The coronavirus has brought the whole world to a standstill since December 2019. We are all living in an unprecedented scenario where we have to self-quarantine and socially distance ourselves to avoid being exposed to the virus.
Many workers, such as developers and coders, are fortunate to have the option to work from home. Developers have been forming communities to come together and solve some complex problems.
Various organizations all over the globe are working closely to help fight the coronavirus. These organizations are working to help research, innovate, and develop methods to fight COVID-19 and find solutions to deal with future outbreaks.
Let’s have a look at the different ways that developers and coders can help fight the coronavirus.
Open Source Projects
COVID-19 is impacting almost every living being on this planet. The impact of this virus is so huge that the only way we can fight back is if we all came together.
Due to the gravity of the situation, there are various open-source projects aimed to help fight COVID-19. These projects can help research to find new ways to detect and combat the virus.
- Many companies and organizations have made their services free of cost and are providing premium support to speed up development of these projects
- There are many applications being developed to track coronavirus region wise. These trackers are updated frequently and cross verified with reports from multiple sources.
- Many projects have integrated chatbots that answer various questions and provide health care tips during this pandemic.
- There are many open-source projects helping unemployed developers.
- As a coder, you can also help by contributing code, fixing bugs, and testing these projects.
Hackathons are generally popular coding competitions where the participants work towards a problem statement, and in this case, there are many hackathons to help fight COVID-19.
The applications that win these hackathons will be deployed in the real world and will be supported by tech companies.
IBM hosts a popular hackathon every year known as the Call for Code based on the IBM cloud services. This year the hackathon is aimed towards developing applications that can help the coronavirus situation, and also, halt or reverse the impact of climate change.
Since the coronavirus has hit the world hard, the Call for Code Global challenge was extended to take on COVID-19.
There are mainly 4 steps involved in this hackathon:
- Accept the challenge
- Build with open tech
- Find your squad
- Submit your idea
Developers can directly register for the IBM hackathon with their IBM cloud account. You can make use of code patterns, expert videos, and tutorials to build your application. If you need any help or you need teammates, then there are online boards and tool provided by IBM to help you get started.
The COVID-19 track was added on March 20, and the early deadline of April 27 was set. The winning application or solutions are deployed wherever necessary.
2) Facebook Messenger
During the last week of March, Facebook started working with outside developers to expand its Messenger service to help the health organization to battle the coronavirus.
The social media platform conducted an online hackathon that aimed at using Messenger to help deliver information about the pandemic as well as ease social distancing. This platform can then connect the government health organization and UN agencies to answer the questions of the public and spread important information.
The developers can also design chatbots that will answer common queries, enabling health workers to focus on the important tasks at hand.
3D printing and Additive Manufacturing
Developers that have access to their own 3D printers have begun to help manufacture masks and shields for the frontline workers and the general public.
These printers have also helped develop various complex structures in various hospitals and clinics.
Engineer Assemble is an open-source library of ventilator CAD files and they are building a library of parts/components that can help engineers build ventilators.
There have been projects on Github, such as one from developer Johnny Lee of California who shared a project that helps to convert a low-cost CPAP(Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) blower into a non-invasive pressure support ventilator that can help people with breathing during any respiratory problems.
Ever since the start of the pandemic, there is a potential shortage for such supplies, but these developers are ensuring that the health care workers are protected and have access to the necessary equipment.
Contribute to the Cure
Developers and coders are known to have their own PCs with good computing power, when compared to the average public, and this can help fight the COVID-19 situation.
Folding@Home provides a downloadable client that makes use of the extra computing power of your system to help analyze the protein structure of the COVID-19 virus. The movement and changes in the virus structure are analyzed to find a target for experimental drugs to fight it.
This helps to find a cure for the pandemic and hopefully control the situation.
This application requires no input and effort from the client. All you need to do is download the application and provide it access to use your system’s resources. It’ll make your system part of a supercomputer and run the tests and analysis.
There are multiple projects and ways, even more than the ones listed here, that developers can help fight the novel coronavirus.
Developers are more than happy to lend a hand and come together as a community to help fight the virus.
So until the crisis is under control, let’s all put our efforts and hard work into battling the coronavirus and help mankind overcome this pandemic.