OpenMRS Volunteer of the Month: Mayank Sharma and Taremwa Tadeo

Congratulations to both @maany and @taremwatadeo as they have been nominated by their peers as September’s Volunteer of The Month!

We want to acknowledge their work and commitment to the OpenMRS community, so we asked them a few questions to learn more about who they are.

Mayank Sharma

Mayank Sharma, tell us a little about your background:

My name is Mayank Sharma (@maany). I have just completed my summer internship at CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) and am starting my final year of undergraduate student at National Institute of Technology, Delhi. I am majoring in Electronics and Communications Engineering but I spend most of my evenings after classes programming or tinkering with new technology I can get my hands on. Rewinding a little bit – I started out as a 3d animation and vfx guy and took a diploma in 3dsMax in my 7th grade because I wanted to make a full-fledged 3d movie. Since then, I started learning and programming in C/C++/ OpenGL and Java. In Feb 2014, I got my OCJP certification. I accumulated experience in computer graphics, 3d animation and game dev and so in my freshman year, I got selected for GSoC 2014. My project was to create a Cinematics editor for jMonkeyEngine. That’s how I got started with Open Source Software and I have really enjoyed contributing as it is a lot of fun and a great learning experience. I continued contributing to Open Source and was a successful GsoC 2015 student for OpenMRS. It was probably my best GsoC and I am glad to have had amazing mentors who supported me to continue contributing to the organization.

I got started with OpenMRS in March 2015, during FOSSASIA conference in Singapore where I met with Michael Downey and Harsha Siriwardena. Interesting fact, in March 2016, I was again in Singapore with Michael attending FOSSASIA but this time I was representing OpenMRS alongside him.

How did you get interested in OpenMRS?

In March last year, I was representing jMonkeyEngine at FOSSASIA 2015 and I was really excited to meet FOSS developers from all over the world. One of my goals for the conference was I really wanted to use my skills to something that really makes a difference, beyond all the fun stuff I had been doing and explore some serious issues where I could be helpful.

So there, when I read about the OpenMRS session on the schedule, the line “Write code. Save lives” really got my attention. I then attended Harsha Siriwardhena’s talk on OpenMRS and he told about how the project is making a difference in different parts of Africa. Also, as I’m from India where we are still getting there in terms of healthcare services, I got excited to learn how I can contribute to OpenMRS and explore possibilities of using it to improve healthcare services around me. I’m really glad OpenMRS provided me that opportunity.

How do you participate in the community (What activities, projects, role, etc)?

I work with the infrastructure team as the Developer Tools Manager. Some responsibilities include taking care of JIRA/ Confluence, Git repos, Nexus repository and Modulus. Hats off to our infra team for all they do! I was also the Release Manager for Platform 2.0. It is the first major release we’ve made in a long time and aligns us with the latest trends in web development. Platform 2.0 lays the foundation for innovative and modular web development on top of OpenMRS. The whole experience of releasing Platform 2.0 was really humbling for me. It not only shows how we have advanced in out software distributions but also how strong we are as a community.

I am also an ex-GSoC student for OpenMRS. In 2015, I worked on the Oauth2 module under the mentorship of Harsha Kumara and Suranga Kasthururathne. I was also the scrum master for about 6 months before starting my internship at CERN. I am a self-proclaimed OpenMRS Evangelist. I really love introducing new people to our community and helping them in the initial phases to get started. I remember when Shreyans Seth (bholagabbar) first talked to me about how to get started with OpenMRS. It was amazing to see him become a successful GsoC 2016 student for us and even now he continues to impress with his sharp mind and skills.

What are your favorite things to do in your free time?

I like to travel and explore the world. I have doing a lot of it lately! I also like to play the guitar or compose music. Sometimes I just do hackathons for fun or play CS:GO

What’s your favorite OpenMRS moment or tell us what makes OpenMRS special to you?

My favorite OpenMRS moment definitely comes from the OpenMRS Summit last year. It was the first OpenMRS meetup I had attended and it was great meeting everyone in the community; especially the implementers. It was there when I realized that the words “Write Code, Save Lives” are not just random text on paper, but it is the cause each and every person in that building cares so sincerely about. The stories from PIH, Project Buendia, Bahmni and the positive energy in the environment created by people trying to make the world a better place was really very humbling and something I can never forget. It inspires me every time I think about it!!

Taremwa Tadeo

Taremwa Tadeo, tell us a little about your background:

My name is Taremwa Tadeo (@taremwatadeo). I am Ugandan by nationality and I love to serve my nation and all of humanity. I am a student at Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda, earning my bachelors of science in software engineering. I’m now in year four and I am also serving as the President in the College of Computing at Makerere University.

How did you get interested in OpenMRS?

I started with OpenMRS about two years ago. Since the first time when I was introduced to OpenMRS by Daniel Kayiwa, I loved the idea and since then I have tried very hard to fit in and give my best to the community.

How do you participate in the community (What activities, projects, role, etc)?

I participate as an implementer, tester, and developer (though I am still in the learning process).

What are your favorite things to do in your free time?

Most of my free time I spend learning about OpenMRS, but since I am a full-time student, as well as a student leader, I am always occupied with school work, I have a limited amount of free time.

I also volunteer on training and talking to secondary school students about ICT, motivation and encouraging them on innovations and sharing knowledge.

What’s your favorite OpenMRS moment or tell us what makes OpenMRS special to you?

My favorite moment is when am talking to people about OpenMRS and ICT at large, especially with the young people.

All I can say is I love being at OpenMRS, working with the people, and getting involved in the conversation. I think when I hear people testify how OpenMRS is changing their lives – how it is easing the hospital works – is what makes OpenMRS special and what makes me also want to keep going and contributing to the community.

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