Posted by Dan Kasun
Senior Director, Microsoft Developer and Platform Evangelism

Over the past weekend, Microsoft announced support for Code for America at a dinner event in Seattle attended by Tim O’Reilly, CEO of O’Reilly Media, as well as local officials like Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and City Councilmember Bruce Harrell.  Code for America has embarked on a program to connect city governments with developers, and to foster strong collaboration and sharing between cities on technology solutions.  We believe that this type of initiative can help drive innovative applications in the city government space, help grow the workforce of qualified developers, and help drive efficiency through reuse and sharing of best practices and solutions.

Here at Microsoft, we see the issues facing city governments and we believe that the power of software can help governments overcome these challenges and succeed in their missions.  However, there needs to be a strong base of developers who understand not only technology, but also government issues, infrastructure, organization, systems, and needs.  Another advantage is that broad collaboration between city governments can help them learn from solutions and experiences across the U.S.

Microsoft is demonstrating our support for Code for America by committing to a $50,000 contribution.  We have also agreed to help provide developer skills training to the Code for America Fellows, as well as technical and architectural guidance for the planned solutions in the target cities of Boston, Philadelphia, DC, Seattle, and Boulder.  Finally, we will spread the word about Code for America to our developer and partner community to drive interest in the fellowships and to expand the reach and impact of Code for America's mission

For more information about Code for America and its Fellowship program, visit codeforamerica.org.