Call for Code Global Challenge is a multiyear campaign aimed at developers to solve critical worldwide issues. The campaign was created by David Clark Cause with IBM, in partnership with the United Nations Human Rights and The Linux Foundation. The Call for Code 2020 challenge is a campaign focusing on two problems of humanity - COVID-19 and climate change.
COVID-19 and climate change are the two most important issues affecting the world right now, and also some of the most heated topics of discussion and debate. The clock is ticking when it comes to the pandemic response which has led the world economy to a screeching halt, as it is for the changing weather patterns that threaten all life forms on earth.
Call for Code 2020 asks developers to make practical, efficient, and carefully designed apps based on multiple IBM Cloud services such as mobile, data analytics, IoT and others, that we can effectively use to resolve humanitarian issues. Teams of experts in the fields of development, design, subject matters, business analytics and more are challenged to make solutions to reduce the effects of COVID-19 and climate change.
There are two separate tracks for each of the problems causing the world at this time.
1. To find solutions for climate change in ways that mitigate its impact and reverse current trends.
2. To find solutions to reduce the impact of pandemics like the new coronavirus with the help of a worldwide community & online help about coronavirus. Winning solutions are deployed in these communities where help is necessary and can be transformative.
The challenge kicked off on February 26 for the climate change track, which was initially the only aim of the campaign. However, the world has since witnessed a massive rise in COID-19 cases, deaths and epicenters for the COVID-19 pandemic so a separate track was added on 26th March to solve this critical and dangerous situation which could have an even more catastrophic effect on humanity if not handled immediately.
The remaining timeline for the Call for Code 2020 Global Challenge is as follows:
- April 27 - Deadline for early COVID-19 submissions which provides teams an opportunity to be featured on IBM THINK 2020 on the 5th of May.
- May 5 - Top 3 winning submissions on and before 27th April will feature on IBM THINK.
- May 15 - Initial deployment for the top 3 solutions for COVID-19 begins.
- July 31 - Deadline for final submissions for COVID-19 and climate change tracks which shall be considered for the final prize.
- October - The winners will be announced at an award ceremony.
This is the right opportunity for thinkers, developers, and determined individuals to submit their COVID-19 tracks for consideration for an early award! It's an incredible opportunity for everyone involved to make a difference and a lasting impression on the worldwide stage and to get exposure to some of the world’s greatest thinkers.
IBM has made it very easy for developers to apply for the campaign. Developers can go to the official website of the Call for Code campaign and accept the challenge which redirects to an account creation page. Enter your email address, name, password, and country and verify your email address. Your email becomes your IBMid hence it's important to use an account that you may use for professional purposes.
IBM collects information on the email ids and IP addresses of participants to ensure the legitimacy of their interests. It collects no other personal information and is safe for use. If users want to exit the campaign they can safely do so by deleting their IBMids which deletes all related information on that id.
Follow the registration process by agreeing to the TOS. Click on complete registration. That’s it! You can now freely participate in the Call for Code 2020 challenge. IBM also provides a host of resources and starter kits for developers.
Organizations and individuals with no development experience need not feel worried about being left out. Call for Code allows you and your business to participate as sponsors for the movement! Just sign up on the website as a sponsor and make a lasting difference on the biggest platform in the world for these important problems.
Make a difference
Accepting the challenge is only the first step towards mitigation. Developers can follow up by building code using open technologies. IBM has a library along with a ton of research material and tutorials for developers to begin to make a difference. There are tutorials for code on artificial intelligence, data science, Internet Of Things and Blockchain development. Software and platforms such as Java, Node.js, Node-RED, Tensorflow.js, and Python are used for these purposes.
There are starter kits available for developers looking for a direction to code towards. These are useful to understand real-world scenarios and apply code for relatively easy to resolve use cases in a short period. They are not intended to be the goals of these developers but rather a kickstart for something more complex, widely applicable and versatile.
Building code on your own is fantastic, but a team is required to bring various fields of expertise to make a more comprehensive solution. Participants need to find a squad to achieve the goals of the campaign. This can be done through online networking provided by the platform on Slack, and it can also be done with real-life friends, acquaintances, family, and communities.
Rewards for Winners
Participants can then submit their solutions. The global challenge winners will receive a cash prize of $200k distributed among its team members. The winners will receive support to implement their solutions and for mentorship from experts at IBM. First and second runner ups will receive a cash reward of $25k and the third and fourth runner ups will receive a cheque for $10k, and all of them will receive invitations for the Call for Code 2020 Global Awards Announcement.
Student participants can participate in the University Edition of the campaign. Here winners receive a grand prize of $10k distributed among team members. Winners and the runner ups also get a chance to interview for a role at IBM, which is among the top global technology MNCs and a desirable prospect for every developer.
IBM Node-RED for IoT Integration
Node-Red is a low code programming environment for apps developed by IBM that allows visualization of the flow of messages and information through an app. It is a useful tool for machine learning IoT. As its, a proprietary IBM tool developer may not have knowledge on how to use the programming tool and hence IBM provides tutorials to understand the functions, features, and use of the program.
What to Consider
Coding can enable solutions to a variety of problems associated with each track. Developers can direct their efforts to some of the listed categories of problems related to these tracks.
The Campaign categories are as follows:
- Crisis communication - Increased efficiency and speed of communication among authorities for more extensive and effective handling of information. Better communication of the crisis can enable faster response. When it comes to COVID-19, a faster response can have a large positive effect on the outcome.
- Remote education - one of the major challenges of the crisis is the lack of awareness and misinformation regarding the outbreak and the disease. Remote education enables more people to understand the seriousness of the situation while preventing panic situations. This can save lives and make it easier for authorities to maintain social order. Educating about FAKE NEWS is another important factor you can consider while building your applications.
- Community cooperation - The collective efforts of communities worldwide makes a difference. Developers can make tools to improve and encourage communities to cooperate to deal with the pandemic in their own small ways. Like real-time reporting of COVID-19 cases in nearby locality and ALERTS to do self-quarantine if you encountered with some positive people.
Technology is a supplement for ideas to make them into reality.
- Water sustainability - Freshwater is a vital resource required for human consumption and essential chores. It is one of the most important resources on earth threatened by toxic waste dumping and climate change. Water sustainability is of vital importance to every community in the world.
- Energy sustainability - Production and economies are energy-based. The production of non-renewable energy and its consumption thereof are unsustainable and harmful to the environment and are one of the major sources for climate change. New sustainable solutions for energy production, transmission and consumption are required for a better world.
- Disaster resilience - Climate change can lead to an increase in the frequency and severity of dangerous weather phenomena. Developers can find solutions to increase community resilience against these phenomena.
Anyone who participates can learn a lot from the resources offered here, the powerful thought process of finding and creating solutions and the cooperation among team members to pull it off. There are no losers here, everyone will come off it having at least learned something new, and can feel proud to have put an effort in resolving the biggest problems facing the world.