The Humanitarian Toolbox AllReady Code-a-Thon


I was recently in Seattle for the MVP Summit, one of the best ways to connect to product teams and really smart people from around the world. Every year I get to meet more of the team that builds the tools I use daily, reconnect with peers and catch up with friends. And I eat at Magiano's.

But this year, the MVP Summit was trumped in awesomeness as quickly at it came to a close as the very next morning the code-a-thon for the Humanitarian Toolbox kicked into high gear.

Want to join the cause? The easiest way to get started is to join our weekly Saturday morning call. We are online from 10AM CST to Noon CST every Saturday. Watch Twitter –> for the link just before 10AM.

There are a lot of great projects out there. AllReady is great software with great purpose as well.

Hack for a Cause

Whenever disaster strikes a community – a forest fire, a tsunami, an earthquake – lives are impacted. Sadly, those with the fewest resources are often the ones at most risk after the disaster.

From November 6th to the 8th I was privileged to join in with about twenty other individuals from around the world to work on AllReady, an open source project that is curated by the Humanitarian Toolbox. AllReady is software that helps communities organize and execute efforts in preparedness so that those who are at risk are better equipped to make it out of a disaster in the best shape possible.


The group of us descended to the Garage at Building 27 on Microsoft Campus. We hunkered down, plowed through hundreds of commits and many dozens of issues and pull requests.

It was an amazing experience. It was a group of really smart people, supported by folks on the ASP.NET team, building software that is going to change lives.

To find out more about the awesome work that The Humanitarian Toolbox is doing, please visit their site.

Hack for Yourself

There is a huge draw to dive in and help with a project that can affect so many people and thwart the negative impact of unfortunate conditions. Preparedness is so much more effective than disaster recovery.

image's a good reason to get involved. But if that's not enough, check out this tech stack:

  • ASP.NET 5
  • MVC Framework 6
  • Azure Web Apps (Sites and Jobs)
  • Azure Storage (Tables and Queues)
  • AutoFac as the IoC container
  • MediatR as a messaging bus & pub/sub provider
  • Entity Framework 7
  • GitHub and AppVeyor
  • SendGrid and Twilio

I mean, just look at that list. That's like…all the buzzwords. And jumping in to help on this project is also jumping in to learn. This is an opportunity to work with world-class developers on a project that is striving to have great architecture. It runs on the cloud in cloud-like ways and uses technology that is going to be used for the next 5-10 years and beyond.


After the weekend, we drew to a close by having a retrospective where we worked through the next steps and where this project is headed. It's exciting to see the momentum building as more community members come on board and start making commits.


We've got a lot done in just a few weeks, and I'm excited to see it moving forward daily

Join In and Start Hacking

The best part about the software is that everyone can contribute. I'm not going to lie, there are some advanced aspects of the project that will be hard to work through for junior developers. There are more aspects, still, that need the love of some senior developers. Regardless of where you are in the world or in your career, there is likely a task where you can get started.

If you have questions, reach out to me on Twitter and I'll help to get you started.

Happy coding! Smile

James Chambers

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