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Code for America unites techies, government
San Francisco Chronicle / SFGate.com ^ | Updated 8:29 p.m., Tuesday, December 11, 2012 | Ellen Lee

Posted on 12/12/2012 1:19:08 AM PST by thecodont

A little more than a year ago, Prashant Singh was an engineer at Microsoft's Mountain View campus working on projects including Internet-connected televisions and the Xbox.

But for the past year, his career has taken a civil service turn. The 31-year-old engineer spent 2012 designing a public transit tool and other technology for the city of Detroit.

Through the San Francisco nonprofit Code for America, Singh took a sabbatical of sorts. As fellows of the effort nicknamed the "Peace Corps for geeks," Singh and 25 other techies fanned out for a year across the United States to help municipalities develop innovative technology to help them run better.

Before, "it seemed like the most I could do was write a letter to the mayor and the city council," Singh said. "I wanted to push the envelope (and) make things better for regular people."

Founded in 2009, Code for America is part of a larger "Gov 2.0" movement, an effort that takes the energy and expertise of Silicon Valley and channels it toward government.

This year, the White House started the Presidential Innovation Fellows, a similar program focused on the federal government. Meanwhile, some local municipalities, including Oakland, have hosted hackathons designed to bring together volunteer technologists to create tools to improve government services - in a shorter of amount of time and at a significantly lower cost than it has traditionally taken.

Together their efforts have built apps and other tools to help smooth the sometimes bureaucratic process of dealing with the government, as well as to encourage more civic involvement.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/technology/article/Code-for-America-unites-techies-government-4109100.php#ixzz2EpMBlxzQ

(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; US: California
KEYWORDS: codeforamerica; gov20; web20

1 posted on 12/12/2012 1:19:16 AM PST by thecodont
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To: thecodont

I’m curious whether this guy is a US citizen, or is here on a H1B visa.


2 posted on 12/12/2012 2:54:04 AM PST by Cowboy Bob (Soon the "invisible hand" will press the economic "reset" button.)
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To: thecodont

Well Ellen Lee of the SF time lapse has got her geek speak down. Now to figure out what the hell the guy she’s writing about actually does.


3 posted on 12/12/2012 3:16:00 AM PST by mosesdapoet ("A voice crying in the wilderness make streight for the way of the Lord")
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To: thecodont

“Oakland has also proposed that its fellows develop a system that could help the city manage Freedom of Information Act requests from the media and public, since it can take considerable time and effort for its staff to respond and retrieve the appropriate documents.”

And of course a “system” will help speed FOIAs right along. Riiiight. Well, let me know how it goes.


4 posted on 12/12/2012 4:25:07 AM PST by ILS21R (Everything... IS... a conspiracy)
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To: thecodont

I expect to start hearing it any day now.

“Centrally planned economies have all failed in the past because the tools to effectively manage them did not exist. Technology has changed that. As soon as SAP comes out with a Five Year Plan Management module we’ll be ready to rock and roll.”


5 posted on 12/12/2012 6:37:40 AM PST by Buckeye McFrog
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