Join the California Code Rush at NICAR 2015

A challenge to hacks, hackers and newbies of all ages

The California Civic Data Coalition needs you.

Our team is attending the annual National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting Conference in Atlanta. And we’re bringing with us a to-do list with dozens of tickets, of all shapes and sizes, to continue our quest to master CAL-ACCESS, the golden state’s campaign cash database.

We’re asking you to close them out.

We’re calling it the California Code Rush. It’s a simple game. Submit a patch, win a prize. The bigger the challenge, the bigger the prize.

Don’t worry if you’re new to open source. Spend some time with our team at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis and we’ll guide you through your first contribution, from fork to patch to pull.

An easy ticket won’t take longer than 20 minutes, and you’ll walk away with a limited-edition sticker. (They were designed just for this event by our man Thomas Suh Lauder, using his revolutionary aesthetic, Flatmorphic Design™.) Plus you’ll be entered in a drawing for one of the larger prizes.

Close a ticket of medium difficulty and you’ll walk away with a custom t-shirt. Take down one tagged as large and you can pick a prize from a motherlode of swag that includes:

Our whole crew will converge on the conference commons Thursday March 5 at 1:30 p.m. to spend the afternoon hacking. Meet us there to learn more and get involved. Or find us around the conference and we’ll help you start in. We’re planning on pitching a tent during our free time and blasting the location on Twitter with the hashtag #NICAR15.

But you don’t have to be in Atlanta to win a prize. Close a ticket at any time between now and the conference’s close on March 8 and your prize will soon be in the mail.

Dozens of tickets are waiting for you in our two active applications. Grab one to get going.

Many of the small ones, particularly the ones asking for documentation, won’t require you to install any software. But if you take on something big you’ll need to download the code as described here.

Finally, we know this whole endeavor is a wacky experiment. We know it won’t go perfectly. If you think it’s a lame idea, feel free to tell us so.

We do hope it gives our team a chance to have fun with you at the conference, and perhaps introduce some people to the ins and outs of open source. See you in Atlanta!