How Civic Engagement can be State Wide: Example from Colorado

"What do I gotta do to get you to GoCode?"

This is an ongoing joke between Jessica and DJ from the Durango GoCode team. It sums up their determination to make this event an inclusive one.

I attended Go Code Durango as a member of the Open Data Institute. I was worked with the Xentity team, providing support for the Socrata platform that was used by the Colorado Information Marketplace (CIM). CIM is a Socrata-powered platform and therefore the Xentity team provided API and data support for the Socrata part of the challenge.
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Go Code was a unique experience. I was a part of a five team, cross-site effort to coach and mentor development teams and help them create applications. What makes this event different from others I’ve attended is the passion, the careful selection of sites, the organization of the five challenges, and the people of Colorado. We had the pleasure of meeting the very talented and engaging folks of Durango. All of us in Durango developed a connection to the teams and the problems they were addressing.

The people were as varied as their approaches. Aaron, Natalie and Adam stand out as participants. Aaron runs a Ruby school in Durango helping people of all ages to learn to code. His team is developing a linked networking application for businesses registered in the State of Colorado. Natalie is a designer that brought the look and energy to Aaron’s idea. Adam helped the Site Pin team develop their idea and together he and I coached them in the UX and the presentation.

I was impressed with my fellow event supporters DJ and Jessica. Jessica was the team lead and no matter what obstacle was in front of her, accomplished every goal. And, she did it with the calm of a seasoned professional. DJ and I spent about 16 hours in a car together and I learned a lot about how to drum up support for an event of this scale. Jessica and DJ made me laugh with their good humor and war stories on getting GoCode to launch.



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