“Non-techies” create technology at a Code for the Kingdom hackathon
Leadership Network launched the first Code for the Kingdom hackathon in 2013. From that first hackathon and still today people from all over have said things like “I am not a technologist; I am not a coder; I am not a designer; what can I do in a Code for the Kingdom hackathon? How can get my ideas to become technology people can use? How can I be a part of this?”
Our answer is always the same: “We all have something to offer.” God is the designer, and as His children created in His image, He lives in us and so does His creativity. You do not have to be a technologist, a programmer, or an entrepreneur, to help create technology that matters. God calls us all to serve and to do so with joy, and then allow Him to do the rest.
Code for the Kingdom is truly a grassroots movement and model where local volunteering organizers do most of the work ground work. In the 24 Code for the Kingdom hackathons held so far, we have activated around 3000 talented individuals who have created over 300 new technologies for Kingdom impact. Technologies such as Abide, and Scriptive are already available for download on the App Store or Google Play.
In October 2015, Guatemala City participated in Code for the Kingdom’s global hackathon and they proved that God calls us all to serve and let Him do the rest. Diego Arimany was the local lead organizer for the Guatemalan Code for the Kingdom hackathon. This is his story of what happened at that hackathon…
It was my first experience participating in a Code for the Kingdom hackathon on October 2, 2015 and Guatemala City was participating in the Global event. The hackathon started with only 1 team of 14 which included 2 developers with 1 laptop and 2 kids under 7. But our weekend hackathon ended with the launch of a “help-line” with real customers, “Ayuda.Network”.
Overcoming our limitations
I was the international lead organizer for the Code for the Kingdom hackathon in Guatemala City. I’ll admit I had mixed feelings of fear and disappointment when the global hackathon started with less than a handful of developers (software, hardware, UX, etc). Oh how much we depended on God’s guidance as we opened the hackathon in prayer.
Global and local challenges were pitched to the group to help define projects for the weekend. I was still shaking but not paralyzed; just simply going through the motions to facilitate the hackathon. As we went around the room introducing ourselves, our skills, and our purpose for being there (mind you I was still shocked in disbelief at the low turnout), an “unbeliever” friend stood up and shared his vision of what a hackathon can accomplish in particular if we share a divine calling. It was then the realization came that God arranged our group talents for a purpose. Our purpose was not simply code creation as you’d expect from a hackathon, but our common thread was in our passion to help the lost with relevant and adequate information. By “lost” we meant believers and unbelievers that did not know how to act or react in a situation. Therefore we can all be “lost” and find ourselves in a conundrum.
The end result
The lack of code-development power, that started out as a risk became a great strength as we took a challenge and figured out how to make use of our talents to build something for the Kingdom. Among the team members at the hackathon, we had entrepreneurs, marketing specialists, workshop coaches, policy creators, project managers, and our challenge champions who assisted us in determining if we were building something worthwhile. Our goal became to simply gain proof-of-concept for a “help-line”. However, we designed the solution for our challenge as a whole product.
We started with multiple front-end “entrance points” for our tool where users could interact and we a envisioned a back-end which would be comprised of a volunteer team. Naturally we also had to work on creating a volunteer network and interconnect their different services over the weekend to create a minimum viable product to present at the conclusion of the hackathon. We thought that would stop us but we had entrepreneurs on our team. They directed us to launch the service through a social-media campaign and seek the volunteers we would need. As we were getting coffee, we received our first inquiry and gasped. We were waiting to see how or even IF the volunteer network would react, and praise God it did!
“Ayuda” means “Help” and we certainly received God’s help that hackathon weekend. We began to define the type of help-line we would start, what we’re NOT as an organization, and ultimately how we were incorporating as a company and the next steps for growth.
What Code for the Kingdom represents to us
We accomplished creating something because of the vision set forth by Code for the Kingdom, which is to find or create solutions for expanding God’s kingdom on earth through hacking. I believe we did just that. We hacked to form links between services, between one another, understand the needs of potential users and how they would reach us through social-networking, and taped into a network that’s eager to help and didn’t have a channel to do so. Not bad for our first hackathon! Thank you Code for the Kingdom for this wonderful experience! Blessings from “team Latin America” in Guatemala.
So how can you be a part of a 2016 hackathon? As you see, in Diego’s story you don’t have to be a “techie”. You just have to have passion and ideas!
- Come join us at one or more of the 2016 Code for the Kingdom hackathons including a 2nd Global Code for the Kingdom hackathon as well as multiple regional hackathons.
- Sign up to help organize or be informed about a hackathon in a city near you.
- Be a mentor at the Code for the Kingdom hackathon at California Baptist University in Los Angeles March 3-5.
- Be a participant or mentor at the March 11-13 Code for the Kingdom hackathon in Nashville, TN.
Together we will create technology that matters!!!
About Diego Arimany
Diego Arimany is passionate about technology and its practical application to the real challenges of the future. Diego is a serial entrepreneur, management consultant, strategic consultant, and public speaker. He is a leader in the development and implementation of mission-critical programs and Project Management (PPM) within organizations. He is responsible for PPM and strategic implementations for customers in all disciplines and industries, with experience at national and international levels. He enjoys working with social entrepreneurs, entrepreneurship in the reconditioning business projects, and rural and local development.
Code for the Kingdom, a Leadership Network hackathon initiative, convenes bright entrepreneurs and technologists to use their gifts to affect global culture from a Christian perspective. It seeks to advance the Gospel through the creation of new technologies addressing significant issues confronting society, community, families, and spiritual life and to reclaim our times for the Gospel.