Open source is about community. At IBM, we have a commitment to open source and our developers are passionate about contributing back to open source. I’ve had the privilege to work with organizations like The Linux Foundation, Cloud Native Computing Foundation, Node.js Foundation, JS Foundation, Cloud Foundry Foundation, and many others. I’ve witnessed firsthand the power of communities to come together to grow an ecosystem, develop technology, and accelerate innovation. There’s also a human part to open source – a collective responsibility that we have to the world. There is work we can do that goes beyond developing platforms to grow our businesses and solve technical challenges. We can do more by focusing our combined developers, who already work together in open source, on critical problems that face humanity.
David Clark Cause is a company that creates purpose based initiatives and brings stakeholders together to tackle a common cause. Last year, David Clark Cause came to us with an opportunity to rally developers around a common cause and have a lasting impact. We’ve done work like this before – for example, our IBM Foundation is working with the Open Medical Records (OpenMRS) project to create an oncology suite for use in countries in Africa and other regions using this open technology. The IBM Corporate Citizenship Office has helped deploy software from the Sahana Foundation’s open source disaster management solutions in over a dozen countries.
Given 2017 was one of the worst years on record for natural disasters, we decided to focus the efforts of 22 million developers around the world on this cause through the Call for Code initiative. David Clark Cause gave us the inspiration, and other partners like the United Nations, the American Red Cross, and The Linux Foundation came together to pool our collective efforts. Since 2000, natural disasters have directly affected 2.5 billion people, with 1.5 trillion in economic impact since 2003. And over the last 30 years, flooding is up over 240%. As developers, we can help people be more prepared, help them during a natural disaster, and help them recover afterward. We can make communities more resilient together.
Call for Code judges include iconic developers like Linus Torvalds and Tim Berners-Lee. The winning team and two semifinalists will receive support from The Linux Foundation to host their submission as an open source project and build a community around it, ensuring that it is deployable around the world in the areas of greatest need. Please join us- learn more at callforcode.org.