December 11, 2012 By Dave Moseley
Twenty-four software applications designed for the benefit of East Bay, Calif., residents were developed in whirlwind fashion Saturday at the inaugural Alameda County Apps Challenge 2012 — a “hackathon” in Castro Valley.
An award of $3,000 went to a trio of developers who came up with the winning app. Dubbed BookIT, the software allows smartphone users to locate and check out any book available in the Alameda County Library system by finding the book in a retail outlet and scanning its bar code.
“It’s a fully functional app — and they proved it,” said Tim Dupuis, interim director of information technology for the county. “They found and checked out a book from their phone, and they [wrote the app code] in five hours. It was a unanimous decision by the judges.”
A hundred and twenty developers and other people simply with software ideas attended the day-long event at the Castro Valley Library. The focus, Dupuis said, was to develop apps to serve Alameda County and its residents.
“We’re ecstatic about the results,” Dupuis said. “We weren’t sure how many people we were going to get. It far exceeded our expectations. We thought we’d have six or seven 3-minute demonstrations of apps, and we had 24. It really blew the event’s time frame.”
This Digital Communities white paper highlights discussions with IT officials in four counties that have adopted shared services models. Our aim was to learn about the obstacles these governments have faced when it comes to shared services and what it takes to overcome those roadblocks. We also spoke with several members of the IT industry who have thought long and hard about these issues. The paper offers some best practices for shared government-to-government services, but also points out challenges that government and industry still must overcome before this model gains widespread adoption.