Call For Code

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 create new ones, and to drive positive change across the world through their code. 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 act as an incentive for teams to build high-quality, lasting solutions that can be deployed in the areas of greatest need and that benefits all parties.

  • During the period from May to August there are satellite public hackathons hosted by AngelHack in cities throughout the world. There are also events hosted at enterprises, startups, and universities. Each of these events will have a narrower scope of disaster preparedness tailored to the particular audience. Those events may have their own judging and prizes and should be considered a ‘feeder’ event into the main challenge, allowing you to kick-start your 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 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 the great opportunity for developers to apply their valuable skills for good. He engaged IBM, the United Nations Human Rights Office, and the American Red Cross to identify the most pressing cause of our time which could be solved through code. The resulting challenge scope is ideal for tactical and strategic solutions that can be transferred to communities around the world giving them a lasting impact.

  • 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 two semifinalists will receive support from The Linux Foundation to nurture their submission as an open source project and build a community around it, ensuring that it is deployable around the world in the areas of greatest need. The Participant Agreement contains complete details of the rules.

  • Teams are created at the individual participant’s discretion 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 group.

  • Near the end of July, you’ll be given information on how to submit your application along with your team name, teammates, description, demo video, and source code repository URL.

  • 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.

  • The Call for Code virtual sessions host training and open Q&A sessions on both the technology available and the initiative itself. All sessions will be hosted via Zoom live, however, recordings will be made available at a later date. All developers, designers, and entrepreneurs, as well as Call for Code partners, are invited to join the session. Additionally, this would also be a great opportunity for idea vetting, networking, and team building.

  • All code developed as part of the “Call for Code” must be fresh and demonstrably involve IBM Cloud services (including open source services). Before the start of the “Call for Code”, developers can create wireframes, designs and user flows. To keep things fair, all code must be written during the duration of the “Call for Code” Challenge, from May 24 to August 31. Other than that, almost anything goes, and you can use any coding languages or open-source libraries.

  • Yes. Usage of five or more 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.

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