Please, do excuse me, this isn’t the appropriate way to kick off the 1st post of Helpful Engineering’s blog. Therefore, allow me to rephrase it…
Helpful Engineering was launched less than 2 weeks ago, and we are now 3,400+ volunteers, around the world, working on 35+ ongoing projects! What we have accomplished in such short time should amaze us all and make us proud of our work.
As Charles He so well expressed in his March 20th announcement on Helpful Engineering’s Slack channel, these people “have showed up from top engineering firms, FANGs, and mom and pop shops.”
Indeed, we have a thriving and amazing army of volunteers eager to fight COVID-19 with the best state-of-the-art weapons – their own tools, skills, resources, and time – and this unprecedented war needs us all without exception.
At this point “you might be clamoring to get into a project — and you might be getting extremely frustrated” He emphasized. “But here, rarely will anyone tell you how to get started. You may have to use Slack’s search to find people and channels. You may have to start discussions to draw out people with specific skills. Then you must decide on projects, roles and plans.”
Eventually, our community has entered “In the Swarm” mode. We are collectively self-organizing us in the midst of chaos, and each of us is steadily fitting in our roles as a swarm intelligence agent, whose actions may not be known to all, and these may be quite simple or ordinary, but will definitely influence us all as a group.
Yet, there is still a lot of ground to be covered. As Charles He testified: “I started this by messaging on a site with reCAPTCHAs. I continued until Google turned the difficulty up to “expert”. I spent days picking out traffic lights and stop signs (please unflag my IP, that would be helpful). But I got most of the admins this way. We worked around the clock to build this. Work sucks. Helping isn’t a tidy list of tickets and polishing of ideas. It’s difficult. We are trying to help people in the real world. Finding a team and designing a project is just the beginning.”