IBM's Call for Code Challenge Calls Developers to help tackle the Pandemic
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IBM’s Call for Code Challenge Calls Developers to help tackle the COVID-19 Pandemic

Call for Code is a global challenge launched by IBM urging developers, thinkers, and innovators to participate in an endeavor to overcome known challenges faced by the planet. In the handful of years that this initiative has been active, it has aimed to solve major challenges like mitigating natural disasters, improving preparedness for natural disasters, and fighting climate change.

The recent turn of events has coerced the entire planet to relook our strategies for fighting pandemics like COVID-19. So, Call for Code 2020, made an additional announcement, where averting the impacts of COVID-19 and identifying technological avenues to resolve problems faced by big and small communities around the world, took precedence.

Purpose of Call for Code COVID-19

When David Clarke Cause and IBM founded the Call for Code initiative, their objective was to identify humanitarian issues impact communities on a global scale and encouraging developers to build solutions that can avert these challenges.

This initiative rises above borders, races, communities, and organizations, calling developers to work towards a global cause. COVID-19 has transformed how we conduct business, carry out our daily work, obtain groceries and essentials, or even interact with our friends and families. Call for Code encourages developers to find ways in which impacted communities can be provided with solutions to avert or minimize the crisis that they are experiencing.

Why developers should participate in this campaign?

Developers stand to gain highly from the Call for Code global challenge. Not only do you get a chance to be a part of building a solution which benefits communities around the world, you also gain a prize and the opportunity for mentorship and investment in your solution. Whether you are an innovator, a thinker, or a developer, this is an opportunity that goes beyond the usual, helping you achieve big dreams and aspire for new goals.

Prizes for winning teams are:

Grand Prize – $200,000 USD along with solution implementation through Code and Response and opportunity for mentorship and investment in the solution.

First and Second Runner Up – $25,000 USD

Third and Fourth Runner Up – $10,000 USD

How developers can participate and contribute for this initiative?

All participants are required to build pragmatic solutions which can be effective in real-world scenarios. These solutions should be based on one or more IBM Cloud services. To participate in the Call for Code COVID-19 challenge you must follow these rules:

  1. Teams of up to 5 members can be formed where each member is over 18 years old. You can only participate through one team.
  2. All participating members must accept the Participation Agreement 2020 before submitting their solution.
  3. The application must be new and it should address the challenges outlined in the Call for Code 2020 competition. You can use codes that are open-sourced and publicly available as of February 26, 2020.
  4. Submissions must be made online on the official Call for Code website. Your solution must use one or more IBM Cloud Services or IBM Systems to be eligible for participation and judgment.
  5. Winning teams will be subject to a code review once the submissions close.

IBM technologies which can help in building solutions and applications

Three COVID-19 starter kits have been made available for developers who are looking for a launchpad for their ideas or solutions. These three start kits are:

1) Crisis Communication

This starter kit uses Watson Assistant and provides developers with a virtual assistant which is pre-loaded to communicate with users looking for commonly asked questions about COVID-19. It uses Watson Discovery to scan articles related to COVID-19 from trusted sources and also answers questions regarding statistical data about COVID-19 by checking the correct sources to provide accurate data.

2) Remote Education

Educational institutions have been coping with a sudden transformation in their teaching principles as they move to an entirely digital space in order to ensure continuity in learning and education. This starter kit gives you access to a range of open-source tools backed by IBM Cloud and Watson Services to support the growing need of enhancing the effectiveness of digital learning.

3) Community Cooperation

Community cooperation is imperative in times of a crisis when the delivery of groceries, medical supplies, and equipment become difficult. Societies around the world are suffering from broken supply chains and inadequate access to daily essentials. This starter kit provides you with tools that can help you build solutions for higher community cooperation.

All starter kits include descriptions and an architectural diagram along with a tutorial and a starter code to help you build an effective solution for the Call for Code, COVID-19 global challenge.

How does the society benefit from Call for Code for COVID-19?

All solutions from the Call for Code COVID-19 challenge aim to address humanitarian challenges faced by communities around the world. Winning solutions will be deployed in worst-affected communities around the globe.

Through the solutions, the world will be able to address major challenges that it currently faces in averting and allaying the effects of a pandemic of such a scale. With the help of technology, we will be able to empower governments and communities in fighting the existing pandemic and showing better preparedness for future pandemics.



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