Everything starts with an idea

Joe Breslin
Feb 27, 2017 · 5 min read
He had some pretty good ones…

Maybe you had that idea many years ago and have since turned it into a high functioning, successful organization. Perhaps it’s something you’ve been chewing on for years and haven’t had an appropriate outlet. Or this idea could simply be something you and your buddies conjured up whilst under the influence and can’t wait to tell the world about this can’t-miss breakthrough. Regardless of your idea’s history, assuming it’s related to diminishing money’s suffocating political influence, Prog Code might just be the place to make it come true.

Join the community

Of course, Prog Code is quite an exciting place so it’s easy to get swept up and want to dive right in. Before doing so it’s important to understand how the Prog Code community functions so that you can be as successful as possible. Specifically, this includes being respectful of the culture and community, keeping your ego in check, understanding the history and norms, and entering from a place of service rather than as a dominating force. Our regular onboarding calls will also provide the fast track for getting up to Prog Code speed.

Make your pitch

That’s right, the first stop for realizing or improving your idea is to share it with the fine people over in #pitch-zone. We don’t have any hard and fast rules for what to include or not include in your pitch (besides sticking to the Community Guidelines, of course!), though the most important factor is expressing your true passion. A couple helpful best practices are to include a name (or working title), a brief description, any specific issues the idea supports, and any cool technology you’re considering. It’s best to keep the pitch succinct with a clear call to action to learn more information or join your channel. And to take your pitch to the next level, adding other accompanying media like a quick video outlining the problem you’re addressing, what your plan is and what support you need.

Create a channel

Speaking of channels, one of the biggest success indicators we’ve seen within Prog Code is partner community involvement, and creating your own channel is a great start. Of course, like pretty much everything else as a Prog Code application, it’s completely up to you how you choose to operate, we just want to provide options that make it easier to do so. In our experience, the groups that keep their work close to Prog Code community tend to have the easiest time attracting new team members, though being a friendly face to greet them and sending them to a secondary Slack or project board is encouraged as well.

Document your project

As you’re becoming a more official project, it’s important to create a GitHub issue for your project so that we can include this in our official communications and drive visibility across the network. We try to keep the information we ask people to provide extremely minimal, vitally important and communicated effectively. We want to make sure we are respecting your time and not imposing any process simply for the sake of process.

Build your plan

Now that you have a channel, it’s probably good to have a few baseline documents that help explain the vision and give people something to contribute toward coming into the project. Feel free to stop by #product_management to pick up a few awesome templates around planning, prioritizing and conveying your project for the world to see. You might also want to check out the ProgCode Toolkit for some great resources on getting started.

Find some talent

Let’s face it, Prog Code is crawling with it. And they’re all so humble, too! Probably the most humble. So, naturally, you’ll want some of these super talented, humble people to help support your idea. The best place to check out is #jobs-and-vols, which is one of the default channels for our ever-growing community. In addition to there, we also have a ton of specialized channels categorized by type including issues, projects, partners, and technologies. The most important thing to understand with the Prog Code community is that, while this is highly engaged and eager community, it’s also a community to help shape and mold the solutions devised here. It’s critical to look at the ideas you have as an offer that will be shaped and molded by the community here rather than a group to whom tasks should be dictated.

Partner up

Beyond the vast pool of talented (and did I mention handsome?) volunteers who make Prog Code their internet home, a number of similarly talented, humble and handsome partners also spend a good deal of time in Prog Code. As part of this, there is a near limitless opportunity to collaborate and integrate with a huge variety of highly complementary efforts. If you’re not sure where to start, you can always ask the people who say hello in your welcome DM or head on over to #ask-the-team.

Build the application

We won’t go into too much detail here about how to build your application, but suffice it to say merely having ideas does not make them reality (not yet, anyway, but just wait for our 3D printing pizza machine with NLP idea manifestor integration). There’s a huge effort involved in actually creating the application, though if you follow the steps above you should have a really solid framework and incredible team to help execute. How you do so will ultimately be decided by those contributing to the project, adapting as best for your team.

Spread the word

Last but not least, now that you have your amazing application built, it’s time to spread the good word! Your best bet is to head over to the #social-media, better know as Prog Code’s intersection point with the rest of the world. Provide some details on what you’re working on and any important milestones and we’ll work to get it added to our editorial calendar and shared throughout the network. In addition to this, the Prog Code team is also happy to connect you with complementary efforts, just swing on by #network-relations with what you’re working on and we’ll support however we can. Then it’s just a matter of time until you’re still back and counting those dollars not spent on slimy lobbyists.

And there you have it, a successful Prog Code application! In future pieces we’ll cover how to become an official partner, the specific benefits you’ll receive as a Prog Code partner and some ways you can help support the broader community. As always, if you have any questions you’re still curious about, please feel free to stop by and #ask-the-team.

The Progressive Coder

We encourage everyone to share innovative ideas which inspire a means to achieve racial, social, environmental and economic justice. Join our radically inclusive network of skilled tech and non-tech volunteers engaged in non-partisan tech activism for progressive change.

Joe Breslin

Written by

The Progressive Coder

We encourage everyone to share innovative ideas which inspire a means to achieve racial, social, environmental and economic justice. Join our radically inclusive network of skilled tech and non-tech volunteers engaged in non-partisan tech activism for progressive change.

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