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Write Code. Save Lives.

OpenMRS is applying to participate for its 9th year as a mentoring organization for Google Summer of Code™ in 2015. We've enjoyed participating in this great program in the last 8 years and are 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.

On this page ....

Latest Status

OpenMRS has applied to participate in GSoC 2015! Watch this page for additional project ideas up until the announcement of participating organizations on 2 March. Ask questions and discuss ideas for GSoC on OpenMRS Talk at:

Program Timeline

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

  • 2 March: List of accepted mentoring organizations published on the Google Summer of Code 2015 site
  • 16-27 March: Student application period
  • 27 April: Accepted student proposals announced on the Google Summer of Code 2015 site
  • 27 April to 24 May: Students get to know mentors, read documentation, get up to speed to begin working on their projects
  • 25 May: Students begin coding for their Google Summer of Code projects
  • 26 June - 3 July: Mentors and students submit mid-term evaluations
  • 17 August: "Pencils down" date
  • 31 August: Final results of Google Summer of Code 2015 announced


Google Summer of Code at OpenMRS

Watch this short video to learn more! 


Projects Ideas & Potential Mentors

Contact mentors today to discuss projects

Contact these mentors directly to discuss your ideas for a proposal for their listed project, or another project that you choose from our Unassigned Projects page, or even an idea not listed there. Do not introduce your project proposal on our developers mailing list unless the mentor suggests doing so. You can contact the mentor by information provided on their personal wiki page, find them in IRC, or by commenting on the project's wiki page. Please be patient and allow the mentors time to respond. They are all volunteer mentors & have other "day jobs"!

Additional Projects

Please also see our page Unassigned Projects for additional projects that may be adapted or undertaken during GSoC 2015. If you're interested in one of the projects listed there, discuss it with one of the mentors listed above in advance before beginning a proposal.  

Expectations of Students & Mentors

What we expect of students:

  • Become familiar with OpenMRS and your project before the start date.
  • Complete a short required "progress report" and write a required blog post every week to help stay on schedule and share your work publicly.
  • Commit early. Commit often. This is an important value in our open source community - read why.
  • You are now part of our developer community. We want you to feel like part of the team, so we hope you will:
    • Have technical discussions on IRC, the developers mailing list, or OpenMRS Talk.
    • Ask questions (the smart way) if you get stuck.
    • Participate in our weekly Developers Forum.
    • Give one or more project presentations during those weekly meetings so we can see the cool stuff you're making.

What students should expect of OpenMRS during the summer:

  • You will have fun!
  • You will learn how to work within an open source project – one that's helping people save lives around the world.
  • You will have dedicated time (4-5 hours each week) with an experienced OpenMRS mentor, and will have a backup mentor for questions or problems.
  • If you ask a question the smart way, our community will do its best to help you.
  • The Summer of Code program leaders (both at OpenMRS and Google) will be available if any problems arise between students and mentors.

What we expect of mentors:

  • Help your student be successful. Commit to spending a minimum of 4-5 hours each week with your student answering questions, giving advice, working together, and evaluating his or her progress.
  • Complete a short "progress report" each week to help stay on schedule and catch potential problems early.
  • Read the GSoC Mentoring Manual and ask questions if you have them.
  • Reach out to the Summer of Code project leaders if you have questions or concerns.
  • 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.

Helpful OpenMRS Community Resources

  • Join OpenMRS Talk and sign in regularly to keep track of activities in the OpenMRS Community.
  • If possible, join the Developers Forum every Thursday. You can participate by telephone, VoIP, or even just on IRC.
  • We use JIRA as a tool for issue tracking and project management.
  • Tips for using e-mail:
    • If you have a highly specific question, contact your mentor.
    • Technical discussions, ideas, and requests for feedback should be sent to the entire community on the developers mailing list.
  • IRC discussions in the #OpenMRS channel of Freenode are always fun! Useful for shorter discussions or for large group discussions.
  • Use the OpenMRS wiki often:
    • Be sure to make a user profile page.
    • Every project should have a OpenMRS wiki page where you document your project, progress, technical details, show mock ups, etc.
  • Google Docs — an excellent tool for sharing and collaborating in real time on documents or spreadsheets, when the wiki is not appropriate.
  • Scheduling tools:
    • — to clarify/coordinate times around the world
    • Doodle — to coordinate meeting times for larger groups

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 ....

Tips to Be a Successful Applicant

We're happy you are interested in working with OpenMRS during Summer of Code 2015. Here are some tips that we prepared to help your application process be easier and more successful. These are all things you should begin early to start getting involved.


Get started as a developer in our community right away. The sooner you do this, the more familiar we'll be with your name and with your work. (smile)


  1. First, read the GSoC Student Guide to get familiar with Google Summer of Code.
  2. Create an OpenMRS ID and a personal space on your wiki and tell us about yourself. Here's a great personal wiki page from a MediaWiki student you might want to use as a guide.
  3. Sign in to OpenMRS Talk and introduce yourself to the community in the "Welcome - please introduce yourself!" topic. Check out the GSoC category there for questions and updates.
  4. Join our developers mailing list to keep track of what's going on in our development community. To help control the volume of email our developers received, do not introduce yourself or ask questions about a GSoC project on this mailing list without first contacting its mentor (listed here) directly.
  5. Join our IRC channel and introduce yourself – meet some other community members and tell us about yourself and why OpenMRS is interesting to you. Spend lots of time in IRC getting to know us.
  6. To start, install OpenMRS (just like a user would) and learn a bit about how it works. If you have problems, write to the developers mailing list and we'll help you work through them.
  7. Set up your development environment and fix some simple bugs listed on our Introductory Tickets list. Read Getting Started as a Developer for details on how to do this. This demonstrates that you are self-motivated, makes you familiar to the developer team, and gives you a taste of the development process. Keep track of the issue numbers that you work on. We'll ask you for them in your application.
  8. Join our Developers Forum every Thursday to learn about the latest activities & work happening in our community or join an OpenMRS University call every Wednesday. You can participate by telephone or using your web browser.
  9. Interact with our community. Continue to ask smart questions (what?) on our mailing list or hang out on IRC to ask and answer questions.

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.

Application Requirements & Questions

You should communicate 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 will need 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. (If you don't have one yet, please create one.)
  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.)

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