Call For Code 2018

Frequently Asked Questions

  • This multi-year global initiative is a rallying cry for developers to use their skills and mastery of the latest technologies to drive positive change across the world through the code they create. Call for Code brings startup, academic, and enterprise developers together and inspires them to solve the most pressing societal issues of our time.

  • The 2018 Call for Code Global Challenge is a competition that asks developers to outthink natural disasters and build solutions that significantly improve the current state of natural disaster preparedness in order to reduce the disruptive impact on human lives, health, and wellbeing. It is the first event run by the Call for Code Global Initiative. The prize structure is intended to serve as an incentive for teams to build high-quality, lasting solutions that can be deployed in the areas of greatest need and that benefit all parties.

  • Project OWL won the inaugural Call for Code Global Prize. You can see brief descriptions of the first and second runners up. The third and fourth runners up are also described here. All of these teams will have their submissions open sourced through The Linux Foundation.

  • During the period from May to September there are satellite public hackathons hosted by AngelHack, IBM, and other groups in cities throughout the world. There are also events hosted at enterprises, startups, and universities. Each of these events has a narrower scope of disaster preparedness tailored to the particular audience. Those events may have their own judging and prizes and are considered ‘feeder’ events into the main challenge, allowing developers to kick-start their project with dedicated help in the short term, for solutions to be continually built in the long term.

  • There are six technology areas that provide suggested starting points for participants to build out their submissions using IBM Cloud services. Developers do not have to limit the scope of their submission to these technology areas. The IBM Coder community provides its own leaderboard that recognizes developers who work their way through those technology areas in self contained “challenges” on the Influitive platform.

  • David Clark Cause identified an opportunity to inspire developers to apply their valuable skills for good. He reached out to IBM, the United Nations Human Rights Office, and other stakeholders to identify the most pressing causes of our time which could be addressed through computer code. As other organizations came on board, such as the American Red Cross as a key Charitable Partner, the resulting challenge scope evolved into a form that is fit for tactical and strategic solutions to real world problems in the realm of disaster preparedness and relief.

  • The United Nations and the American Red Cross provide various data sets. We are always looking to add more. You can start with these links:

  • All developers, designers, and entrepreneurs who are over the age of 18 or the age of majority in their jurisdiction, whichever is greater. Employees of IBM, DCC, and AngelHack are not eligible to participate. All participants must accept the terms of the Participant Agreement upon registration. An internal Call for Code initiative and prize structure for IBM employees is being deployed separately from the main challenge.

  • The Participant Agreement contains complete details of the Challenge.

  • Teams have ownership of everything they build. The winning team and four runners up will receive support from The Linux Foundation to nurture their submission as an Apache 2 Licensed open source project and build a community around it, ensuring that it is freely deployable around the world in the areas of greatest need. The Participant Agreement contains complete details of the rules.

  • Teams are created at the discretion of individual participants with a team being no more than five individuals. Options to find other team members are available through the IBM Coder community and the Call for Code Slack workspace.

  • After registration, look for an email from AngelHack Support with a subject of Global Call for Code Submission Details and More. That email contains a link to join Slack.

  • The competition platform is provided by YouNoodle and managed by AngelHack (a Call for Code Program Supporter). The team leader can create a YouNoodle account and submit the team’s application there. You can find the link in the Slack channel after you join.

    Your team won’t be able to modify information on the form after submitting, so make sure the application is complete and the team is finalized. Through YouNoodle you can also track your project’s progress through judging in October.

    Your team leader will require the following information to fill out the form:

    • Team name.
    • Teammate names and emails. Remember, you can only be part of one team of up to 5 members, and your team can only submit one application. Each person must have registered and therefore accepted the Participant Agreement.
    • Submission title/summary. Describe your team’s solution in 7 words or less.
    • Describe your solution in more detail. Give us a more detailed description of what you’re building, what problem you are solving, and why it matters in less than 500 words.
    • Solution roadmap. How mature is your submission and where do you intend to take it from here?
    • Link to GitHub or other source repository (You can provide an additional description and diagrams here. Hint: Review the judging criteria and rules:
    • Three-minute demo video. Record a demo of your project, upload it to YouTube or Vimeo and share the URL. If there is a password please share it here.
    • What IBM Cloud services did you use?

  • We will utilize as an event facilitation platform, narrowing down submissions before going to the Call for Code Jury of eminent technologists for final selection. Points are awarded for various elements with up to 20 points available. See for the breakdown of scoring areas.

  • All code developed as part of Call for Code must be fresh and demonstrably involve IBM Cloud services (including open source services). Before the start of the Call for Code Challenge, developers can create wireframes, designs and user flows. To keep things fair, all code must be written during the duration of the Challenge, from May 24 to September 28. Other than that, almost anything goes, and you can use any coding languages or open-source libraries.

  • Yes. IBM is providing a catalog of Cloud, AI, and data services for participants to use to build their applications. Usage of IBM Cloud services, including open-source services that are provided and run on the IBM Cloud, is a prerequisite to eligibility. To encourage the effective use of IBM services, IBM will provide many hands-on activities through developer advocacy activities that help participants get the most out of them. See the IBM Cloud catalog for a list of services that can be used. Your application can use additional data sets and external services to complement the IBM Cloud services.

  • See the links to all Call for Code organizations on the home page. Or get in touch through