worked closely with SunGard on a number of key technology projects. Over the next year we look forward to a deeper engagement with a dedicated full-time team at SunGard to help extend scalability in Mifos to support millions of clients.

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Jakub Sławiński

Jakub Sławiński is the definition of a power volunteer, building new features and fixing more than 50 issues for our customers, Al Majmoua and enda.

 

Jakub Sławiński - Gdynia, Poland

Jakub has a Master of Science in Informatics (Best Student of the Year) from University of Gdańsk, Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Informatics. He participated twice in the Google Summer of Code (2006 and 2007), where he worked on the Network Diagnostic Tool (NDT) with the help of mentors from Internet2. After graduation he worked at ADVA Optical Networking, where he was a Java Developer. After two years, he decided that he should try his own business, and has since founded a small software outsourcing company, named SolDevelo, with a friend. His responsibilities include keeping an eye on the technological aspects of the development.

When Jakub heard that Mifos won the Seventh Annual Duke’s Choice Awards in the “Java Technology for the Open Source Community” category, he investigated the project and decided to give it a try.

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