Write Code. Save Lives.

OpenMRS is participating for its 7th year as a mentoring organization for Google Summer of Code™ in 2013. We've enjoyed participating in this great program in the last 6 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.

Program Timeline

We will follow the official Google timeline for the program. In summary:

  • April 8: Official announcement of Google Summer of Code participating organizations.
  • April 8 - April 22: Interns communicate with potential mentors to define projects. Interns work on introductory tickets, submit patches, etc.
  • April 22 - May 3: Intern application period.
  • May 3 - May 24: Mentors review, rate, and select interns.
  • May 27: Accepted interns are announced.
  • Through June 16: Community bonding period.
    • Get to know your fellow interns and mentors.
    • Do the things listed above in "Next Steps" below.
  • June 17: Coding begins!
    • You should have a project plan in place by this date.
    • Important: Commit code early and often!
  • July 29: Mentors send Google a mid-term evaluation of your work.
  • September 16: Plan to finish coding by this date, then use the final week to scrub code, write tests, improve documentation, etc.
  • September 23: "Pencils down." No more coding after this date. Mentors submit their final evaluations.
  • October 1: Results of evaluations are announced.


Congratulations to our interns for Summer 2013! Both GSoC and OPW interns are listed below. Please contact your mentors as soon as possible to discuss next steps during the community bonding period.

If you're a woman interested in getting involved in OpenMRS, you should also check out for the Outreach Program for Women, which runs at the same time as Summer of Code but is also open to non-students and non-developers!

Interns, Mentors, and Projects

The following interns will be working on projects via Google Summer of code and the FOSS Outreach Program for Women in Summer 2013:

Next Steps for Accepted Interns

After accepted interns are announced, here's what should happen:

  1. If you can, attend the next scheduled Developers Forum on 30 May to briefly introduce yourself and meet other interns. Attend as many Developers Forums as your schedule permits.
  2. Contact your mentor immediately. Make a plan to communicate with them regularly - at minimum, once each week. Determine the best way to communicate (e-mail, IRC, IM, VoIP, telephone, etc.).
  3. Double-check your subscription to our developers mailing list to keep track of what's going on in our development community and spend lots of time in our IRC channel with other community members & interns.
  4. 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.
  5. Make sure your development environment is installed and running, and optimized for maximum efficiency.
  6. Review our Conventions page.
  7. Set up a blog for your work on open source projects, including GSoC. Send the URL to Michael Downey. If you don't have a blog yet, you can create one for free at WordPress.com or Blogger.com. You will be required to write a blog post every week about your planning work and project progress during GSoC.
  8. Browse the current OpenMRS code specific to your project and review the requirements for your project together with your mentor.
  9. Agree on final requirements with your mentor, and post a formal written proposal including project schedule (timeline) on which you both agree.
  10. As your time permits, 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!)


What we expect of interns:

What interns should expect of OpenMRS during the summer:

What we expect of mentors:

Helpful Community Resources

Project Presentations

Application Tips

We're happy you were interested in working on OpenMRS during Summer of Code 2013. 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.

TL;DR (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Too_long;_didn't_read): Become an active contributor in our community right away. The sooner you do this, the more familiar we'll be with your name and your work.


  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. Join our developers mailing list to keep track of what's going on in our development community.
  4. 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.
  5. To start, install OpenMRS (just like a user would) and learn a bit about how it works. If you have problems, write the developers mailing list and we'll help you work through them.
  6. 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. You will need to have committed OpenMRS code to submit a successful application.
  7. 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, Skype, and online via Adobe Connect.
  8. Interact with our community. Continue to ask smart questions (what?) on our mailing list or hang out on IRC to ask and answer questions.

Application questions

You should have expected to see the following questions on student applications:

  1. Who are you? What are you studying?
  2. Please provide the URL to your wiki personal space. (If you don't have one yet, please create one.)
  3. Why are you the right person for this task?
  4. Do you have any other commitments we should know about?
  5. List your Java experience.
  6. List your web interface experience.
  7. List any previous experience working with open source projects. (This experience is not a requirement.)
  8. Please provide links to websites created by you and/or source code examples.
  9. Do you have experience with Spring/Hibernate/DWR/HL7/Tomcat/MySQL/AOP? (Experience with any/all is not a requirement.)
  10. What is your preferred method of contact and how should we reach you with it? (phone, email, Skype, IRC, IM, etc.)
  11. Please include your IRC nickname used when visiting our channel previously.
  12. Provide ticket numbers of any patches/code you have committed to the OpenMRS code base.

Checklist for a successful application