Working in the open: Weeks 7 & 8

One of Code for Canada’s principles is to operate in public. These bi-weekly blog posts put that value into practice, giving readers a window into what we’re doing — and how we do it.

The past two weeks have been incredibly significant at Code for Canada, and include some major milestones for our organization — and our staff.

Applications for the inaugural Code for Canada fellowship will be accepted until June 20. Learn more are codefor.ca/apply.

We launched applications for the inaugural Code for Canada fellowship! The fellowship is our flagship program, and will embed teams of software developers, designers and product managers into government to work on things that matter and build digital public services that truly serve users’ needs.

Applications opened on May 30, and will be accepted until June 20.

The first fellowship team will be hosted by our founding partner, the Government of Ontario. They’ll work closely with staff at the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development to address the needs of Ontarians pursuing post-secondary education and job training.

We’re also lining up fellowships in other levels of government across the country, so stay tuned for future opportunities!

If you’d like to use your tech and design skills to make a real impact, then visit codefor.ca/apply and take the first step to becoming a Code for Canada fellow.

We’re also asking for help with our recruitment drive. If you’d like to help us find the most talented and passionate developers, designers and product managers in Canada, click here for a list of concrete steps you can take to lend a hand.

The opening of fellowship applications represents the culmination of months of work, from meetings with government staff and officials, to project scoping and developing training materials, to plans for promoting the program and reaching out to communities across the country. So, thanks for your support!

Meghan Hellstern (left) and Dorothy Eng are the newest additions to the Code for Canada team.

We hired more staff! Last week we announced that both Dorothy Eng and Meghan Hellstern were joining Code for Canada as staff members. They’ve both been important voices in Canada’s civic tech movement, and we’re really excited to start working alongside them.

Meghan is Code for Canada’s new Education and Community Program Manager. She’ll be developing and delivering Code for Canada’s educational programs, building capacity on the part of public servants, technologists and communities in better leveraging digital technology and design.

Dorothy will be serving as Code for Canada’s Director of Partnerships. She’ll help governments, corporations, nonprofits and residents work with our organization — and each other — to use technology and design to improve people’s lives at scale.

Since its inception, Code for Canada has been a very small team, and we’re excited to see how the ways that we work change as we introduce more people, more personalities and more skills into the mix!

Say hi to Matt Thompson! The 2017 Mozilla Fellow has been hanging out with us at Code for Canada.

We’re learning to #workopen. Matt Thompson, a former Director at the Mozilla Foundation and current 2017 Mozilla Fellow, has been hanging out at our office. Matt is the author of the forthcoming book, Working Open, and an expert in bringing agile practices to nonprofit and social organizations.

He’s also a supporter of Code for Canada and has been helping us develop and refine our practices for meetings, stand-ups, retrospectives and more. The process has been fun, helpful and eye-opening — and it involves A LOT of stickies.

We hung out in K-W. On June 5, Luke and Gabe spoke at the first Code for Canada Open House in Kitchener-Waterloo. The folks at Communitech were gracious enough to host us, and it was great to spend some time in the country’s tech triangle. We met with reps from tech companies who are keen to have their employees become fellows, and discussed the future of civic tech in the region.

Thanks to everyone who came out, and everyone who came up to us afterwards and asked how they could help — your support really helps keep a small team like ours motivated!

While in K-W, we got a tour of the Ontario Digital Service lab at Communitech. The space is going to be a hub for human-centred design in the public service, and another example of how Ontario is really leading the country when it comes to digital government.

Thanks to Katherine Benjamin at ODS for showing us around!

Happy birthday, Lia!

We celebrated Lia’s 30th birthday! Code for Canada’s fellowship program manager, Lia Milito, marked a personal milestone on May 25, celebrating her 30th birthday. She promptly marked the occasion by getting a nosebleed at the precise moment that Gabe and Luke showed up with a cake. If you haven’t already, get on Twitter and wish Lia a happy belated birthday!

We’re on the move! The next two weeks at Code for Canada involve a lot of travel. Lia is headed to New York for the Personal Democracy Forum, and Gabe and Luke will be in Edmonton from June 11 to 14 for the Canadian Open Data Summit (CODS), where Gabe will be speaking on a panel and helping judge the 2017 Canadian Open Data Awards. If you’re in Edmonton, come hang out with us at our Open House event at Startup Edmonton on Sunday, June 11!

See you in two weeks!