Star Contributor of the Month - Stanley Kwok

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

Stanley Kwok - Vancouver

Each month we honor one of our top volunteer contributors from around the world.  Stanley recently joined our community in June but has made a big impact in that short time. Since joining, he's fixed a number of bugs related to the Mifos User Interface, reviewed incoming patches from community members, and gained active commit privileges to the Mifos source code.  Recently he's become our Internationalization (i18n) Champion, stepping up to lead efforts translating Mifos through translatewiki.net as we migrate to a new UI framework on FreeMarker.  

Stanley Kwok - Vancouver, BC, Canada

Brief Bio (in the words of Stanley): I've been in the IT industry for 10 years now. During this time I've worked in wide range of companies in various industries and using various technologies. My passion is solving challenging problems with elegant solutions.

OS Experience: Mifos is my first open source project. Because the overall experience have been so positive and satisfying I am motivated to contribute back to OS projects that I have used or using when possible.

Relevant Skills: Java, PHP, Javascript, SQL, working with large and complex databases, finding root cause to difficult problems, query optimization and code optimization.

Discovering Mifos: I stumbled upon Mifos by accident. A while back I was looking for some information on micro-lending (peer lending) on the Internet. I was working in the Philippines earlier this year. It was the first time I saw and experience in person what I would call poverty. Poverty was the norm rather than exception. I still remember vividly seeing a child – who looked about as old as my one year old niece - sleeping naked on the street. I thought there must be something I can do about this. When I returned to Vancouver, I came across Bankers without Borders and through it learned about volunteering for Mifos. I said to myself, this is the chance to do something about poverty.

Stanley's Impact:

Contributions Made to Date: Fixed various browser and UI bugs that may affect the user in different languages. Answered questions about Mifos setup on IRC and mailing list for new users. Reviewed patches for bugs facing customers in Mozambique. 

Current Projects: Currently working on i18n issues with Adam Monsen, Jasmine Sandhu and the team over at translatewiki.net. I am also developing my first feature for Mifos (MIFOS-3591). Very excited about that. I hope to work on scaling Mifos and performance problems some day.

Impact on the Poor: With the i18n project, I hope Mifos can be deployed to more countries and thus bring microfinancing to more people and ultimately let them help themselves out of poverty and raise the standard of living.

What’s Rewarding about Working on Mifos:

"As a developer, working with a great community and learned new and cool things from talented individuals in the community. Spiritually, the satisfaction that comes from knowing someones, somewhere will benefit from the work that I have done."

Advice for Others in Mifos Community:

"Keep an open mind."

Fun Facts about Stanley:

Favorite Food: Too many to name! :)

Favorite Open Source Project: There are many to list here. To name just one, it would be jQuery. It is very easy to use (once you know the basics), has a lot of plugins and most importantly it makes programming in Javascript fun. With jQuery, implementing good user-experience pages is easy and the process of developing them is a pleasure. I used to dread about doing UI work in Javascript. Now I look forward to it!

If Stanley Could Travel to One Place in the World: I would like to travel to space and look at Earth from above

Interesting fact about Stanley:  I'd like to share my guiding principle in life: google desiderata

Please visit Stanley's LinkedIn profile to learn more about him.

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