Code Across: It’s a Wrap!

The weekend of Feb. 22-24, 2013 Code for America celebrated our second annual Code Across America in municipalities from coast to coast. Though we’ve shared some anecdotes and stories from the weekend, we’ve been busy collecting and compiling debriefs from participating municipalities to see what worked, what didn’t, and how we can improve for events like this in the future (see National Day of Civic Hacking). We wanted to share some statistics, stories, and lessons learned from these debriefs.

Code Across By the Numbers

  • 22 participating municipalities
  • 780 attendees
  • 638 views of the Code Across PSA
  • 1781 #codeacross tweets
  • 10 new leaders identified
  • 8 events opened data
  • 3 events drafted open government docs
  • 6 events deployed an app
  • 8 events recruited a briagde
  • 11 events pushed code
  • 11 events designed an app
  • 15 events connected gov and citizens

A Big Thank You to All Who Participated

Organizers’ Words: Code Across Wins

  • “The work reflected the diversity of our still-emerging culture: County Councilmembers, lawyers, ecologists, data scientists, designers and developers. Lunchtime lightning talks covered everything from Stan Hywet Hall to SynHak, the Akron hackerspace. Through the shared experience, these folks from diverse walks of life formed real connections.”
  • “@CaseySoftware: OH: “I’ve never contributed to an open source project before but when you do.. you look all badass” #codeAcross” #cfaKC”
  • “This was also the first non-meetup event for Open Twin Cities!”
  • “This was the first meetup of Code for Seattle!”
  • “This was Code for Sacramento’s first event and we had good turnout.”
  • “RT @metromapper: @louisvillemayor makes the national #codeacross summary in a pic, and Louisville is featured.
  • “By the end of the writeathon, volunteers had made 330 changes to 106 pages.”

Organizers’ Words: Code Across Blockers

  • “Venue was troublesome during event planning, but turned out perfectly. List of requirements for venue would be great to send out during prospecting.”
  • “Send the swag earlier and have more pre-designed templates available so we don’t have to create things from scratch.”
  • “It would be great if there was “hackathon” curriculum that walked people through 0 to hero civic hacker…”
  • “Three of four projects hacked were somewhat spurious and didn’t have strong leadership. They floundered a bit, and while they produced positive results, they resulted in little code or data.”
  • “Many of the developers who attended wanted to know what data was available in order to come up with an app idea. So we’re hoping to deploy a regional open data portal between now and NDOCH.”

Room for Improvement

In addition to feedback from organizers, there are two areas we want to improve next time. The first is government presence at events. Fifteen of the 22 Code Across events (68 percent) had government in attendance. We want this number at 100 percent. The second area for improvement is conversion of Code Across attendees to Brigade members, which was 11 percent for 2013. We’d like to see this number closer to 25 percent and are brainstorming ideas to facilitate hitting this target at future events.

Questions? Comments? Hit us up @codeforamerica.

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