Into Africa (and India)

Passport ImageMy passport is on it’s way to San Francisco to get an Indian Visa attached to it.  I hate letting my passport travel alone – I worry for it’s safety.  I’m crossing my fingers that it arrives home safely soon and then we can travel together!  Travel planning is in the works – I will be meeting with MFIs (micro finance institutions) that use the Mifos in Bangalore, India and Nairobi, Kenya to better understand what they need from the Mifos software.

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Officially part of the Mifos community!

My bio is now added to the Mifos community blog.  So happy to join the team!

Not much to report at the moment:

  • Beginning travel arrangements to visit Mifos clients in India and possibly Kenya so I can better understand how they use the Mifos software and under what conditions (i.e. constant interruption? slow internet? language difficulties?)
  • Formulating questions to ask users from my reading of the functional specs and user manual.

Microfinance is Fascinating!

Screen Shot 2013-03-20 at 11.04.49 PMWhen Ed, the community manager, sent me a link to the “New Microfinance Handbook”, I opened it, saw that it was a 533 page reference tome, and promptly set it aside promising myself I would read it, ahem, “later”.

Wow, what a surprise!  My hat’s off to the authors for taking what could be very dry material and making it readable.  The personal stories really help to imagine what these people’s lives are like and how they save and invest.

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vMeeting Mifos

Screen Shot 2013-03-19 at 11.43.38 PM  “Met” the Mifos team today.  When I say “met”, I mean that I talked with them via Skype while looking at little pictures of them.  The community manager is on the West Coast, the architects are in Ireland, and the engineers are in India.  A real “global” workforce.

There should be a word for “meeting” someone electronically.  E-meet?  iMeet?  vMeet?  (That would be a virtual meeting for you non-VMware folk :-))  There’s gotta be a good word for this that’s not already been coined.  Suggestions?

Take 3 Project Start Today!

Monday, March 18, 2013

MarieTake 3 is an opportunity provided to VMware employees who’ve worked at the company for at least 5 years to take 3 months and work on something completely different from their regular day jobs.  I chose to take the opportunity to apply my UX design skills to a community service project and work with the Community for Open Source Microfinance (COSM) on an application called Mifos.

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