by Angel Diaz, IBM VP Developer Technology, Open Source & Advocacy
I can barely believe that this week marked the halfway point in the inaugural Call for Code challenge. Your response and desire to Answer the Call has been better than we ever dared to imagine. I always knew Call for Code could inspire teams from around the world to use the technologies that are transforming their businesses to tackle one of the toughest global issues we face as a society today – the devastating human impact of natural disasters. But I couldn’t imagine that in two short months, an idea that started with creator David Clark Cause and IBM as the founding partner would grow into such a large, global movement.
From those early origins, we were quickly joined by the Linux Foundation, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation and New Enterprise Associates (NEA) – who became the official Venture Capital Partner to the cause. Today, over 30 organizations have joined us as official program partners or affiliates, alongside more than 20 IBM clients, who have all engaged their in-house developer teams to build solutions that’ll help strengthen communities and potentially save lives.
This hasn’t come without effort. We’ve held Call for Code days across 13 IBM Development Labs in eight different countries and in excess of 200 events in 50 cities around the world. This weekend we’re running our 60-hour virtual event boasting thousands of participants. We also benefited greatly from the enthusiasm of our generous celebrity supporters and eminent content partners – taking the message further than we ever could alone.
Of the many things I’m proud of with Call for Code, having universities like Cornell reach out wanting their students to get involved – even over the summer, has put a huge smile on my face. As we began to explore how to engage students, I had the opportunity to meet many of the developers building Call for Code solutions.
One message came through loud and clear: building software to save lives requires precision, and precision requires time.
So, today I am pleased to announce that we are extending the submission deadline to September 28. This will give more time for returning students to work with their professors, and attend one of the many Call for Code days we’ll be running – it’ll give the thousands of developers ample time to test, and most importantly, it’ll allow the maximum amount of potentially life-saving solutions to be submitted.
In recognition of the extended date, I’m delighted to tell you that we will be adding extra cash prizes on top of the original top 3 finalists. There will now be a $10,000 cash award to the teams that finish 4th and 5th. With both of those teams also being invited to attend the Call for Code Award Celebration being held at the Regency Ballroom, San Francisco on October 29th. Here they’ll demo and have their solution presented to the judges, led by Linus Torvalds the creator of Linux and Git. The award event will be available for everyone to watch on Livestream.
I’ve been overwhelmed by your participation, and am sure your efforts will inspire all of us here. Ultimately, as IBM Chief Digital Officer Bob Lord said last month, the real measure of your success will be the impact Call for Code has on some of the most at-risk communities around the globe and the lives that are saved and improved. And now, with this extended date, I know we will see just how Call for Code can make a difference – now’s your time to sign up and answer the call.