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Write Code. Save Lives.

OpenMRS is participating as a mentoring organization for Google Summer of Code™ in 2016. Since 2007, we've enjoyed participating in this great program and we're extremely excited about the projects and mentorship opportunities available this year. Coding for OpenMRS is a great way to practice your coding skills and, at the same time, help benefit people in developing countries who are on the front lines of the battle against HIV/AIDS, TB, Malaria, and other public health challenges. For a more detailed history of who were are and what we do, please see here.

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OpenMRS has been accepted to participate in Congratulations to our GSoC 2016 :accepted students! Please watch this page for daily updates on potential mentors and project ideas, and use the GSoC Category on OpenMRS Talk to contact mentors or program admins with questions as you prepare applicationsread this important announcement on OpenMRS Talk for next steps.

Program Timeline

We will follow the official Google timeline for the program. Please refer to it for all official dates. In summary:

  • 29 February: List of accepted mentoring organizations published on the official Google Summer of Code site
  • 1-25 March: Student discussion & application period
  • 22 April: Accepted student proposals announced on the official Google Summer of Code site
  • 22 April to 22 May: Students get to know mentors, read documentation, prepare for work on their projects
  • 23 May: Students begin coding for their Google Summer of Code projects
  • 20-27 June: Mentors and students submit mid-term evaluations
  • 15 August: "Pencils down" date
  • 30 August: Final results of Google Summer of Code announced

Google Summer of Code at OpenMRS

Watch this short video to learn more! 

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Accepted Projects & Mentors

Include Page
Interns and Mentors 2016
Interns and Mentors 2016

Expectations for Students

Before being accepted

  1. Become familiar with OpenMRS and the project(s) for which you're applying. If relevant, make sure you have OpenMRS installed and running. (You should have done this already since you were accepted.) Read Developer GuideGetting Started as a Developer, and ask others in the community if you have questions. If you ask questions the smart way, you'll get better responses.
  2. Make sure your development environment is installed and running, and optimized for maximum efficiency. Review our Conventions page.
  3. Review project ideas listed here & ask questions about those or other projects in the GSoC category on OpenMRS Talk.
  4. Spend as much time as possible in our IRC channel or Telegram chat, as well as on OpenMRS Talk with other community members. Remember, GSoC-specific questions should be asked on Talk.
  5. Introduce yourself on the community introduction page on OpenMRS Talk.
  6. If you're returning to do GSoC with OpenMRS for a repeat term, be just as thorough (or more so!) than first-time students. Don't skip steps and work extra hard to impress your mentor(s).

After being accepted

  1. Sign in to your email account. Details are in your acceptance email.
  2. Set up a blog for your work on open source projects, including GSoC. Post  Post the URL on OpenMRS Talk. If you don't have a blog yet, you should create one. You will be required to write a blog post every week about your planning work and project progress during GSoC.
  3. Contact your mentor immediately. Make a plan to communicate with them regularly. You should plan to use some combination of IRC or Telegram chat, or discussions on OpenMRS Talk (in a specific category or with a unique tag). Open source projects communicate in the open, so plan to keep any direct/private communication to an absolute minimum.
  4. Begin attending the weekly Developers Forum to briefly introduce yourself and meet other interns & contributors. Attend as many Developers Forums as your schedule permits.
  5. Review any JIRA issues related to your project and work on some initial bugs or feature development, or work on some general OpenMRS bugs. Ask your mentor for guidance. (This doesn't mean begin your project!)
  6. Prepare a detailed project plan together with your mentor. Browse the current OpenMRS code specific to your project and review the requirements for your project together with your mentor. Include SMART goals and schedule milestones for each week. Publish the project plan on the OpenMRS Wiki and link it to your project's wiki page.OpenMRS Talk in the appropriate category. (Request a new subcategory if needed.)

During the program

  1. Complete a short required "progress report" each week so we can make sure things are on track and there are no problems with your project. Contact organization admins any time if you have concerns about working with your mentor(s).
  2. Write at least one blog post every week to help stay on schedule and to share your work publicly.
  3. Commit early. Commit often. This is an important value in our open source community - read why.
  4. Prepare mid-term & final project presentation videos about your project's status, progress, and any questions you have for the community.
  5. You are now part of our developer community. We want you to feel like part of the team, so we expect you to:
    1. Conduct ALL project-related discussions on IRC, Telegram, or OpenMRS Talk. (No direct emails!)
    2. Ask questions (the smart way) if you get stuck.
    3. Participate in our weekly Developers Forum (Inactive) when your schedule allows.

After completing GSoC

  1. Write a final blog post summarizing your overall experience! If you like, talk to the org admins for consideration to cross-post this article to the Google Open Source Blog.
  2. Stay involved with your project or other projects as your schedule permits! There is always plenty of development work needed for OpenMRS volunteers like you.
  3. Continue to watch OpenMRS Talk for additional questions or feedback about your GSoC project, and for other topics that interest you.
  4. Participate as a mentor for Google Code-in, in late 2016, should OpenMRS be accepted to participate. Your involvement will show secondary school students how they can use their skills in programming and open source projects.

Expectations for Mentors

Before student selection

  1. Commit to spending a minimum of 4 hours each week to be available to guide and mentor students (not just your assigned student).
  2. Commit to being present in IRC and/or Telegram to help answer questions as much as your schedule allows, at a minimum of 4 hours each week.
  3. Prepare a good overview of your project idea(s) and have them linked to this wiki page.
  4. Watch OpenMRS Talk for questions about your project idea(s).
  5. Review student proposals and work with other mentors and organization admins to select the best candidates for OpenMRS.
  6. Treat returning students who have applied with as much (or more!) scrutiny than first-time students.

After student selection

  1. Ensure your student is ready & active. They should have a dev environment, be regularly communicating in the community, and have prepared a project plan together with you. (See above for student expectations.)
  2. Read the GSoC Mentoring Manual and ask questions if you have them.
  3. Reach out to the Summer of Code organization administrators if you have questions or concerns.
  4. If the student is not active during the community bonding period, please contact the organization administrators.

During the program

  1. Help your student be successful. Commit to spending a minimum of 4 hours each week answering questions, giving advice, working with your student on blockers, and evaluating your student's progress.
  2. Complete a short "progress report" each week to help stay on schedule and catch potential problems early.
  3. Have fun and work hard! The highest-performing mentors will get an expenses-paid trip to Google's headquarters in October to geek out with fellow mentors from other open source projects.
  4. Schedule some time to chat 1-on-1 with your student to talk about their post-GSoC plans. Will they continue in their university program? Are they looking for a job? Help them understand the world beyond GSoC, and how they can continue contributing to OpenMRS.

After completing GSoC

  1. Stay in touch with your student and help them find interesting ways to stay involved with OpenMRS.
  2. Apply to attend the GSoC mentor summit in October! It's an awesome way to connect with other people in the open source world and have fun.

Our Technology At-A-Glance

The OpenMRS project is architecture is quite extensive, and incorporates a number of different components, programming languages and frameworks. As an GSoC student, you may be required to work on one or many of these components. Each project is different – consult the mentor and project documentation for details. The OpenMRS Developers Guide covers some of our software's technical architecture in more detail.

Some of the core skills you might be able to use in our projects this year include:

  • Java
  • The Spring Framework
  • The Hibernate Framework
  • JavaScript
  • JQuery
  • Node.js
  • More to come ....


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Application Requirements & Questions

You should have communicated in advance with the potential mentors listed above to prepare one or more project proposals. This proposal must describe in detail how you would plan to approach the project, and must include goals and a draft timeline. In addition to the project proposal, you needed to respond to the following questions:

  1. Who are you? What are you studying?
  2. Why are you the right person for this task?
  3. Describe in detail your software development experience by various technologies. Include all technologies you have used for development projects.
  4. List any previous experience working with open source projects other than OpenMRS. (This experience is not a requirement.)
  5. Provide links to any websites or applications created by you, or other source code examples.
  6. Please provide the URL to your wiki personal space and OpenMRS Talk profile page. (If you don't have them yet, please create & customize!)
  7. You must have made at least one coding contribution to OpenMRS BEFORE submitting your proposal. Please include in your proposal all relevant issue numbers, pull requests, commit links, etc. for these contributions. If you don't include this information, your proposal will not be reviewed. It's not necessary for your pull requests need to be merged. We just want to see that you've made some effort to learn the basics about OpenMRS.
  8. Describe your interactions with our community so far. Include dates of developer forums you have attended, and include any IRC nicknames used when visiting our channel previously.
  9. What is your preferred method of contact and how should we reach you with it? (phone, email, IRC, IM, etc.)
  10. Do you have any other commitments during the program? (Include any and all holidays, vacations, travel, exams, classes, research projects, other work, job offers, etc.)

When preparing your application, also remember to:

  1. Use the title of the project idea for which you are applying as the title of your application. If you are submitting an application to work on the "Add whirlygigs to OpenMRS" project, then make the title of your application "Add whirlygigs to OpenMRS".
  2. Submit a thoughtful application. Simply regurgitating documentation from the wiki will not impress us. Rather, show that you've thought about the project and provide some ideas on how you would approach the solution. You can ask other people in the community for ideas in advance. The best applications not only refer to one of the GSoC projects, but also demonstrate you have thought about the project by providing a description of how you think you might approach the project, including a rough timeline of the steps involved.

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Have Additional Questions?