Civic Code for Social Change: Lessons in Civic Tech Grassroots for Software Engineers22 Oct 2022 · 1 min read
Figure: Three Pillars of Civic Coding Best Practices
Read our new magazine article about civic coding and what software engineers should know about it! We’re excited about the opportunity, since the format allows us to condense the highlights from our research into a compact “this is what you need to know” package. It’s a quick read with no paywall, so if you find this topic at the intersection of free/open source software and social change of interest, do follow the link below. We also list below some key highlights from the article.
- Civic coders can accomplish much, but they are also easily sidelined or harmed by activities done by more structured actors.
- When working with civic tech communities, it is important to go beyond the usual requirements engineering process and ensure open and equitable participation.
- Free and open-source software licenses are the key to enabling transparency, agency, and accountability in civic tech projects.
An open access version of the paper is available in IEEE Xplore.
The creation of code for improving civic participation in societal processes is often referred to as civic tech. Software engineers are increasingly likely to work with civic tech initiatives or as part of volunteer efforts during their careers. It is important to raise awareness about the civic tech phenomenon and how it relates to the field of software engineering. We explore the best practices for civic tech grassroots that software engineers should be aware of when working with - or as - civic coders through a case study.
Reference and authors
Knutas, A., Palacin, V., Maccani, G., Aragon, P., Wolff, A., & Mocek, L. (2022). Civic Code for Social Change: Lessons in Civic Tech Grassroots for Software Engineers. IEEE Software. (IEEE Xplore open access | DOI: 10.1109/MS.2022.3179670 )