Call For Code

Frequently Asked Questions

  • This multi-year global initiative rallies developers to create practical, effective, and high-quality applications based on cloud, data, and artificial intelligence that can have an immediate and lasting impact on humanitarian issues. Call for Code brings startup, academic, and enterprise developers together and inspires them to solve the most pressing societal issues of our time.
  • Call for Code 2019 Global Challenge again asks developers to create solutions that significantly improve preparedness for natural disasters and accelerate relief when they hit. This year’s challenge introduces an emphasis on individual health and community well-being. This includes solutions that can reduce the risk of disease, improve access to data and the availability of resources, and address the mental health needs of those impacted before, during, and after disasters.
  • 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. These teams will have their submissions open sourced through The Linux Foundation.
  • During the period from February to July 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 and find more on the page.
  • 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 and DCC are not eligible to participate. All participants must accept the terms of the Participation Agreement upon submission. An internal Call for Code initiative and prize structure for IBM employees is run separately from the global challenge.
  • The Participation Agreement you accept upon submission contains complete details of the Challenge. The 2019 Call for Code Global Challenge page has the basic rules.
  • 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 Participation 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.
  • To enter the 2019 Call for Code competition starting on March 25, 2019 your team leader will require the following information to submit your solution:
    • Submission name. The name for your solution or team in five words or less.
    • Short description. Describe your team’s solution in 10 words or less.
    • Long description. 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 another source code repository such as GitLab or Box. You can provide additional description and diagrams here. Hint: Review the judging criteria and rules: 2019 Call for Code Global Challenge.
    • Link to a three-minute demo video. Record a demo of your project, upload it to YouTube or Vimeo and share the URL.
    • List of IBM Cloud Services or IBM Systems used in the solution. Join the Challenge Community to get an IBM Cloud account.
    • Email addresses of up to four additional team members. Each will need to accept the Participation Agreement. You can only be part of one team of up to 5 members, and your team can only submit one application.
    The team leader who submitted the solution will receive an email confirming the submission details. If you need to update or replace your submission, please create a new submission. The latest submission from the submitter email address before the July 29, 2019 deadline will be considered the final entry.
  • See the 2019 Call for Code Global Challenge page for the breakdown of scoring criteria.
  • The more complete your application is, the better you’ll score on the “completeness and transferability” criterion. That’s also why the solution roadmap you provide along with your solution is helpful. It indicates how mature the project is and where you plan to go next in its development. While we don’t expect each solution to be production-ready upon submission, we are looking for concrete solutions that can be nurtured, improved, and eventually deployed through the IBM Code and Response program.
  • Applications must be new and built for the 2019 competition between February 12 and July 29 2019, but they may use code that was open sourced and available to all other participants as of February 12, 2019. 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 provides many hands-on activities through developer advocacy 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, libraries, and externally-hosted services to complement the IBM Cloud services or IBM Systems.
  • See the links to all Call for Code organizations on the Call for Code ecosystem page. Or get in touch through the Contact form.