Managing Tech Volunteers

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Companies/non-profits/institutions involved with volunteerism and /or tech and/or developers

http://www.techsoup.org/

http://caravanstudios.tumblr.com/

http://www.socialcoding4good.org/

https://openhatch.org/

http://codeforamerica.org/

http://www.randomactsofkindness.org/


---bullet points

- Cross sector collaboration is important


- There are different types of people who volunteer such as:

Project managers

UI/UX designers

Software developers

tech writers

tech ambassadors (teachers)


- Corporations

Are hackathon focused

Code spring focused.

some are community based.

- Cirque du soleil model

               Get volunteers and get them trained through places like Open Hatch and then maybe later when they are up to speed move them onto a project


- Different ways to place volunteers

Using algorithms to place volunteers with projects/non-profits

A person setting volunteers with projects/non-profits

Get people to self direct on projects.


- Volunteers/volunteer managers

Take time to take really scope the project

Watchout or be mindful of "I volunteer at 10 places"

Always introduce yourself

Biggest weakness - "don't fit well with project/non-profit

Skills interviewing

Avoid critical path projects, where time, people and resouceses are really crucial and people can't just leave in the middle of the project

Get feedback from volunteers

Be in regular contact with volunteers and managers

Wait for all parties to be ready for volunteers.

Volunteers do pro-bono work-build portfolios, etc

sometimes volunteers end up getting fulltime jobs at the companies.


- Questions?

Who is legally responsible for work?

Who is legally responsible for the volunteer

How do you handle/legate volunteers working on sensitive material (ie...banks)

What does an ethical tech volunteer look like?

What are our obligations as volunteer managers/volunteers.

Who is liable if something goes wrong?

What are the mechanics of volunteering through your for-profit company or getting volunteers from for profit companies (like microsoft)

When involved in a hack-a-thon/code spring who is liable? and who get's ownership of the code?

Do you really know who you are volunteering for?

Have you read the fine print?

Is there now a volunteer industrial complex?

Do we think long term enough?

Who does maintenance for sites after the volunteer has left (other volunteers?) ?

Does your project/non-profit have a record of volunteers and what they worked on?

Are we thinking longterm projects?

Short term projects?

How do we create vibrant volunteer network?