Judging hackers

GOOD TECH ISSUE: Social Good Hackathon wants nerds, Luddites...and even the Guardian

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Guardian illustration by Matthew Fleming

joe@sfbg.com

The Bay Guardian is happy to announce a partnership with BeMyApp, CloudCamp, Hewlett Packard, and Intel in launching a hackathon for societal benefit. I will be one of the judges of their CloudCamp Social Good Hackathon the weekend of Jan. 24.

The hackathon is a contest tasking programmers and designers with creating apps that could change their city, state, country, or the world. Teams will craft those changes around health, fitness, the environment, and education. The Guardian has always been solutions based, and we hope to work with tech to help solve the problems of San Francisco's rising displacement and inequality together.

Entrance in the hackathon is free, though space is limited. The first and second prizes are $5,000 and $4,000, respectively. Hackers will strut their ones and zeroes at Impact Hub San Francisco, which is housed in the bottom floor of the San Francisco Chronicle Building on Fifth and Mission.

Kalina Machlis, community manager at BeMyApp, said the Guardian was a natural choice to partner with them due to our often critical stance on the tech community: We'd keep them honest. She also hoped it would help build ties with a media community that can be critical of the tech industry.

"It's a good way for you to see there are positive things happening in the tech world," she told us. And though no one app can solve all of San Francisco's social ills, we hope this can be a first step toward harnessing tech for the good of all the city's residents.

Be advised, you don't necessarily need to be a tech head to join in. Just bring your ideas, Machlis told us. "Our initial idea for beginning the company was to bring together people who don't have technical skills with people who design and code," she said.

We're looking forward to bringing a bit of Guardian fire to a hub of techies who want to change the world. For every Greg Gopman spewing hatred, no doubt there are tech-savvy folk who care about the less fortunate around them. We want to meet those socially conscious hackers.