Code for America

Code for America taking developer applications

Code for America is looking for a few good geeks.

The project, now in its fifth year, inserts developers in state and local government agencies for one year to build technical solutions to knotty government problems. Code for America is looking for applicants with well-developed coding chops and project management experience, but also for a more hard-to-find set of soft skills.

Alex Tran, the program manager for the year-long fellowship, is looking for individuals with the maturity and poise to interface with government officials, and bear up under special and perhaps sometimes baffling demands of bureaucratic procedure.

"I think that one of the most powerful things that CfA does is bring geeks to the decision-making table on how we support and deliver services to citizens," Tran told FCW, GCN's sister site. Fellows in the program are on the front lines of moving government services into the digital arena. "In this day and age, a technologist can really inspire folks with what's possible – with things you can make that are lightweight and fast."

The Fellowship is an 11-month program where developers, designers, usability researchers and project managers work alongside city staff to produce open-source  apps and improve the citizen experience.

Several cities have collaborated with Code for America, including Austin and Raleigh. Recent projects that have come out of CfA include Atlanta’s ATLCourt website, which allows residents to look up their court cases, get text reminders and find answers to frequently asked questions about municipal court operations,  and an application programming interface platform in San Mateo County, Calif.,  that aggregates information on social programs in the area so developers can build applications around specific offerings. 

A unifying theme of CfA projects is that they provide a way for technological solutions to infiltrate old, off-line ways of doing things, and bring Internet speed and agility to the platform of government. 

Candidates have until July 15 to apply for a CfA fellowship. Governments interested in participating in the project can find more information here.

About the Author

Adam Mazmanian is executive editor of FCW.

Before joining the editing team, Mazmanian was an FCW staff writer covering Congress, government-wide technology policy and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Prior to joining FCW, Mazmanian was technology correspondent for National Journal and served in a variety of editorial roles at B2B news service SmartBrief. Mazmanian has contributed reviews and articles to the Washington Post, the Washington City Paper, Newsday, New York Press, Architect Magazine and other publications.

Click here for previous articles by Mazmanian. Connect with him on Twitter at @thisismaz.


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