Random Hacks of Kindness returns to Hamilton in June
Random Hacks of Kindness (@RandomHacks) is a joint initiative from Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, NASA, and the World Bank aimed at creating a volunteer community of innovators who use their skills to make the world a better place by tackling real world problems. The first event took place in November 2009 at the Hacker Dojo in Mountain View, California, one of the projects that came out of that evening was Tweak the Tweet. Tweak the Tweet repurposed tweets with a syntax that allowed them to be used to connect people in need with service providers during disaster situations, it was notably used during the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Since then the event format has spread to cities all over the world.
Hamilton’s first RHoK event took place in December of 2011 at The Staircase (pictured above), you can read the coverage of the event by The Spectator here. The participants worked on building software that would allow you to send a text with a bus stop number, and receive a text back telling you when your next bus should arrive. I was able to attend the opening of the event and the weekend itself for a few hours. The passion in the room was wonderful, and I noticed in particular that the participants seemed to be learning new skills as they worked on the project together.
Sign up for the June 2nd Random Hacks of Kindness here!
The event organizer is Joey Coleman (@JoeyColeman), project lead of Open Hamilton (@OpenHamilton). With contributions from great local developers like Gavin Schulz (@GSMaverick) the Open Hamilton group has been able to create apps like Skate Hamilton to allow citizens to find out where they can skate using a very friendly user interface. Whether it’s local transit signs or representing Hamilton at the Creative Commons Salon on Open Data (see video below), Joey himself has been a tireless advocate for the usage of open data and open source for social good:
Hamilton is one of the smallest communities to host a Random Hacks of Kindness event. Though we may be a relatively smaller tech community, being able to punch above our weight and conduct a noteworthy event such as this grows and strengthens our community as participants collaboratively share, learn and build. Communities like Ottawa that have contests such as Apps4Ottawa give the development community and their good work a great spotlight. Random Hacks of Kindness lets us show the outside world what we can do here in Hamilton. I encourage anyone in the area interested in building apps and technology for social good to participate in the June 2nd Random Hacks of Kindness.