Star Contributor of the Month for December – Michael Vorburger

Each month we’re going to honor one of our top volunteer contributors from around the world.  Volunteers commit countless hours of their time, energy, and knowledge into building and extending the Mifos platform to make it accessible to microfinance institutions serving the poor.    For the month of December, we’re showcasing Michael Vorburger who recently joined the Mifos community to make valuable contributions migrating our issue tracker over to JIRA.

Michael Vorburger – Lausanne, Switzerland

Brief Bio (in the words of Michael): I have a computer science degree from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL). Over the years, I have worked in a variety of environments & roles, from setting up some networking infrastructure and websites for the International Peace Bureau in Geneva to building my own small software business developing and marketing web tools, to working around IP multicast switching with Cisco Systems in California, to some kind of highly configurable CRM solution supporting pharmaceutical companies with their innovation and intellectual property management chain.

My current day job is with Odyssey Financial Technologies, a leading wealth and asset management software vendor where in the past 3+ years I have held a number of management roles in Technology and Architecture groups, most recently with a responsibility for the company’s Eclipse-based SDK and implementation tooling strategy and development. Somewhere along the lines I co-authored a book on the Java Data Objects (JDO) API, tried some stuff around the $100 Laptop Project (, and this summer enjoyed organizing a class teaching 8 year olds programming using

Relevant Skills/OS Experience: Java, Spring, ORM & Persistence, Maven, Frameworks, Architecture, Web Dev, Linux, OS projects & communities, Agile Methodology, Infrastructure, Tooling, Software Quality, Banking, People

Discovering Mifos: Michael actually first heard about Mifos 3.5 years ago on in June 2006. He never got beyond writing up a list of thing he WOULD do instead of starting to DO just one of them until last October.   Checking back in on Mifos was natural when he had some “free cycles” during evenings home alone when his family was visiting his wife’s home country, India.  Motivated by his virtual “meeting” with Adam Monsen on IRC, and a short chat on the POTS phone 1/2h later, Michael asked where could be of use and we suggested the Issue Tracker to JIRA migration project.  He took a closer look, and began making his impactful contribution to our whole community.

Michael’s Impact:

Contributions Made to Date: Michael has alleviated many a headache and made our development and QA process much smoother by helping us migrate our issue tracker from to JIRA. Current Projects: Time permitting, Michael may be starting to work on a “pre-packaged” Mifos all-in-one ZIP. What’s Rewarding about Working on Mifos:

Mifos is a great project because developers can contribute open source to something which seems to have a direct impact on improving the lives of hundreds of thousands of people through better software for microfinance institutions.”

Advice for others in the  Mifos Community:

“I’m nobody to give you any advice… maybe just: Keep up the good work!”

Fun Facts about Michael:

Favorite Food: Good Italian and Indian.

Favorite Open Source Project: “Lot’s of good stuff out there, but let me say “Mifos of course!” Here are some others, probably well-known to you all: WebDriver [check it out!], GWT [way to go!], Jetty [great in-process!], Lucene, Hudson, Spring, OpenJPA, Linux”

If Michael could travel to one place in the world, it would be: “Up to Ladakh, maybe.”

Interesting fact about Michael: “I like to build LEGO We Do robots with my son.”

Please visit Michael’s personal websiteblog, and LinkedIn profile to learn more about him.


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