Humanitarian Toolbox are a charity founded in the US with the vision of allowing developers to contribute their time and skills to charity. They build sustainable software that is provided freely for use by charities and humanitarian organisations. Anyone can contribute and anyone can use the software.
I've been involved in supporting the Humanitarian Toolbox for over a year and it's become a passion of mine. Being able to use my skills as a software developer, whilst providing software which helps save lives is extremely rewarding. I am very pleased to be joined in supporting the mission of this charity by Madgex and its employees.
On Monday 16th and Tuesday 17th of January, a team of four developers from Madgex took part in the Humanitarian Toolbox code-a-thon which was held in London. We joined co-founders Richard Campbell and Bill Wagner and nine other contributors, spending two days helping develop features and fix bugs in a project called allReady.
allReady brings together organisers and volunteers to make managing campaigns more efficient and effective. The American Red Cross will use the first version of the software to help them deploy and maintain free smoke alarms in homes across the Chicago area.
The code-a-thon was opened by Richard and Bill who set out the goals of Humanitarian Toolbox. It’s important to understand that this software can truly help organisations save and improve peoples’ lives. Providing reliable software, maintained by Humanitarian Toolbox allows charities to do more with their limited resources.
All the developers taking part chose things to work on that interested them and matched their skillsets. The event was a huge success and thanks to the generous donation of their time, the contributors who joined us managed to complete 25 contributions. It was fantastic to be able to take some colleagues from Madgex along to the event. Madgex generously allowed us to donate our time and funded our travel and accommodation for the two day event. They are committed to continued support of Humanitarian Toolbox with planning already underway to host our second code-a-thon at the Madgex offices within the next few months.
I'd like to thank Diana Webster, Chris Sargood and Patrick Marshall-Andrew who joined me at the event and did their part to drive the project forward. It was a great team exercise and the feedback from everyone was very positive. Even after the event they continue to contribute their time to work on issues for the project. If anyone reading this would like to get involved, please do reach out online via GitHub.