Fairwinds Hosts Hackathon, Calls for Submissions of Applications Addressing Pandemic

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In an effort to enlist the tech community in addressing the COVID-19 crisis, MassTLC member Fairwinds has launched a hackathon with partners Amazon Web Services, GitLab, and Datadog. This competition, which runs from now through April 10, 2020, is designed to encourage innovators to propose projects that help address at least one of the following:

    • Reduce the spread of COVID-19
    • Find a Cure for the Virus
    • Educate the public on COVID-19
    • Rebuild the economy

The winning submission will be announced on April 15, 2020, and application development will be open to the public immediately after. The winning project will be supported by the sponsoring companies:

    • Fairwinds will be offering free Kubernetes managed services for 6 months*
    • AWS will be offering 6 months of application hosting support from AWS*
    • GitLab will be where the project lives
    • Datadog will be offering free monitoring for 6 months*
      * Timeframes may adjust depending on variables of winning project

We had the chance to chat with Fairwinds CEO, Bill Ledingham, about this initiative:

How did this idea come about?
The pandemic presents a unique challenge for a business sector that is defined by its industriousness; namely, the best thing we can do to help most of the time is nothing—physically distance and stay inside. The idea started with the basic question, ‘Is there more we can do to help during this crisis?’

Why were you inspired to launch it?
Our team at Fairwinds, as well as our larger ecosystem of partners, is full of people who value tech solutions that are delivered with human empathy. We wanted this project to leverage the best of those assets toward the common good. We happen to have a network of partners – AWS, Datadog, GitLab – that are as eager as we are to contribute and make a difference. The fact that we could jointly give someone the support they need to move from idea to tangible application was really exciting and moved quickly from ‘maybe’ to ‘let’s do it.’

Do you expect much participation?
We are hoping for a good amount of participation, which is why we are promoting the hackathon. We launched the hackathon on 3/25 and didn’t start promoting heavily until this week, and so far, we have had more than 80 people participate in an open Slack channel we started and a good handful already submit submissions. We want to see those numbers grow as we know how thoughtful, insightful and downright smart people in Boston and throughout the U.S. are.

Do you see the local tech community responding in a meaningful way?
This is a national program – we are accepting ideas and submissions from anyone across the country. That said, Boston is one of the most significant technology hubs in the U.S. and we’re confident that our Boston-based peers will submit ideas that make it a highly competitive program. This hackathon is a way for engineers and innovative thinkers, local and otherwise, to participate in something that helps address the virus in a meaningful way.

Project ideas may be submitted immediately by going here and following the submission directions: http://covidhack.org/.