How to help
Because Code for Philly is a community, there is room for all types of skill sets.True, building applications often requires coders and computer programmers, but for those applications to be beautiful it helps to have someone with an artistic eye, for the wording to communicate effectively we need copy editors and writers, and for events like hackathons to run smoothly we need coordinators and organizers.
So our mission requires the help and participation from nearly all crafts. Women and men of all experience levels are welcome.
We encourage beginners to find projects they can contribute to in small ways, and we expect those with more experience to share their skills generously, in the hope they'll be continuously reapplied to the common good.
Here are just a few ways to contribute:
Host a Workshop
Workshop Sessions give our experienced designers, developers or other tech-skilled members an opportunity to share their expertise in technologies and/or best practices that they have employed in their professional experience. They can also involve concepts that members have found helpful in achieving success in their own projects.
Code for Philly is a community, it needs organization! Simple things like newsletters, regular events and workshops, and outreach and engagement can be enhanced by anyone with time and attention to spare, yet have huge impacts.
Many projects have enough stakeholders to create a need for their own community. Help people stay connected around a cause and watch it flourish.
Copy editing and review / Software testing
For software and information projects to fully capitalize on their exposure, they should be put through their paces before they end up in the hands of the people that actually need to use them.
Testing software and previewing communications beyond one's own desire and use to play with them is grueling work, but also the most essential part of sculpting tools and communications that grip people and bring about change when left to stand on their own. Being good at it means being able to conduct methodical evaluations and introspect deeply on your experience to document every bump and fault you can identify.
Edit this page ;-)
Cataloging / Library science
- Code for Philly
Software development often starts with making information accessible and useful. This usually requires more patience than experience as searches are run, links followed, spreadsheets cleaned up, documents reformatted, etc... Learning and applying the underpinnings of file, data, and presentation formats like ASCII, CSV, and HTML is the foundation of bridging human and machine information.
There is a huge array, maybe thousands of tools and languages to specialize in, all with their own niches where they might provide the best solution. Entire projects and careers can be built on few enough to count with one hand.
Browse our projects directory or the Code for America Commons to find something that uses the tool/language you're looking for, or to get a sense for what tools and languages power the types of projects you want to get involved with.
Journalism / Reporting
- Documenting and storytelling for events and projects
- Seeking and applying public data to current concerns
- Identifying and lending voice to rising unmet needs in communities
- Promoting iniatitives and campaigns
- Enhancing software aesthetics and experience
- Transforming mountainous datasets or abstract conclusions based on them to stories that engage any or all of the senses to convey deep insights at a glance.