What a fun, exciting, and rewarding three months it has been! I had the opportunity to work with some wonderful folks on the Mifos team, visit several interesting MFIs in Bangalore, India and Nairobi, Kenya, and work through some very intriguing design problems- both trying to take advantage of cutting edge technology and design while also being cognizant of the impact and cost of relearning. But it was a large project and the design is not done.
I plan to continue to work with Mifos as an “actual volunteer” to wrap up designs that I’m working on as well as to provide guidelines for future designers. I also plan to help them tap into more design and engineering talent at VMware for Take 3 (3 months) or shorter (1-5 day) service projects.
There’s so much tech talent in the Silicon Valley (and elsewhere), it’s a shame not more of it is utilized for volunteer work. So, all you engineers, designers, project managers, and even business leaders out there – if your idea of “volunteering” is sorting or preparing food at the local food bank, pounding nails for Habitat for Humanity, or door-to-door canvassing for your favorite candidate – be prepared to think again. If you’d rather utilize your career skills to further the development of service organizations, opportunities await you! Plenty of service organizations are seeing the opportunity for technology to improve the lives of the less fortunate and they need your skills!
Of course, if you want to sort food, build houses, and canvass, you should do that too!
The Mifos project and others searching for tech talent can be found at:
So get out there and give back your tech skills!