By Oakland Local Editorial Team
Local tech entrepreneurs, community activists and the broader Bay Area tech community have joined together to organize the second annual Code for Oakland - a unique, one-day hackathon that brings volunteer programmers, coders and community members together to build web and mobile apps and tools to improve life in Oakland.
The all-day event will be held this Saturday, July 21 at the Kaiser Center in Oakland.
This year, Oakland-based Ask.com joins as the presenting sponsor, with Code for America, The SWIG company, Pandora and the city of Oakland among the other organizations offering significant support.
"We're thrilled to be able to support Code for Oakland," Lisa Kavanaugh, chief product and technology officer for Ask.com, said. "This event is the perfect way to unleash local tech talent and foster real positive change in our city. As a growing tech hub, Oakland boasts some of the best and the brightest, and we're excited to see what the participants come up with."
"It's terrific to see the great outpouring of support from local businesses and civic organizations around the city for Code for Oakland, " said Susan Mernit from Oakland Local, one of the committee lead organizers. "Oakland's a terrific place to incubate tech companies and the city is moving to embrace open data, so it's a great fit."
Come win prize money for your ideas
Code for Oakland will offer programmers a chance to win $5,000 in prizes for the apps and tools they build. The event will offer a full day of presentations, workshops and learning sessions, as well as a hackathon where teams will compete to build prototypes within a one-day time frame, using APIs and other files from an extensive local data catalog.
"If you're technical, this is the perfect chance to use your skills in a group of like-minded people and build something useful to your city, " said Steve Spiker of Urban Strategies Council, lead organizer of the hackathon track.
This year, Code for Oakland will focus on: building apps; hacking public data and building tools to support economic development in Oakland; increase civic engagement; improving the digital education and literacy of our residents; and attract and sustain local business.
More than $5,000 in prizes will be awarded, including two $1,000 awards for the top teams, one of which comes with a special support package from Socrata. Sponsors for the event are still being accepted; the current list includes Ask.com, Code for America, The Mitch and Frieda Kapor Foundation, Neighborland, Oakland Local, The Oakland Tribune/Bay Area News Group, The Lake Merritt/Uptown Association, Open Shift/Red hat, Pandora, Socrata, 2.Oakland, city of Oakland, The Swig Company , Tumis Design and Urban Strategies Council.
"Another amazing aspect of Code for Oakland is the all-volunteer organizing committee," Paul Richardson, a local engineer and one of the leaders of the community outreach listening sessions, said. "We're got more than 15 people who've been meeting for weeks to plan this, and we'll have more volunteering day of."
What will happen at the event?
Join Code for Oakland
When: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, July 21
Where: Kaiser Center, Theater Lobby, 300 Lakeside Drive, Oakland
For More Information:
Code for Oakland website
REGISTER for Code for Oakland
SPONSOR OR SUPPORT Code for Oakland by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
VOLUNTEER at codeforoakland.org
PRESS: Contact Susan Mernit at email@example.com or (650) 814-9303; Sally Ann Berk at firstname.lastname@example.org or Theresa Guy Moran email@example.com
Full disclosure: Code for Oakland organizer Paul Richardson is also a contributor for Oakland Local.