Techlandia Issue 3 - 2019/2020 - Page 35

Hack for a Cause is hacking of the highest ethical order. For 48 hours, software developers, coders, students and community members come together to solve a variety of challenges laid out by local businesses, government agencies and nonprofits.

Participants in recent Hack for a Cause hackathons have helped nonprofits integrate tablets into their client data collection processes, develop apps to quickly connect homeless youth with service providers to keep them off the streets, build a cloud-based platform for rural parenting educators to access and share data and more.

All in just two days.

"There aren't a lot of opportunities or events happening throughout the year where, in the course of a weekend. people can make such an impact on each other and the community," said Stephen Parac, Chief Operations Officer at Eugene internet service provider XS Media, a Hack for a Cause partner. "And I'm inspired by how many people donate their time for the betterment of the community to solve some of those problems."

The event has evolved since its 2016 launch. Each hackathon has been made possible thanks to hundreds of thousands of dollars of donated technology and labor given by an array of partners. The list of participants has grown in recent years to include tech giants like Mozilla and AT&T, who was a partner in the 2018 Hack for a Cause.

Initiatives like Hack for a Cause and Portland's Breaking the Code, which seek to expand opportunities for women in the tech industry, benefit entire communities by expanding access to technology and skill development opportunities, said George Granger, President of AT&T-Oregon.

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