Code for Pakistan: An intelligent way of giving back to the Society
The youth of Pakistan need to come forward and take control. They have to build, create and innovate, thus helping this country grow and prosper. Most of us sit at home, get inspired and then lose the motivation because the excuses come too easily. The most oft asked question is what do I do? Well, we have one suggestion in mind: Hack for a Great Cause!
Civic Hackathons are growing popular worldwide. The event’s main aim is to bring innovative new ideas to the table so that old problems can be solved. From improving the city management to providing the government better means to operate, Hackathons allow people to use their creativity in combination with problem solving skills to improve the way of life. Because the problems are everyday civic problems, Civic Hackathons can open their door for the large majority of people. Coders, Designers, Content Writers, Creative Thinkers, basically anybody with a skill and more importantly the determination to help the society can participate. The key idea, as always, is innovation and thinking out of the box.
Sheba Najmi, the main mind behind Code for Pakistan is a Stanford Graduate. She has worked for Yahoo and most recently, she was the Code for America 2012 Fellow. In her conversation with The AppJuice Team, she especially urged the girls to apply for the Civic Hackathon. There is a need to empower women in IT and Sheba is a believer in the power of women. Pakistani women rarely fall short to surprise us. Don’t forget to read our list of Exceptionally Talented Women in Tech!
Inspired by Code for America, Sheba has been working hard to bring something similar in Pakistan. Last year, the first Civic Hackathon was held in Karachi in April. Organized in collaboration with P@SHA, the event was a success despite the short deadline for participants. Many responsible citizens of Karachi came to help out the community and the teams participated in interesting workshops and intensive mentoring sessions. The ideas that were shortlisted targeted all walks of life from crime prevention to better quality education to reporting corruption.
After her success in Karachi, Sheba doubled her efforts to bring Code for Pakistan to more cities and give local citizens a chance to make things better rather than complain. This year Sheba is proud to be organizing two Code for Pakistan events in Lahore and Peshawar in collaboration with her team and the support of The AppJuice. This is a chance for the citizens of Lahore and Peshawar to show off their talent and come together to help improve the quality of life through their contribution.
“Both techies and non-techies need to come together to find solutions for the problems we face today. There is a need to research human problems and co-create solutions. There is a lot of room for civic innovation.”
Apart from organizing the Hackathon, Sheba is also working to ensure these tech-based solutions see the day.
“I am looking to setup Code for Pakistan on the model of Code for America.”