Hacking for Good: Three Ways for Devs to Get Involved

If you’re a developer and you’d like to use your powers for the greater good, we have three ways for you to use your unique talents to affect positive change.

Random Hacks of Kindness

Random Hacks of Kindness is a community that focuses on developing practical and open-source solutions to global challenges. These challenges can range from disaster risk management to climate change adaptation. Solutions so far have included apps such as I’m OK, an SMS app that lets people in disaster-afflicted areas notify family members of their status, and CHASM, an app for landslide risk visualization.

These apps are made by thousands of software experts, volunteer devs and designers from 26 cities around the world. Currently, 120 distinct projects make up RHoK’s opus. Projects continue year-round, but events can be organized to create sprint scenarios.

Random Hacks of Kindness was founded in 2009 as a partnership between Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!, NASA and the World Bank.

Hack for Change

From Change.org comes Hack for Change, a weekend-long event to be held in San Francisco on June 18 and 19, 2011. (Disclosure: Mashable is a sponsor of this event.)

At the hackathon, 50 devs and designers will split into teams and spend 24 hours creating web or mobile apps they believe will affect positive change. Devs can use any publicly available APIs in their apps, and several companies with APIs popular in this arena will be presenting before the hacking begins.

Anyone can apply to attend and hack in this event, and invitations will be confirmed at the beginning of June.

Code for America

Code for America is still seeking fellows for its 2012 cycle. This organization assembles teams of crack developers to build open-source apps for governments. Each year, many cities and states apply for the CfA program, and many more developers vie for a spot as a CfA fellow.

The chosen hackers are sent to the cities where the apps will be built and used. Each dev is given a stipend, as well as mentorship and post-program recommendations.

CfA Fellowship applications are due July 31, 2011 for the 2012 fellowships.

image courtesy of iStockphoto, nyul

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