Code for BTV - Building Tools for Civic Good
We're Civic Technologists
Many of our most important institutions suffer from technology problems that can be solved with relatively simple solutions, and that's what Code for BTV does. Think of Code for BTV as a pro-bono digital agency. We pull together teams of volunteers that build new tools for social and civic justice organizations so their hard work goes further.
Traditionally it has been difficult for nonprofits and government organizations to fully capitalize on the promises of digital technology. Custom digital development is an expensive undertaking and requires specialized skills and coordination that is often not accessible to groups that don't have a for-profit mission. Code for America and thus Code for BTV is crowdsourcing a solution to that problem. We are connecting enthusiastic citizens and technologists with civic and non-profit organizations to understand and solve meaningful problems for our community.
Our strength is in the passion and diversity of our membership. Though most of our work produces digital products, we draw on the expertise of all types. For example, members with a background in geography coordinated vermonters in a disaster mapping event following super typhoon Haiyan. Teachers and naturalists worked alongside coders to build Lakecraft, an educational Minecraft world that replicates the Lake Champlain basin. Other projects have been built with help from hospital workers, farmers, social workers, librarians, fishermen and many, many others.
Since its launch in June of 2013, Code for BTV has engaged hundreds of civic hackers on well over 20 projects with an estimated 2,500 hours of volunteer time.
We're Part of the National Effort
Code for BTV is an official local chapter (known as a Brigade) of the national program Code for America. We facilitate sustainable collaborations on civic software and open data projects between coders, designers, and organizations (both governmental and non-governmental) in Vermont. Effectively, we act as a pro-bono digital agency for our partners, covering all aspects of project design, development, and delivery.
While we are based in Burlington, we strive to work on projects that ultimately have state-wide affect. Our leadership team meets in Burlington weekly, but we work our day-jobs in Shelburne, Burlington, and Montpelier. Code for BTV hosts events for civic hackers to come together and work on building and reusing civic apps and support open data initiatives.
We're Part of the Local Effort
We aren't alone in our efforts by any means. Code for BTV program partners include Big Heavy World, Fletcher Free Library, the City of Burlington Mayor's Office, BTV Ignite, NOFA-VT, and the Office of the UVM Vice President for Research. All these groups are doing great things for our community and Code for BTV is working with them to find new ways to help.
"Burlington's membership and participation in the Code for America Brigade will allow us to continue innovating within our City and provide a tremendous opportunity to collaborate with other innovative cities around the country."
Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger
And You Can Be Too
The more members we have, the more problems we can fix. Take a look at how to Get Started with Code for BTV and come give us a hand. If you have other questions or comments, please feel free to contact our Brigade Captains James Lockridge and Nick Floersch.