As April 23 approaches, the heart-beat level rises in every students’ body for a one reason - its Google Summer of Code a.k.a GSoC. 

Google Summer of Code is a global program that offers post-secondary student developers ages 18 and older stipends to write code for various open source software projects. They have to work with open source, free software, and open technology-related groups over a three month period. Google Summer of Code is a highly competitive program with a limited number of spots. I am proud to be part of it this year.

My name is Harsha Sanjeewa Siriwardena, 3rd Year, IT Undergraduate who studies in SLIIT and lives in Colombo, SriLanka. I am a Simple, Cool guy enjoy Coding, Android development, Open source and learning new Technological stuff.

I am planning to implement Project idea called Better Error Submission Process - Feedback Module for OpenMRS as a part of GSoC 2012. This post will give a short description of the process I went through to make it to coding for OpenMRS project through GSoC 2012.

I chose OpenMRS as my organization. Why? After taking a look at Gsoc list, Among all these projects, organizations the relatively coolest Project is called "OpenMRS" which is my favorite. I loved their idea. "Write Codes, Save Lives!" As it sounds, its a Medical Record Management System, which is widely used in many countries globally as a Free and Open source software product. And that’s totally awesome! I really wanted to be part of this wonderful project. No matter even after the end of Gsoc 2012, for sure I will remain with this marvelous Open Source Community. So, when did I start to get involved? It was year 2012, January. Yeah I started bit early cause I had a serious intension to get through gsoc this year.  

Before started contributing OpenMRS, I have completed a 6 months Internship at hSenid Mobile where I gained lots of experience in Industrial Software Engineering. Those experience at office was really helpful for me to work in OpenMRS project as both Organizations were using almost the same technologies for developing stuff. I am pretty much familiar with J2EE and related its Technologies as OpenMRS uses J2EE at its core too. I still remember the great supervision I got  from Mr. Jason, Mr. Romith and Mr. Thilina at hSenid Mobile. In this occasion I should advert them too.

In the pre-gsoc period I was gathering information about Gsoc. These days Pradeeban Ayya, Nirmal Ayya, Suhothayan Ayya helped me a lot to get a quick jump start. (Sorry! "Ayya" means brother in my mother lang :) Specially Pradeeban Ayya did a excellent job from his Blog Articles to teach us the Basics of Gsoc, IRC/Mailing list Ethics and other random facts of a Open Source Communities. I attend to Apache BarCamp (Thanks to WSO2) held at University of Colombo, SriLanka which I have learnt lots of Gsoc related stuff (How, why, what?) and how self motivation affects to get through gsoc.  

And finally, I worked with Gaurav Paliwal, Suranga Kasthurirathne, who are Senior Developers and Mentors of OpenMRS. They were really, really helpful. Guided me right from basics of OpenMRS and helped me out at every difficult stage of the project. And whole OpenMRS Developers Community was wonderful. Whenever I got problems regarding developments, fixing bug ticketsreplied as soon as they got time to answer via IRC and Mailing lists. That’s totally cool!

I hacked a bit of OpenMRS Core modules and Patched few tickets. I almost spent my time Coding OpenMRS for more than 9 hours a day in those previous months since Feb 2012. Earlier January of 2012, I have done an interesting OpenMRS English to Sinhala Localization contribution with the help of several people. That was a significant milestone of my OpenMRS related work, which really grew-up my love towards OpenMRS.

Then came the news of GSoC 2012. And OpenMRS made its way to the selected organizations list this time too! So It was a great pleasure for me knowing that I had the chance to work on my favorite project as part of Google Summer of Code 2012.

I started preparing the Proposal for Better Error Submission Process for FDBK Module which is an extension of the project General Feedback Mechanism in OpenMRS. The main objective of the Feedback module is to provide a mechanism for users to communicate with system supporters/admins with system-related (not patient-specific) messages, refactoring the error submission process and make it more easy and effective preferably a wizard driven one. Finally I thought only to stick with this project idea as my main Gsoc Proposal and tried to make it more effective and a Strong one.

And after all the discussions, I was able to fine tune my Project proposal and submitted. The list of accepted proposals were out by GMT 1900 hours (00.30 AM in here) on April 23rd, 2012 on the Google melange site and I was glad to see my name on the List and on the OpenMRS 2012 GSoccers Landing page

So now (as soon as my Final exam finishes in May 4th) I am going to work in one of the coolest projects in the open source world as part of the Google Summer of Code. I am really proud and happy to be at this place!

Thanks for Reading my Gsoc-Story this far! :)


Other related Links.
  1. GSoc 2012 - Accepted Students From Sri Lanka
  2. OpenMRS - GSoC 2012 Landing Page
  3. List of all projects accepted into GSoC 2012
  4. Project Proposal - Better Error Submission Process for FDBK Module