I’m normally a pretty reflective, pensive person. This manifests itself during my typical day-to-day as the long, winding internal conversation and subway-line-daydreams that help me navigate what I see as the absurdities of everyday life.
With COVID-19 having upended the everyday lives of those around the world, life, as it was, doesn’t exist anymore. As a result, my sense of the absurd has skyrocketed to heights I could have never imagined. While it can be helpful in dealing with the cultural and political realities of how we’ve gotten here, it can be harrowing at times for my own mental health, too— and I know I’m not alone there.
My background in writing helps, allowing me to take a step back — just like I’m doing now in writing this — to get some perspective. And while there’s a part of me that would’ve loved to begin Flatiron School two years ago so that I could be more capable of doing something more now, the fact remains that I’m learning the power of programming right now. That’s empowering.
Check out some of the more notable entries below, all of which were created in part or completely with programming languages and back-end frameworks featured in Flatiron School’s Software Engineering curriculum:
Frontline COVID Backtracer
“EtherMed’s COVID solution creates an instant backtrace after a known infection and identifies all current and past physical locations of the infected with a list of those they’ve been in contact with. Administrators then, for the first time, have the ability to know, notify, and manage those needing isolation.”
“The heart of the website is a list of small actions and habits that make us healthier, happier, and more connected. The list is organized around four categories: healthy eating and exercise, relaxing activities like meditation, creative outlets and new hobbies, and ideas for reaching out to help others,” describes creator Alissa Bell.
“Here’s how it works: If you see something you’ve done recently, click the button to be counted. The main counter goes up in real-time, so everyone looking at the page will see it increase. When multiple people are on the page at once, this is really compelling. People can submit their own ideas, and I’ve been adding a few new ones each day from user suggestions. In the future, I could see adding personalized tracking around progress and consistency to encourage repeat use, kind of like a personal checklist or goal tracking app.”
With COVID-19 straining healthcare systems around the world, it’s apparent that volunteers are of utmost importance while cities around the world attempt to #flattenthecurve. While this project is still very much in its infancy, the team behind Pandemic Volunteers has planted the seeds for something that can complement efforts being made right now by international volunteer organizations. Notable is its Ruby frontend and Rails backend.
With hope, my exploration of some cool, very important ideas inspires others more capable than I to put their skills — whatever they may be — to use! As for me, a few more goals to aim for will only serve to make me a stronger programmer, writer, and thinker!