May 11, 2017 KV Kiva HQ
By Jim Edlin [field_fellow_contributors]

From mid-2015 through mid-2016, Kiva’s product, design and engineering teams took on a sizeable, 3-part challenge:  

-- Merge the functionality and content of a separate, “beta” website – Kiva Zip – into Kiva’s main lending website...

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Jan 15, 2015 KV Kiva HQ

Ever wondered what life is like working behind the scenes on Kiva's software systems? If you asked Kiva employees (Kivans as we call them) why they are here, most would agree: When I wake up everyday, I want to go to work. I want to change the world. Kiva's my place to do that. It's a unique platform connecting people across the world that has attracted a talented engineering team driven by a desire to change the world for the better. We call the engineering team Braincrave and you can find us here. We're mission-driven, entrepreneurial folks using the latest technology to... Continue Reading >>

Feb 22, 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! An improved... Continue Reading >>

Feb 5, 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. You can also skip to...

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Apr 10, 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...

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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 10, 2011 KV Kiva HQ
By Cailin Nelson [field_fellow_contributors]

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...

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Jan 19, 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...

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Jan 10, 2011 KV Kiva HQ
By Gabriel Castillo [field_fellow_contributors]

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...
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Nov 12, 2010 KV Kiva HQ
By Chris Whitten [field_fellow_contributors]

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

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