Contributor Spotlight: January 2021

Hey Greenstand supporters! Welcome to the first Contributor Spotlight of 2021! This month’s spotlight features Arun Bakt, a member of our Android development team.

Arun is a contributor based in the San Francisco Bay Area. His educational background is in industrial engineering, but most of his career was spent as a backend programmer. He found Greenstand online while looking for meaningful volunteer opportunities that allowed him to refine his Kotlin coding skills and learn Android development. Planting trees and supporting the economically disadvantaged immediately resonated with Arun, and he quickly became an active contributor.

Most of Arun’s work has centered around the development of new Treetracker features. He is one of our main engineering leads, so he has assisted with everything from planter payments to increasing the precision of location data. GPS accuracy is a particularly important aspect of the Treetracker; Arun’s work ensures that GPS coordinates are as precise as possible, regardless of the quality of the photo or the model of smartphone being used. This is especially relevant in developing nations because new, high quality smartphones are often too costly for locals, or unavailable altogether. Without constant improvements to our GPS tracking abilities, we would not be able to verify the existence of trees in extremely remote locations. Location data is critical to tracking trees over time because it allows for each tree’s growth to be attributed properly. Therefore, that verification is essential for making payments to tree growers, which is at the heart of Greenstand’s mission. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Arun lamented that he hasn’t had as many opportunities to interact with nature. However, he feels that his work with Greenstand has allowed him to foster an indirect connection with the natural environment. He was even inspired to plant his very own trees at home! When he is not helping Greenstand reforest the world and create sustainable incomes, Arun is on a career break, enjoying being a stay-at-home dad to an energetic kindergartener. When the pandemic is over and his son goes back to school, Arun plans to begin working full time again. In his rare free time, he enjoys practicing yoga and meditation. 

Thanks for reading Arun’s Contributor Spotlight! Next month we’ll be highlighting our Android development lead Jonathan Muller, one of Arun’s closest teammates on the Android team. See you then!

Erin Baker

Communications Lead, Greenstand

Photo of Arun Bakt