Microsoft, Facebook, Slack and others support #BuildforCOVID19 Global Online Hackathon


There are numerous technology companies that have agreed to offer their services for free as the world tries to tackle the coronavirus crisis, and others who have taken steps to reduce their strain on the internet. Tomorrow, #BuildforCOVID19 Global Online Hackathon kicks off, with many of the big names from the world of tech coming together to tackle some of the problems COVID-19 presents.

There are also numerous partners from the health community, including the World Health Organization, and the aim is to come up with software solutions that can be used to improve health and hygiene, help with social isolation, assist in education, and help businesses stay afloat.

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The event is being hosted by Devpost, and there are some big names involved already, including TikTok, Twitter, Microsoft and Facebook. Devpost says that as people around the world are self-isolating, it wanted to create an online space to enable developers to come together, share ideas, and come up with ways to help the fight against coronavirus.

Announcing the hackathon, the organizers say:

The COVID-19 Global Hackathon is an opportunity for developers to build software solutions that drive social impact, with the aim of tackling some of the challenges related to the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

We’re encouraging YOU -- innovators around the world -- to #BuildforCOVID19 using technologies of your choice across a range of suggested themes and challenge areas -- some of which have been sourced through health partners including the World Health Organization and scientists at the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub.

The hackathon welcomes locally and globally focused solutions, and is open to all developers -- with support from technology companies and platforms including Facebook, Giphy, Microsoft, Pinterest, Slack, TikTok, Twitter and WeChat, who will be sharing resources to support participants throughout the submission period.

There are a number of suggested themes for participants to consider:

  1. Health: Address and scale a range of health initiatives, including preventative/hygiene behaviors (especially for at-risk countries and populations), supporting frontline health workers, scaling telemedicine, contact tracing/containment strategies, treatment and diagnosis development.
  2. Vulnerable Populations: The set of problems facing the elderly and the immune-compromised, such as access to meals and groceries, and supporting those who are losing jobs and income.
  3. Businesses: The set of problems that businesses are facing to stay afloat, collaborate effectively, and move parts of their business online.
  4. Community: Promoting connection to friends, family, and neighbors to combat social isolation and the digitizing of public services for local governments.
  5. Education: Alternative learning environments and tools for students, teachers, and entire school systems.
  6. Entertainment: Alternatives to traditional forms of entertainment that can keep the talent and audiences safe and healthy.
  7. Other: The above themes are just suggestions. Feel empowered to get creative!

Registration is open now, and submissions are accepted from tomorrow, March 26. You can find out more and sign up here.

Image credit: Giovanni_Cancemi / depositphotos

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