Want to collaborate on government open source code projects? Don’t forget about code.gov.
Technologists who want to support the various missions of the federal government need not take on a full-time role to contribute. The General Services Administration‘s lead for code.gov, Karen Trebon, gave a shoutout to the site’s “open tasks” tab during a panel at the Red Hat Government Symposium on Tuesday.
“You can even, in your spare time, help an agency with a code problem that they’re having and maybe pick up some new skills,” she said.
Code.gov currently lists 48 open tasks at agencies as divergent as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Department of Defense, GSA and more. They range from updating code to tweaking a webpage layout to designing a new logo and beyond. Tasks generally list the skill level required (beginner, intermediate or advanced) and the amount of time required (small, medium or large).
The code.gov site first launched in November 2016 as a repository for open source government code. Federal agencies, and their industry partners, use the site to share and exchange open source software — a key goal of the Federal Source Code Policy which set the goal of agencies sharing at least 20% of custom-developed code. But it’s not just about whole companies and agencies — as Trebon pointed out individual developers can get in on the activity too.
Code.gov is just one way that the federal government is working to involve a broader base of stakeholders in its science and technology developments. Citizen science projects posted to challenge.gov and bug bounty programs, which have been especially popular at DOD, are two others.