Offerman Consulting
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Code for NL is looking for fellows

Author: Adrian Offerman

Code for NL, the brand-new Dutch chapter of the international Code for All network, is looking for fellows. The civil organisation currently has four positions available, one in Amsterdam and three in Eindhoven, where coders/evangelists can help the government to develop citizen-oriented applications in an agile way.

According to Ivonne Jansen, Project Manager and Open Data evangelist at Waag Society, one of the partners of Code for NL, the positions are not internships but full jobs. We are looking for people that are good coders. The primary goal, however, is to show and teach public servants modern ways and tools to develop citizen-centric software. It's about service design, agile development, results, speed, citizen feedback and involving stakeholders; how to make ICT an integral part of policy-making.

Means to an end

The software produced will be published as open source, and the data will be based on open data as much as possible. But we see openness as a means to an end here. Our primary goal is to change governments that are working from policy documents, using long tender procedures, and deploying lots of legacy systems. In the Netherlands, and in other countries too, less than one percent of the public agencies are working agile. We provide a way for public servants to get acquainted with this methodology. Our experience is that when they become enthusiastic about it, they start evangelising. So we as an organisation have succeeded in our mission when we will be obsolete ourselves.

The fellowships start at the end of this summer, probably in August. The positions are paid for by the municipalities. Participants can be hired as freelancers or through a payroll service bureau. In Amsterdam, the available position is at the Department of Transport and Public Space. The fellow there will work on issues around traffic, parking for special target groups (e.g. the disabled, touring coaches, etc.), and roadworks. In Eindhoven, the jobs will be defined in more detail together with the people of the city.