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The Civic Tech Issue Finder

People regularly ask us at Code for America if there is anything they can do to help. We’ve had to say no far too often. If they don’t live near a volunteer Brigade or can’t take a year off to be a Fellow, we’ve had to say no.

We can finally say yes. Introducing the Civic Tech Issue Finder.

Civic Tech Issue

Civic technology groups from all over want help with their work, like this example from the Ohana project that helps find community services. This civic tech issue is a discrete opportunity for you to get involved. A tangible way you can flex your skills to fix or improve a real civic technology project. It’s a cry for help from a civic hacker in the wild. Will you answer?

The Civic Tech Issue Finder

We’ve collected thousands of opportunities for anyone to get involved, and the list keeps growing. Any time that a Brigade or Code for All group creates a GitHub Issue with the label “help wanted,” we show it off on the Civic Tech Issue Finder. Not just on our site though, we’ve made this tool embeddable on any site. See what thats looks like over at Code for San Francisco.

How It Works

We keep a list of all the civic hacker groups volunteering their time. We check that list once an hour to see what they are working on. We gather all the activity from their blogs, their Meetup events, and their GitHub projects. Then we expose all of that wonderful activity through the CfAPI. This API helps us know what’s happening across the civic technology movement. It lets us make websites like the one for the Brigade  and for Code for All that are always current. With some clever engineering from Christian Rodriguez, a Summer Code 2040 Fellow, the CfAPI also now powers the Civic Tech Issue Finder.

You Can Help

I was referred to Code For America from a colleague after expressing interest in continuing to develop my coding skills. Found the “Help Wanted” area as part of the Civic Tech Issue Finder and thought I could lend a hand. @nickjellings


I was just looking at the Code for America site and that issue happened to pop up as needing help so I jumped on it. After taking over as ED of the jQuery Foundation I don’t get to write code much anymore so I’ve been looking for little places here and there to throw my JS skills at projects that need help. – @kborchers


Not Just Coding

It’s not just coding though. Many of these requests for help don’t require any technical skills. Civic hacking often needs more than writing javascript. The open civic issues reflect that.


Code for America Right Now

As of this post, we have 5,000 open civic tech issues — that’s 5,000 different opportunities to code for America right now. Go choose one to work on this evening and help us spread the word.