Codemash 2016 – Humanitarian Toolbox

Rick HerrmannFor the second Codemash pre-compiler day I spent the full day working on the Humanitarian Toolbox project @htbox) with Bill Wagner (@billwagner) and Tony Surma (@tonysurma) and 5 other developers.

What is it?

The Humanitarian Toolbox is an open source non-profit organization, that creates software for disaster response teams. To kick things off, Tony gave us an overview of the projects and we pulled the code from GitHub.

What are the Apps?

There are two applications that are part of the Humanitarian Toolbox:

  1. AllReady – an app that connects volunteers certified to install smoke detectors with homes that require smoke detector installation
  2. Crisis Checkin – an app that helps coordinators at a disaster site manage and deploy volunteers where they are needed

There is a long list of tasks to work on for both projects, but the ones that are easy to jump in and work on for those new to the project are highlighted in the issues list. I worked on the Crisis Checkin project, which is an ASP.NET MVC application, so I was able to find my way around pretty quickly and make progress on some tasks and get some “quick wins”.

What was the Result?

By the end of the session I submitted pull requests for 4 of the open issues. Although in the big picture this represents a relatively small contribution I was proud to be able to help out this organization with the first commits I have ever made to an open source project.

How Can You Help?

I think this project is a great idea in that it gives people a way to help in disaster situations that otherwise may not be able to do so. If you’d like to help out it’s as simple as forking the repositories, checking the issue lists, and indicating in the issue comments that you’d like to help.

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