My Google Code-In 2018 adventure with Mifos Initiative as a grand prize winner

Bruno Kawka
Dec 12, 2018 · 4 min read

Over 3000 students from 77 countries completed 15323 tasks with 27 open source organizations. The 54 Grand Prize Winners from 19 countries won a trip to a Google HQ in San Francisco.

It’s been an amazing 50 days spent on participating in the Google Code-In contest, where I’ve been able to improve in the Android Development as well as on the UI/UX design branch. I also had an opportunity to complete 2 tasks by automatizing them using Python language, which gave me a lot of fun and new experience!

But… What is Google Code-in?

To be brief, It’s an international contest focused on Software Development & Open-Source.

Google Code-in logo

Since the beginning, I wanted to dive into the Android projects, so I’ve done some research before participating and found organizations which maintain projects in this field. Finally, I’ve chosen the Mifos Initiative which is a sub-organization of Digital Impact Alliance.

Mifos Initiative logo

What GCI gave me?

So much new experience.

I’ve been involved in 2 Android projects: MifosPay & Self-Service-App. I’ve had an occasion to work in a much larger code-base than ever before. First few days were really hard for me since I have been trying to make myself familiar with the project structure and overall contributions standards. After some time I felt much more confident about diving into such mature projects with so many dependencies inside.

The most interesting tasks

GCI completed tasks

Mifos mentors did a great job of creating a variety of tasks. I’ve done 38 of them and the most interesting were:

Organize issues and pull requests of organization GitHub repository, by labeling them dependably to its state.

To have a closer look at this task, take a look at some labels for pull requests:

  • Ready to be merged — It has been reviewed, and no changes requested by the reviewer / Requested changes were accepted
  • Changes Needed — If it’s been reviewed, and some changes were requested by the reviewer
  • Need Review — It hasn’t been reviewed yet

On first glance, these were very easy tasks to accomplish, so I’ve decided to solve them in a different way; thanks to the Github and Google Sheets APIs I’ve been able to create Python scripts which automatize the documentation process, and instead of wasting a couple of hours on manually labeling those issues, you can document the whole repository in less than 5 minutes. For more info, you might want to visit the project repository.

Easy pulls documentation

All tasks related to the MifosPay app redesign and its implementation

Due to one of the GCI tasks where participants had to report MifosPay app issues, I’ve suggested changing the actual layout by creating a completely new UI/UX proposal. I love the newest Material Design 2.0 and so I’ve created a proposal designed according to the md2.0 standards. I’ve been also working on the new layout implementation (Check out the redesign branch!)

  • Mifos — Design a Mifos T-Shirt

Designing the T-Shirt was also a great experience. I made some clean proposal by changing the official logo to the outlined globe which includes organization keywords

Overall summary of the GCI 2018

As I mentioned before, it’s been a great experience to participate in the Google Code-In contest. I’ve gained so much new knowledge and have had the opportunity to participate in such a great open-source community. I would love to thank all mentors and people engaged in the contest for doing such a great job, being so active and supportive. Unfortunately, it was the last time I could take part in the contest, but I’ll participate in such similar events in the future for sure.

Bruno Kawka

Written by

Software engineering passionate focused on Android, with an eye for design.

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