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Hacking for Social Good at AWS re:Invent 2018

by Zivaro, on Dec 7, 2018 5:19:31 AM

At the sixth annual AWS re:Invent NPO Hackathon for Social Good, participants were challenged to use their coding skills for good and build a functioning prototype to solve a specific challenge proposed by a non-profit organization (NPO). The event was sponsored by Accenture, and the NPOs included Compassion International, GameChanger Charity, Girls Who Code, and Goodwill Industries International.

On Tuesday, teams had from 9 a.m. until presentations began at 10 p.m. to develop solutions. Cameron (Cam) Pope, Director of Cloud at Zivaro (and a veteran of Cisco DevNet hackathons) participated on a five-person team to solve a challenge proposed by Goodwill Industries. The solution they devised took fourth place out of 50 teams!

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The Challenge

“We need to establish, improve, and sustain communications with people who want to advance their careers with Goodwill’s Job Coaching and Training programs. They need access to timely notifications about employment and training opportunities and be made aware of the support services we offer them.”

The Solution

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In approximately 12 hours, Cam and his teammates – Sergey Chernyakov, Geetha Ramachandran, Rajesh Mikkilineni, and Eileen Wells – developed the following system to meet the stated challenge:

  • A web portal where job coaches can see activity for a particular person.
  • A voice-based automated outbound calling system that periodically checks in on people to see how they’re doing in their jobs, if they’ve been promoted, and if they feel like they have the skills they need to be successful.
  • A voice-based inbound-calling system to allow people to schedule in-person or virtual meetings.
  • The same system implemented as an SMS-based chatbot.
  • The same system implemented as a Web-based chatbot that could be integrated on the organization’s website.
  • A numerical scoring system to quantify how well a person is progressing from an entry-level job to a family-sustaining career, with “next step” recommendations.
  • A data lake + BI on all of the information collected.

The end product was a rough prototype, but all the above features were demonstrable in some way, and could be turned into a minimum viable product that Goodwill Industries could use in the field in a month or two.

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Kudos to the team for this winning AWS solution! 

Topics:AWS

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