Tonight we heard from Giselle Sperber, 2014 Code for America fellow who’s finishing up a brief stint with the Victorian Government. Code for America is a pretty remarkable non-profit expanding across the US, and now the world. The model pairs teams of three (usually a designer, a front-end developer, and a database/back end developer) with local governments who are embracing openness and trying to better serve their citizens. Cities bid for the right to receive these fellowship teams, and potential fellows similarly have to go through a selection process.
The fellows work on incredibly varied projects, from redesigning crappy forms, to creating GTFS feeds from public transport data, to building Discover BPS, an easy to use school selection system for parents. Giselle, a user experience designer/researcher, was working with Chattanooga, Tennessee, but based in San Francisco, where CfA also provides training and ongoing support to fellows. Most recently she’s been embedded with the Victorian Government’s Department of Premier and Cabinet, working on a potential redesign of the vic.gov.au platform.
There’s lots of information and the odd YouTube video about Giselle’s activities at the Chattanooga Code for America page. If you’re interested in helping get this model working in Australia, get in touch with codeforaustralia.org.
Giselle’s slides: “Working Together Works“