Volunteering time and effort has been a bulwark of the open source movement for years, and has resulted in the creation of some of the most advanced and well used applications the world has ever seen.
It’s probably fair to say therefore that developers are quite used to giving their time to causes they believe in. It’s with this in mind that a new platform has been launched to try and match up kind hearted coders with non-profits that are in dire need of technical help.
The platform, called #charity, is hoping that they will match up IT folks with non-profits in need, thus helping those organizations to go about their work more effectively.
Charities can list their IT needs on the website project by project for free. IT volunteers are then matched to particular projects by the #charity algorithm based upon the information in their profile.
The platform provides a project manager to each project to ensure that the right people are on the right project, and also to ensure that the project runs smoothly. They provide a point of support for both parties throughout the project to aid its smooth progression.
There are currently around 350 people signed up for early bird access, with the plan being to launch in full some time in March. Those early birds are already working on pilot projects for the likes of Action Against Hunger.
It’s an interesting project for sure, but it does leave me in two minds a little. On the one hand there have clearly been some incredible outcomes from self-organizing talent for IT projects, often on a voluntary basis.
On the other, I firmly believe that we should get paid for our work, and there are a growing number of platforms existing to ensure people work for free, whilst of course the platform owner gets very wealthy.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Do you think platforms like this are good?