This month's issue of Fast Company magazine has several interesting articles. One is the seemingly requisite article on the 20th anniversary of Teach for America, focusing on alumni of the program.
There is a longer article on a new program called Code for America. The article, "ICitizen," by Anya Kamenetz. Here is a description of the program:
This January, a new organization called Code for America, with support from Yahoo, Microsoft, and others, will launch, aiming to leverage the idealism of a generation of young programmers, this time from within city hall. Modeled on Teach for America, it could not have arrived at a better time, given that budget deficits -- half a billion dollars in L.A., nearly $655 million in Chicago, $3.8 billion in New York -- are killing city services around the country. "This transcends political ideology," says Jennifer Pahlka, Code for America's founder. "One thing that people of different backgrounds can agree on is that government needs to get better."
This January the first 20 coders will fan out to five cities, including Philadelphia. The project for some of the other cities is listed but not the one for Philly. We'll just have to wait and see what happens. If, as the article on Teach for America says, two thirds of the teachers in that program stay in some kind of education, we can hope that our new code writers will make their home in the region when their Code for American term is over. Maybe one will start the next Microsoft or Google here.