Call for Code Challenge Hosted at 42 Silicon Valley


Call for Code Challenge @ 42

On August 25th, 2018 the City of Fremont, 42 Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley Insider, and Tulip Conference teamed up with IBM and hosted a hackathon at 42 Silicon Valley. 42 is proud to announce that this was the only Call for Code Challenge satellite event in North America. This one-day hackathon focused on projects that will create solutions that will improve preparedness during natural disasters and relief during wildfires.

Using Tech to Find Solutions for Natural Disaster Relief

According to IBM developerWorks, “ On average, every day natural disasters will directly impact 80,000 people, costing the global economy more than $270 million. What if technology could help improve these figures? That’s exactly what Call for Code is setting out to do. It asks developers to work out how to use AI, Blockchain, Cloud, Data, and IoT technologies most effectively to improve communities’ disaster preparedness and resiliency. With 17 big blazes burning across California thus far in 2018, fire damage is likely to set an all-time record. In 2017 estimated losses from California wildfires totaled $10 to $12 billion, we have a unique perspective that can help drive innovation in this field. We are developers, makers and builders who have lived through disasters. We know what is at stake.”  


Community Support and Industry Collaboration = Innovation

Fremont Mayor Lily Mei kicked off the all-day hackathon with some inspirational words, Fremont Fire Chief Curtis Jacobson spoke and Jeff Youngsma, Fire Battalion Chief, gave insight by sharing experiences and challenges during fires. IBM GM and Chief Developer Advocate Willie Tejada, Silicon Valley Insider’s Keith Koo and Tulip Conference’s Gee Sivalingam also spoke to the crowd that gathered for the event. The rules, judging, and criteria were reviewed, teams formed and after the projects were judged the top 5 teams presented their projects. One of the judges, Michael Balliet, is the Director of the County of Santa Clara Consumer and Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Environmental Health. The day ended with a closing ceremony and awards. Chief Academic Officer at 42, Gaetan Juvin, said, “When everything is fine we are happy, but when you have a problem you call an emergency response professional like a firefighter. First responders answer the call of duty, anytime we need help they are here for us. Today we want to make an impact on the world by helping those who are always there to help us.” 

Wildfire Detection Team: 42 and Sigfox Hacking House

42 student Obsaa Abdalhalim partnered with Nassim Bettach, Jay Nagdeo, and Kevin Candor from Sigfox’s The Hacking House. Their Call for Code project used Sigfox IoT devices to sense the humidity, the temperature, and the weather patterns and give firefighters real-time access to data in areas where there is no data coverage. This way, first responders will be alerted to any fires occurring in the forest before it grows to a visible level. There was more than one category at the hackathon, and the Wildfire Detection Team won first place with The Tech Future Group to develop this project further and placed second overall in the competition. Obsaa shared, “I had an awesome time building something for the greater good. The best products are ones you build with your community in mind.”

More about Call for Code Global Initiative

According to Call for Code, “This multi-year global initiative is a rallying cry for developers to use their skills and mastery of the latest technologies, to create new ones, and to drive positive change across the world through their code. Call for Code brings startup, academic, and enterprise developers together and inspires them to solve the most pressing societal issues of our time.” Humanitarian and International organizations, such as the United Nations Humans Rights Office and the American Red Cross’ International team, will benefit from the inaugural Call for Code Global Prize Event and Concert that will be held in San Francisco on October 29th, which the Wildfire Detection team will attend. To learn more about the Call for Code Initiative, visit their website.


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published by Stacey Faucett – August 30, 2018