Nashville, Beautiful City, Needs Your Help

The following is a guest post by Nick Lorensen. Nick is helping to organize this year’s Nashville Day of Civic Hacking. NSS is co-sponsoring and hosting the event this year so we asked Nick to let our community know about the event and why folks should come out and contribute.

Nashville is a wonderful city, but it needs our help to reach its full potential. It’s growing like a vengeful mold, an urban amoeba expanding out and up. It’s strikingly diverse. I find so many different cultures all mashed together. The city is wonderful that way. But that diversity is still immature. Our community, the community of software developers and related disciplines, embodies this problem.

I help run Code for Nashville. We’re a civic hacking group, so we work to make Nashville’s government better at serving its citizens. We’re trying to keep pace with the diversity and growth of the city, and to invest that diversity and growth in our craft by organizing our volunteer membership around a civic ethos. It’s a great time to get into writing software as a profession, and we want to set an example of how our profession can be a platform for change, for spurring healthy growth. A person can make a good living writing software, but there’s more to it than that. Some old nerd said something about a lever and a fulcrum once. Software is a great lever.

June is right around the corner, and we have a big day coming up on the 4th. The Nashville Day of Civic Hacking is our annual hackathon. This is my first time running it, and I couldn’t be more excited. I’ve talked to so many different people from different groups. Start ups, non profits, students, founders, specialists from a bunch of different domains relating to city life. If you’ve never been to a hackathon, come and check it out. We’ll spend the day working on projects that we hope will make a difference. It’ll be a fun way to get introduced to an engaging and energetic slice of the software community as it intersects with others in Nashville.

There’s still time to sign up, so come join us! We could always use good people. New or experienced, technical or not. We need designers, developers, project managers, subject matter experts, all kinds of people. Most importantly, we need to talk. Software is a great lever, but a lever isn’t much use without a fulcrum. Software isn’t of any use unless the people making it are connected to and understand the people they’re making it for.

Nashville is alive with the energy of change. It’s electric some days. The city has so much potential, but it needs a lot of work. It’s daunting to think about, but the thing that keeps me driving into this, the thing that really burns bright for me is knowing that it is changing. It’s knowing that a small group of people in the right place with a good lever can make a difference.

Code for Nashville: http://www.codefornashville.org/

The Nashville Day of Civic Hacking: http://nashvillecivichackday.tech/

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