At NGINX, we’ve always been focused on serving and engaging with the open source community where we have our roots. Now more than ever, it’s incredibly important to give back to our communities, locally as well as globally. We’ve been humbled by the NGINX community’s enthusiastic willingness to join us in that effort.
As part of our virtual NGINX Sprint conference in September, developers from around the world gathered (virtually of course!) for the first NGINX for Good Hackathon. We invited them to use NGINX Open Source and NGINX Unit to build an app or website that helps people impacted by the COVID‑19 pandemic or other social issues, whether at a local level or around the world.
A number of developers from around the world – including India, Pakistan, Spain, Turkey, and the United States – came together the day before NGINX Sprint began, and with support from NGINX staff brainstormed ideas rooted in our open source tech. They formed international teams and worked for the next three days on their projects. On the final day of NGINX Sprint, representatives from four of the teams presented their solutions, explaining both how they chose a group to help and how they chose the architecture and technologies for their solution. Our judges thought all four solutions were great and couldn’t pick just one. So congratulations to all four winners!
Meet the Winners
Team Khan decided to help a group especially hard hit by job loss during the COVID‑19 pandemic – people who do manual labor or casual work. The team took its particular inspiration from street food vendors in Pakistan, whose work is considered casual and so not officially registered or regulated. The app, provisionally called “Roadmap 360”, will connect employers and small businesses looking for workers with workers looking for jobs.
Team 2 (which was happy to keep its preassigned name!) had a similar idea, recognizing the need for job‑hunting assistance among a diverse range of people, either new to their industries or transitioning from other careers. They create a profile on the app that helps employers find them and understand the personal circumstances behind their need for a job.
Team Hack Overflow’s idea was to inspire people to join social justice campaigns by using gaming and polling to raise the campaigns’ visibility. The Social Justice Polling App will connect community campaigners and volunteers with potential supporters and those in need. App users can search for social justice campaigns that match their interests, connect with organizers, track campaign activities and effectiveness, and learn how campaigns are using donated funds to fulfil their chosen missions.
Team Wejs decided to build an app that increases transparency around charitable donations. Particularly in countries where corruption may be more commonplace, citizens might hesitate to donate to charities if there’s no way to know that the money is being spent for the stated purpose. This trust issue affects many charities, but especially smaller nonprofit organizations which rely on donations from individuals rather than grants from foundations or the government.
Stay Tuned for the Completed Apps
The winning teams are continuing to develop their apps in partnership with AWS and with help from NGINX engineering and leaders, and will retain ownership of the apps when they’re completed. Stay tuned for an announcement when the apps launch in early 2021!
To see NGINX Unit and NGINX Open Source in action, check out these demos from Day 2 of NGINX Sprint. (To watch all six demos, see the playlist on YouTube.)