Interested in software for social good or contributing to open-source software?

Open Source Princeton is beginning a long-term open-source mentorship initiative with ThoughtWorks, and you’re invited to join!

We will be picking one of the two projects below — either OpenMRS or MifosX — as a pilot project, so please let us know which one you’d want to work on here by this Saturday (11/9). If you want to work on a different open-source project, please fill out the form anyway so we know whether to recruit more mentors.


OpenMRS is working to build the world’s leading free and open-source platform for electronic medical records. Their mission is to improve health-care delivery in the developing world, where resources are constrained and millions of people suffer from AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria.

  • Background and usage: OpenMRS is used worldwide and is especially popular in Africa, as you can see from the atlas.

  • Tech stack: In the backend, OpenMRS uses mainly Java, plus Spring, Hibernate, MySQL, and Maven. In the frontend, it uses SP, JavaScript, jQuery, AngularJS, and/or LESS/SASS, depending on the module. There may be opportunities for Android mobile development

  • Opportunities for student developers: OpenMRS is a more mature platform than MifosX and has been designed with an architecture that lets people add modules easily. Plus, they’ve mentored student developers in Google Summer of Code for the last seven years. This means that they have a strong mentorship program and students will probably be working on modules of OpenMRS (which have a smaller, easier-to-understand codebase) before the core code.

  • Getting started:  Here are the site and the instructions for getting started. You can try both versions of the software here.


MifosX is a free and open-source platform for microfinance. It allows microfinance institutions to effectively provide financial services to the poor, including savings accounts and small loans to jump-start businesses.

  • Background and usage: MifosX is the next generation of Mifos, a microfinance platform created by Grameen Bank. Mifos currently serves over 1 million low-income clients in 16 countries, and you can find more information here.

  • Tech stack: In the backend, MifosX uses mainly Java, plus Spring, Hibernate, RESTful APIs, MySQL, and Gradle. In the frontend, it uses AngularJS, Bower, and related Javascript libraries. There may be opportunities for Android mobile development.

  • Opportunities for student developers: The entire Mifos platform is being rebuilt from scratch in MifosX. Since it’s currently a work in progress, we would have the opportunity to help design its architecture and make core contributions.

  • Getting started: Here are the site and the instructions for getting started. You can try the software here.

We haven’t finalized the structure of the mentorship, but tentatively we’d meet once a week for 3-4 hours to hack with the project mentors, and work throughout the week individually. Building a community on campus is very important to us.

This opportunity is offered to us through the amazing developers at the ThoughtWorks Humanitarian Software Program, a part of their Social Impact Program. You can read about ThoughtWorks’ involvement in MifosX here.

Again, fill out the form here ASAP and let us know your thoughts on these projects!

You can reach us at opensourceprinceton at gmail dot com. If you aren’t on our mailing list, email us and we’ll add you.