Friday, April 25, 2008

Summer With OpenMRS... & that Life is not FREE

I haven't blogged for a few days and I haven't been able to follow the tech news and follow-up on emails. But today, I feel a bit relaxed and probably have something to share. I haven't talked about myself on this blog, but today may be a little bit of philosophy and personal adventure will come through this post.

I had applied to the Google Summer of Code 2008 for a summer job and I will be working with OpenMRS. To all my students, now you have to believe I'm a student... and Moksh guys/gals I'm still your "MEAN" software architect ;-). Just that along with my services at Moksh, I'll also be contributing code to open-source, and consider this post to be an introduction to OpenMRS...

OpenMRS is a free, open-source, Medical Records System targeted towards developing countries and mainly implemented in HIV/AIDS health-care. You can read the Overview of OpenMRS and I think the OpenMRS community has already done a decent job at its own introduction. Instead, I will talk to you why I'm contributing to OpenMRS.

I realized pretty early in my life that "Humans fear death". Although death is the only sure thing about life, we often forget its quintessential for life. But probably its the fear for suffering that's more deathly than death itself. I wanted to be a doctor after I passed out of high-school, just for the sake of treating people and making them realize the beauty of life. I dropped out to prepare for the State Medical entrance exams and it was in this year of self-turmoil that I learnt from a spiritual guru that we can change lives only through what we loved in life. I realized then, that I've loved computers and programming all my life and that my karma couldn't have been more appropriate to hug my love for computers as tightly as I could. In the following years, I learnt new paradigms of programming, new languages and better ways to write code. I'm still learning and pray to God that the learning never ends...

With the same love, I hope to contribute code to OpenMRS, in a pursuit that it helps change lives. My summer job is to make a "General Registration Module" and you can read the details here. My mentor for this project is Brian McKown and hopefully I'll follow his guidelines and be useful to the OpenMRS community. And along with the fun of contributing, Google pays me $4500 + certificate + Google swag for the 3-months (i.e. if I complete the project successfully) and $500 to my mentor.

I don't think the project I'm doing at OpenMRS is a life-changing contribution by itself, but I hope its a beginning. If we all do our minuscule contribution to a social cause, it can really change lives. We have taken life and what life has given us so lightly that we don't respect it. Our skills may be completely different, but its the desire that can help. Although OpenMRS is FREE, life is not FREE. Give back something to the world, which has given you the skills.

I will be regularly writing about my OpenMRS Module and OpenMRS in general. Please look into the project, contribute and offer advice to me on the project.

4 comments:

Ben Wolfe said...

Technically, the organization gets the $500 and if they choose to give it to the mentor, so be it. Half of the mentors are paid full time to work on OpenMRS, Brian included. He should be so lucky that that money goes to him! :-)

Welcome to OpenMRS! We're certainly excited to have you! I'm looking forward to all of your contributions!

Sagar said...

Good One Sir, Whenz the treat ??

Namrata Nehete said...

Congratulations... I know you'll do a great job this summer. You passion for helping people always comes out when you speak. Good to have u as a friend

Anonymous said...

Summer of Code hasn't been very successful for a lot of people I've heard. Hopefully you wont be ditching it and make useful contributions...