There’s a lot going on in the Code for Philly world right now. Just a few weeks ago we kicked off our hackathon, City as a Service Hackathon (CaaSH). It’s something new for us—instead of a weekend, we’re giving people a month to work on their projects. We’ll see the results of this experiment next week on Tuesday, October 25th. We’re also keeping up our weekly events and looking ahead at what 2017 might look like (stay tuned!). And our OG, Chris Alfano, was elected to the Code for America National Advisory Board.
What I’m personally most excited about is that we’re refreshing our leadership team.
It’s been a long time coming. As much as Code for Philly has changed in the last year, there’s still more work to do. More infrastructure to build, more support mechanisms to provide, and more understanding to develop between government and community.
As I was getting my start at Code for Philly, I felt strongly about putting together a formal structure for the people who were self-motivated about the operations and future of our group. That was early 2015. It was an experiment with imperfect results. Over a year later, Code for Philly has developed even more and is ready for a team who can build, support, and grow the community. Ergo, iteration #2 of the leadership team.
From what I’ve learned in my time in the driver’s seat, Code for Philly is much more complex than coders building apps. It’s a group of volunteers, learners, mentors, experts, beginners, and general changemakers in Philadelphia. It’s a community of practice that goes beyond a single technical skill or type of expertise.
This leadership team is challenged to serve a diverse set of needs by building process for membership and project development, provide clarity of growth yet maintain flexibility, and create more (and better) opportunities to be involved in Code for Philly.
I’m excited in part because it’s another big step in the maturity of our community. A touch more process will let us bring in diverse voices and spread ownership over the mission.
The other reason I’m excited is that I get to be part of one of the most transformative times in 4 people’s lives.
Taking a leadership role in Code for Philly is a large personal and time investment. It’s also incredibly fulfilling. It’s a unique opportunity to try new ideas, have room to make mistakes, and work with other smart, motivated people.
When I very first started at Code for Philly, I didn’t know much about running events, had only done a tiny bit of public speaking, had no idea who made up the civic and/or tech community, and I definitely didn’t know anything about how tech was built.
Just over two years later, I’ve given dozens of talks, presentations and interviews on behalf of Code for Philly about civic tech in both the Philadelphia and national context. The tech and civics scene is a familiar, and seemingly intimate, group to me. And over the last 2 years, I’ve watched and learned how software is developed by an effect I can only describe as osmosis.
Without exaggeration, my personal and professional development are a direct result of my experience at Code for Philly. My goal is to recreate that same experience for this leadership team and take a small part in a major transformation.
If you’re not sure about leadership, please submit an application to show interest in a support role. It’s never too early to start getting involved and learning from other smart, driven, passionate people.
Leaders will spend a year working as a team with a new perspective and drive. Once the team is decided, the first few months will include onboarding and strategic planning to gear up for 2017. The leadership team will work closely with the Executive Director (yours truly) to define and reach new goals for Code for Philly.
Applications are due by midnight this Friday, October 21st. The following two weeks include application review and interviews. The following weeks will include onboarding summed up in an introduction at our Code for Philly Town Hall on Tuesday, December 13th.
Apply by Friday!