Hi Captains and Code for All friends,
The Code for America Summit is two months away! Its going to be packed with presentations, conversations, and inspiration. My city partners last year from Kansas City still tell me how the Summit was one of the best experiences they had in local governance.
But ... there was no building stuff. We've heard that folks want to type into computers more this year. The Summit is one time of the year where all of us passionate technologists are together. The potential is apparent to do some great work together quickly.
So we've got space this year, both mornings of the Summit, dedicated to us and whatever we want to do. The policy people are trying to steal these mornings from us, and get us to have unconference discussions with random people instead. I say no! We claim these rooms as coding spaces, and there, we hack!
Here is my proposal:
Morning one - We announce to the thousand attendees, mostly American City Hall employees, that if they come to our hacker space with a certain dataset from their small city, they will return home with an app. We will need to decide before hand what we want that app to be and what we need to do to prepare for it. It will hopefully be a short menu of apps we can make and deliver for them.
Morning two - We decide before hand as a group, the one missing tool or service that we civic hackers need to do our works. Then we build it that morning with our technical prowess.
This will be no mere hackathon my friends, we will have purpose and time for noble works. Though there will be competition for our attention, some great talks happening at the same time, http://codeforamerica.org/summit/schedule/ , I ask what inspires you? Words from talking heads in the rooms nearby or actually practicing your craft with a global cohort? Let us join forces and type code into computers!
Who's with me!