We all are in unprecedented times right now. COVID-19 has people in situations that they have never found themselves before. Workers that never imagined they would be working from home, are working from home while trying to navigate a whole new world.
In times like these, we see the helpers emerge. Whether that is the healthcare workers that are going to extreme measures for their patients or the car manufacturers that are shifting their facilities to make masks or ventilators, or the individuals in places like my very own home town that are serving lunches to children that are out of school. People are looking for the good and how they can help.
I connect deeply with these feelings, especially in times like these. My full-time day to day job is a software engineer, however, I am also an EMT and spent over 6 years as a volunteer firefighter. When times like these occur, I feel the call. A deep sense of wanting to connect and give.
One of the ways I look to connect and help is by using my skills in technology and software development to solve the problems we are currently experiencing. I reached out in my local rural community and connected with a couple of other developers to see how we could help small businesses as well as individuals in need. Reaching out with simple acts of kindness go a long way.
A friend that is on the opposite coast like me, is connecting with the at-risk youth in her area. Those she fears will lose their reading and math skills and do not necessarily have a strong technology presence in their homes. She put out a call for anyone to help her with a tutorial about how to download and install Zoom on an iPhone or Android, so she could ensure these kids have what they need to engage with her. I didn’t think twice, we use Zoom on a daily basis. This video tutorial is not polished, but it was a ten-minute investment that allows an exponential impact.
Through my years as a provider in emergency services I have an understanding of what those on the front line are going through, I also bring a different perspective when we work on an application for one of our healthcare clients. I am actively looking for ways to bring my experiences in healthcare and my years as a software engineer to solve problems. If we can put ourselves in the shoes of those we are helping, we provide better user experiences and designs. When we can combine our passions and past experiences to bring new solutions, it is magical!