Blog posts tagged with Engineering

Feb 2, 2013 KV Kiva HQ
As you may know, every two weeks, we push a bunch of updates to the website to make our lenders' lives better. This week, we're announcing some pretty cool changes.

Mobile-optimized checkout flow

We've optimized several pages on the site to make it easier to check out on your phone or tablet. Currently, these include the login and registration pages and the basket pages when you're making a loan. If you use Kiva through a third-party mobile app, you can now check out without any zooming! More page upgrades are coming, so stay tuned!... Continue Reading >>
Feb 2, 2013 KV Kiva HQ

Team message boards update!

For all you awesome lending team members, we've made a number of improvements to the team message boards:

1) Team captains can now post featured messages to communicate important events, goals, initiatives, etc. The featured message will be highlighted as the first post on message boards and will also appear at the beginning of nightly digest emails.

2) We’ve added a panel on the right side to show loans that this team has recently talked about...

Continue Reading >>
Apr 4, 2012 KV Kiva HQ

In February and March, 2012, Kiva moved from Subversion to Git. We're six years old and have used Subversion from the beginning. For a few years, there has been a growing urge to move to Git. Engineers had a mixture of reasons, but I think it was mostly wanting to use the newest, coolest thing. We didn't have a "Git wizard", but a few of us had used it before in various contexts.

GitHub is just a few blocks from Kiva in San Francisco, so I contacted them and we had a field trip. I had seen Scott Chacon speak at ZendCon 2011, and he seemed like a friendly, generous, and smart...

Continue Reading >>
Mar 3, 2011 KV Kiva HQ

At Kiva, our development process is based on Scrum - with work broken into two week Sprints (we call them "Iterations"). We're good students of Scrum in some regards (we do release every two weeks, without fail), and bad students of Scrum in others (it seems like we still bite off more than we can chew in each iteration). Like most Scrum teams, the center of our universe is our ticket tracking system. We use Redmine - albeit a rather customized version. We've put quite a bit of time and effort into our ticket tracking system - so we thought we'd give you a tour.

Redmine Home Page... Continue Reading >>
Feb 2, 2011 KV Kiva HQ

At Kiva, we tend to attract and hire engineers with a strong creative, entrepreneurial streak.  This aligns well with Kiva’s office culture - and with our overall mission - an innovative, technology-driven approach to alleviating poverty.  However, as the team grows and we become more specialized in an effort to become more efficient, sometimes our day to day work doesn’t always give us an outlet for our creative sides.  After a long project involving concepts like currency exchange loss, it’s easy to feel like you spend your entire working life chasing a few misbehaving...

Continue Reading >>
Jan 1, 2011 KV Kiva HQ

2010 was a year of growth for Kiva Engineering.  We started the year with 8 full time engineers (and 2 managers) and ended the year with 14 engineers - a growth rate of 75%.  We also kicked off 2010 with a switch to a new ticket tracking system (Redmine), that allowed us to more accurately track exactly what we've been up to.  Let's take a look shall we.... Kiva Engineering is an Agile shop, operating roughly on a traditional Scrum model with two week Sprints (we call them "iterations").  We use "tickets" to track both defects in the existing product, as well as...

Continue Reading >>
Jan 1, 2011 KV Kiva HQ

The engineering team at Kiva is going through the process of examining the rich set of technologies available for improving user experiences on Kiva's website.  One such technology is the CSS grid. I recently spent some time evaluating and reading up on some of the different options that are out there, ultimately whittling down to 4 CSS grids that seemed to represent a good spectrum of what grids have to offer.

After implementing mockups with 1Kb, The Golden Grid, YAML, and 960gs our team came to the following recommendations:
  • Do not expect to use any of...
Continue Reading >>
Nov 11, 2010 KV Kiva HQ

On Monday Nov 15th, in an effort to better conform to industry standards, Kiva will be changing the definition of "Delinquency Rate" appearing on www.kiva.org site and in the /partner section of the API. Please refer to the Kiva blog for more detailed information come Monday.

Continue Reading >>
Nov 11, 2010 KV Kiva HQ

If you're an avid Twitter user, you may have already noticed Kiva loans popping up in your timeline. So now even Twitter's using the Kiva API? Sorta… we actually created a new web service just for our friends across SoMA, but it's based on an open standard that anyone can use. It's called oEmbed and it looks like this: http://www.kiva.org/services/oembed?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.kiva.org%2Flend%2F99871&format=jsonPass in any Kiva URL and we'll return an embeddable object (HTML, image, etc.) if it's available. You can detect if a page is embeddable by checking for a LINK tag in the HEAD...

Continue Reading >>
Oct 10, 2010 KV Kiva HQ

Yes, it's been way too long since we've posted to the blog - and along the way a lot of cool new apps have popped up, including a re-launch of Kivabank.org and the reincarnation of one of our first projects from the Kiva Developer Garage as a French front door to Kiva, Kiva en Français. However, it took this great video (posted first to the Kiva blog) to get me off my haunches for a new post. Check out this awesome preview to the new Partner API starring Zvi, Chris, and our Mexico partner CrediComun:You'll be seeing more updates soon (both here...

Continue Reading >>
Oct 10, 2010
Kiva is often thought of as a microfinance organization, but at it's core it really is a tech start up that is using technology to alleviate poverty. When you think of Kiva as a tech startup the first thing that comes to mind is our lender...
Continue Reading >>
Jul 7, 2009 KV Kiva HQ

We were excited to see a new app roll out this week-- created by developer Amol Mittal from San Francisco.  When Amol noticed that the current Kiva badges were geared towards specific publishing platforms (namely wordpress and facebook), he decided to create something that could work for multiple platforms.

 

 

Humsara makes it easy to embed your personal loan portfolio in a slide-show format directly into your website.  Let's learn more about the developer behind...

Continue Reading >>
Jul 7, 2009 KV Kiva HQ

This week's Behind the Apps is a guest post from Vaibhav Domkundwar, Founder of Better Labs. His team created the popular Kiva Alerts app, which is being featured on the Kiva.org homepage. Hi there! My name is Vaibhav Domkundwar and I am an entrepreneur and founder of , a small product incubation firm where we like to experiment with development very early stage concepts and products. We work with founders in the concept stages of their startups (most times the company is not even incorporated) as co-founders to prototype concepts, test, iterate and build customer-...

Continue Reading >>
Jul 7, 2009 KV Kiva HQ

The much-anticipated Kiva iPhone App is almost ready to be launched.  According to the developers, they are 80% of the way there.  And the home-stretch depends on the amount of help they can get for final modifications.  If you're interested in helping, or just want to stay updated, follow the updates on Twitter @kiva4iphone. I met Jon & Laura, the app developers, at the Kiva Dev Happy Hour and then again at the Kiva Dev Garage.  Their mission is to help Kiva spread the word, and to ultimately increase the amount of loans that change lives....

Continue Reading >>
Jul 7, 2009 KV Kiva HQ

If you like data, you'll like Kivalytics.  This Kiva App is a nifty set of graphs looking at loans. 

For example, you can view a bar graph of loans by country, and see that Peru has by far the most loan dollars, followed by Cambodia. Hovering over any of the bars gives you the exact number of loans.  Some other things I learned from Kivalytics:

  • Food and retail are the two most popular sectors, education and entertainment are the smallest
  • Behind the US dollar, the most common disbursal...
Continue Reading >>
Jul 7, 2009 KV Kiva HQ

Ok, almost. We launched data snapshots this week. For the first time you can grab a snapshot of the Kiva data through a single download here at build.kiva.org. Many of you working on data have been asking for this to simplify your study. For now we only capture individual information for a loan or a lender, but this will expand going forward as we have feedback from those of you using the snapshots. For those already doing data analysis on Kiva, we encourage you to switch to snapshots where possible to reduce load on our API servers. For those of you pulling extensive amounts of Kiva...

Continue Reading >>
Jun 6, 2009 KV Kiva HQ

Kiva World, one of the earliest and most coveted Kiva Apps, was created by a team of developers in Northern Italy. The company is called Wonsys S.r.l. and was founded by Simone Dall'Angelo, Michele Finotto and Matteo Nodari. And although I tried to convince Kiva to send me there for this interview. I settled on a few email exchanges. Kiva World is a user-friendly google maps mashup of real time loans on Kiva. The Wonsys team describes it best:  “It's nice to have a glance at world map and see what's happening, who...

Continue Reading >>
Jun 6, 2009 KV Kiva HQ

Kiva World, one of the earliest and most coveted Kiva Apps, was created by a team of developers in Northern Italy. The company is called Wonsys S.r.l. and was founded by Simone Dall'Angelo, Michele Finotto and Matteo Nodari. And although I tried to convince Kiva to send me there for this interview, I settled on a few email exchanges. Kiva World is a user-friendly google maps mashup of real time loans on Kiva. The Wonsys team describes it best:  “It's nice to have a glance at world map and see what's happening,...

Continue Reading >>
Jun 6, 2009 KV Kiva HQ

Kiva Ads is a nifty tool that allows you to customize ads to embed into your website.  For example, a woman's organization promoting health in Africa can now make ads to promote borrowers that align with their mission.  You can sort by gender, loan status, sector, and region:

Then you are given the code to a dynamic, rotating ad that sorts through entrepreneurs according to your criteria:

According to the developer, Rajat Mittal, the main audience...

Continue Reading >>
Jun 6, 2009 KV Kiva HQ

You've built it, now how can we get people using it? You may have seen the new App Gallery, which launched on Tuesday.   This is a good way for Kiva.org users to find useful tools.   And in just a few weeks, we'll be linking to the App Gallery from the homepage.   When we find a cool app, we tweet, facebook, and blog our hearts out.  But what else can Kiva do to support and advertise these great apps?  We'd love to hear your ideas.

Continue Reading >>
Jun 6, 2009 KV Kiva HQ

Kiva Data is a handy set of charts taking a macro look at Kiva's micro loans.   A look at the heat map of loans by country reveal that Peru and Cambodia have the highest amount of loans, with 11,814 and 10,569 respectively. Kiva Data also looks at top uses for loans, analyzing free-text of borrower profiles. Among top phrases, TO BUY A COW appears 136 times.  And 109 borrowers will "USE THE MONEY TO DIVERSIFY AND EXPAND MY BUSINESS". Other interesting charts are Borrower Gender, Minutes Between Posted Date & Funded Date, Loan Size, and more. I got a chance to speak...

Continue Reading >>
Jun 6, 2009 KV Kiva HQ

Thanks to everyone who came out to the Kiva's first Developer's Garage today!  We worked on five apps: Kiva iPhone, Wordpress Plugin, Facebook App, JavaScript Browser, and a special secret widget that we'll disclose next week.  Check out this great video put together by @thomasknoll and @pistachio.

Continue Reading >>
Jun 6, 2009 KV Kiva HQ

Kiva + (a tool from Ahkun) lets you track individual loans, or your entire loan profile in new ways. For example, by typing in the Kiva Loan ID here, you're able to see a graph comparing Expected vs. Actual Payments of a particular loan: Similarly, entering your Lender ID displays loans by list or pie chart.  We got a chance to talk to Sanjaya Punyaesena, developer of this tool.  Sanjaya is a former Kiva Fellow, who currently works for a Kiva Field Partner. Tell us about yourself...

Continue Reading >>
Jun 6, 2009 KV Kiva HQ

In the month of May, you voted for your favorite Kiva Apps.  Over 400 people voted, and the results are in!

#1 KIVA ALERTS: A suite of tools for facebook, mobile, and the web that tell alert you when loans of your interest appear on Kiva.

#2 KIVA WORLD: A live map of global Kiva loans in all stages: fundraising, funded, in repayment, and paid. Click on the markers to read more about the entrepreneur in the area.

#3 KIVA HEADS: Lets you browse loans on Facebook, and show off your loans in your Facebook page.

The winners...

Continue Reading >>
May 5, 2009 KV Kiva HQ

The past several weeks we have been busy adding a lot of new features to the Kiva API. Let's take a look at what's new... Lending Teams - This has probably been the most requested new feature, and of course by those with their own lending team sites. You can now fetch detailed information about a team (or a set of teams), and fetch all lenders or loans associated with a team. Baskets on Kiva.org - We see this as perhaps the most powerful new feature available to API-based applications –the ability to pre-compose baskets and send the user directly to...

Continue Reading >>

Pages

Blog posts tagged with Engineering

Feb 2, 2013 KV Kiva HQ
As you may know, every two weeks, we push a bunch of updates to the website to make our lenders' lives better. This week, we're announcing some pretty cool changes.

Mobile-optimized checkout flow

We've optimized several pages on the site to make it easier to check out on your phone or tablet. Currently, these include the login and registration pages and the basket pages when you're making a loan. If you use Kiva through a third-party mobile app, you can now check out without any zooming! More page upgrades are coming, so stay tuned!... Continue Reading >>
Feb 2, 2013 KV Kiva HQ

Team message boards update!

For all you awesome lending team members, we've made a number of improvements to the team message boards:

1) Team captains can now post featured messages to communicate important events, goals, initiatives, etc. The featured message will be highlighted as the first post on message boards and will also appear at the beginning of nightly digest emails.

2) We’ve added a panel on the right side to show loans that this team has recently talked about...

Continue Reading >>
Apr 4, 2012 KV Kiva HQ

In February and March, 2012, Kiva moved from Subversion to Git. We're six years old and have used Subversion from the beginning. For a few years, there has been a growing urge to move to Git. Engineers had a mixture of reasons, but I think it was mostly wanting to use the newest, coolest thing. We didn't have a "Git wizard", but a few of us had used it before in various contexts.

GitHub is just a few blocks from Kiva in San Francisco, so I contacted them and we had a field trip. I had seen Scott Chacon speak at ZendCon 2011, and he seemed like a friendly, generous, and smart...

Continue Reading >>
Mar 3, 2011 KV Kiva HQ

At Kiva, our development process is based on Scrum - with work broken into two week Sprints (we call them "Iterations"). We're good students of Scrum in some regards (we do release every two weeks, without fail), and bad students of Scrum in others (it seems like we still bite off more than we can chew in each iteration). Like most Scrum teams, the center of our universe is our ticket tracking system. We use Redmine - albeit a rather customized version. We've put quite a bit of time and effort into our ticket tracking system - so we thought we'd give you a tour.

Redmine Home Page... Continue Reading >>
Feb 2, 2011 KV Kiva HQ

At Kiva, we tend to attract and hire engineers with a strong creative, entrepreneurial streak.  This aligns well with Kiva’s office culture - and with our overall mission - an innovative, technology-driven approach to alleviating poverty.  However, as the team grows and we become more specialized in an effort to become more efficient, sometimes our day to day work doesn’t always give us an outlet for our creative sides.  After a long project involving concepts like currency exchange loss, it’s easy to feel like you spend your entire working life chasing a few misbehaving...

Continue Reading >>
Jan 1, 2011 KV Kiva HQ

2010 was a year of growth for Kiva Engineering.  We started the year with 8 full time engineers (and 2 managers) and ended the year with 14 engineers - a growth rate of 75%.  We also kicked off 2010 with a switch to a new ticket tracking system (Redmine), that allowed us to more accurately track exactly what we've been up to.  Let's take a look shall we.... Kiva Engineering is an Agile shop, operating roughly on a traditional Scrum model with two week Sprints (we call them "iterations").  We use "tickets" to track both defects in the existing product, as well as...

Continue Reading >>
Jan 1, 2011 KV Kiva HQ
By Gabriel Castillo

The engineering team at Kiva is going through the process of examining the rich set of technologies available for improving user experiences on Kiva's website.  One such technology is the CSS grid. I recently spent some time evaluating and reading up on some of the different options that are out there, ultimately whittling down to 4 CSS grids that seemed to represent a good spectrum of what grids have to offer.

After implementing mockups with 1Kb, The Golden Grid, YAML, and 960gs our team came to the following recommendations:
  • Do not expect to use any of...
Continue Reading >>
Nov 11, 2010 KV Kiva HQ

On Monday Nov 15th, in an effort to better conform to industry standards, Kiva will be changing the definition of "Delinquency Rate" appearing on www.kiva.org site and in the /partner section of the API. Please refer to the Kiva blog for more detailed information come Monday.

Continue Reading >>
Nov 11, 2010 KV Kiva HQ
By Skylar Woodward

If you're an avid Twitter user, you may have already noticed Kiva loans popping up in your timeline. So now even Twitter's using the Kiva API? Sorta… we actually created a new web service just for our friends across SoMA, but it's based on an open standard that anyone can use. It's called oEmbed and it looks like this: http://www.kiva.org/services/oembed?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.kiva.org%2Flend%2F99871&format=jsonPass in any Kiva URL and we'll return an embeddable object (HTML, image, etc.) if it's available. You can detect if a page is embeddable by checking for a LINK tag in the HEAD...

Continue Reading >>
Oct 10, 2010 KV Kiva HQ

Yes, it's been way too long since we've posted to the blog - and along the way a lot of cool new apps have popped up, including a re-launch of Kivabank.org and the reincarnation of one of our first projects from the Kiva Developer Garage as a French front door to Kiva, Kiva en Français. However, it took this great video (posted first to the Kiva blog) to get me off my haunches for a new post. Check out this awesome preview to the new Partner API starring Zvi, Chris, and our Mexico partner CrediComun:You'll be seeing more updates soon (both here...

Continue Reading >>
Oct 10, 2010
Kiva is often thought of as a microfinance organization, but at it's core it really is a tech start up that is using technology to alleviate poverty. When you think of Kiva as a tech startup the first thing that comes to mind is our lender...
Continue Reading >>
Jul 7, 2009 KV Kiva HQ

We were excited to see a new app roll out this week-- created by developer Amol Mittal from San Francisco.  When Amol noticed that the current Kiva badges were geared towards specific publishing platforms (namely wordpress and facebook), he decided to create something that could work for multiple platforms.

 

 

Humsara makes it easy to embed your personal loan portfolio in a slide-show format directly into your website.  Let's learn more about the developer behind...

Continue Reading >>
Jul 7, 2009 KV Kiva HQ

This week's Behind the Apps is a guest post from Vaibhav Domkundwar, Founder of Better Labs. His team created the popular Kiva Alerts app, which is being featured on the Kiva.org homepage. Hi there! My name is Vaibhav Domkundwar and I am an entrepreneur and founder of , a small product incubation firm where we like to experiment with development very early stage concepts and products. We work with founders in the concept stages of their startups (most times the company is not even incorporated) as co-founders to prototype concepts, test, iterate and build customer-...

Continue Reading >>
Jul 7, 2009 KV Kiva HQ

The much-anticipated Kiva iPhone App is almost ready to be launched.  According to the developers, they are 80% of the way there.  And the home-stretch depends on the amount of help they can get for final modifications.  If you're interested in helping, or just want to stay updated, follow the updates on Twitter @kiva4iphone. I met Jon & Laura, the app developers, at the Kiva Dev Happy Hour and then again at the Kiva Dev Garage.  Their mission is to help Kiva spread the word, and to ultimately increase the amount of loans that change lives....

Continue Reading >>
Jul 7, 2009 KV Kiva HQ

If you like data, you'll like Kivalytics.  This Kiva App is a nifty set of graphs looking at loans. 

For example, you can view a bar graph of loans by country, and see that Peru has by far the most loan dollars, followed by Cambodia. Hovering over any of the bars gives you the exact number of loans.  Some other things I learned from Kivalytics:

  • Food and retail are the two most popular sectors, education and entertainment are the smallest
  • Behind the US dollar, the most common disbursal...
Continue Reading >>
Jul 7, 2009 KV Kiva HQ
By Skylar Woodward

Ok, almost. We launched data snapshots this week. For the first time you can grab a snapshot of the Kiva data through a single download here at build.kiva.org. Many of you working on data have been asking for this to simplify your study. For now we only capture individual information for a loan or a lender, but this will expand going forward as we have feedback from those of you using the snapshots. For those already doing data analysis on Kiva, we encourage you to switch to snapshots where possible to reduce load on our API servers. For those of you pulling extensive amounts of Kiva...

Continue Reading >>
Jun 6, 2009 KV Kiva HQ

Kiva World, one of the earliest and most coveted Kiva Apps, was created by a team of developers in Northern Italy. The company is called Wonsys S.r.l. and was founded by Simone Dall'Angelo, Michele Finotto and Matteo Nodari. And although I tried to convince Kiva to send me there for this interview. I settled on a few email exchanges. Kiva World is a user-friendly google maps mashup of real time loans on Kiva. The Wonsys team describes it best:  “It's nice to have a glance at world map and see what's happening, who...

Continue Reading >>
Jun 6, 2009 KV Kiva HQ

Kiva World, one of the earliest and most coveted Kiva Apps, was created by a team of developers in Northern Italy. The company is called Wonsys S.r.l. and was founded by Simone Dall'Angelo, Michele Finotto and Matteo Nodari. And although I tried to convince Kiva to send me there for this interview, I settled on a few email exchanges. Kiva World is a user-friendly google maps mashup of real time loans on Kiva. The Wonsys team describes it best:  “It's nice to have a glance at world map and see what's happening,...

Continue Reading >>
Jun 6, 2009 KV Kiva HQ
By Halle Tecco

Kiva Ads is a nifty tool that allows you to customize ads to embed into your website.  For example, a woman's organization promoting health in Africa can now make ads to promote borrowers that align with their mission.  You can sort by gender, loan status, sector, and region:

Then you are given the code to a dynamic, rotating ad that sorts through entrepreneurs according to your criteria:

According to the developer, Rajat Mittal, the main audience...

Continue Reading >>
Jun 6, 2009 KV Kiva HQ
By Halle Tecco

You've built it, now how can we get people using it? You may have seen the new App Gallery, which launched on Tuesday.   This is a good way for Kiva.org users to find useful tools.   And in just a few weeks, we'll be linking to the App Gallery from the homepage.   When we find a cool app, we tweet, facebook, and blog our hearts out.  But what else can Kiva do to support and advertise these great apps?  We'd love to hear your ideas.

Continue Reading >>
Jun 6, 2009 KV Kiva HQ

Kiva Data is a handy set of charts taking a macro look at Kiva's micro loans.   A look at the heat map of loans by country reveal that Peru and Cambodia have the highest amount of loans, with 11,814 and 10,569 respectively. Kiva Data also looks at top uses for loans, analyzing free-text of borrower profiles. Among top phrases, TO BUY A COW appears 136 times.  And 109 borrowers will "USE THE MONEY TO DIVERSIFY AND EXPAND MY BUSINESS". Other interesting charts are Borrower Gender, Minutes Between Posted Date & Funded Date, Loan Size, and more. I got a chance to speak...

Continue Reading >>
Jun 6, 2009 KV Kiva HQ
By Halle Tecco

Thanks to everyone who came out to the Kiva's first Developer's Garage today!  We worked on five apps: Kiva iPhone, Wordpress Plugin, Facebook App, JavaScript Browser, and a special secret widget that we'll disclose next week.  Check out this great video put together by @thomasknoll and @pistachio.

Continue Reading >>
Jun 6, 2009 KV Kiva HQ
By Halle Tecco

Kiva + (a tool from Ahkun) lets you track individual loans, or your entire loan profile in new ways. For example, by typing in the Kiva Loan ID here, you're able to see a graph comparing Expected vs. Actual Payments of a particular loan: Similarly, entering your Lender ID displays loans by list or pie chart.  We got a chance to talk to Sanjaya Punyaesena, developer of this tool.  Sanjaya is a former Kiva Fellow, who currently works for a Kiva Field Partner. Tell us about yourself...

Continue Reading >>
Jun 6, 2009 KV Kiva HQ

In the month of May, you voted for your favorite Kiva Apps.  Over 400 people voted, and the results are in!

#1 KIVA ALERTS: A suite of tools for facebook, mobile, and the web that tell alert you when loans of your interest appear on Kiva.

#2 KIVA WORLD: A live map of global Kiva loans in all stages: fundraising, funded, in repayment, and paid. Click on the markers to read more about the entrepreneur in the area.

#3 KIVA HEADS: Lets you browse loans on Facebook, and show off your loans in your Facebook page.

The winners...

Continue Reading >>
May 5, 2009 KV Kiva HQ

The past several weeks we have been busy adding a lot of new features to the Kiva API. Let's take a look at what's new... Lending Teams - This has probably been the most requested new feature, and of course by those with their own lending team sites. You can now fetch detailed information about a team (or a set of teams), and fetch all lenders or loans associated with a team. Baskets on Kiva.org - We see this as perhaps the most powerful new feature available to API-based applications –the ability to pre-compose baskets and send the user directly to...

Continue Reading >>

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