Developing with Good Intentions
How Technology for Social Good inspires change, fosters inclusion and makes a difference in communities.
Imagine a smartphone app that helps fight global slavery. Imagine you’re working on that app as a student and the solution you develop could help free thousands of slaves worldwide once built.
This was a reality for a university student who served as a Global Technology summer analyst at JPMorgan Chase and participated in one of the firm’s Technology for Social Good programs.
It was during a recent Code for Good challenge when university students helped develop the app for the nonprofit organization Free the Slaves. Free the Slaves is an international non-governmental organization working in human trafficking hot spots to end modern practice of slavery around the world. The app expanded the group’s ability to gather data among field workers even in remote areas, raise awareness about slavery, and combat its practice.
During Code for Good events, students and JPMorgan Chase technologists spend 24 hours using their technology skills to solve real problems for nonprofit organizations. It’s also a great way for students to showcase their skills in problem-solving, collaboration and technical prowess, all while learning about JPMorgan Chase’s culture of giving back and meeting recruitment teams.
Hosted at JPMorgan Chase offices around the world, Code for Good is one of several ways the firm identifies technology talent for the full-time and summer Technology Analyst Program (TAP). In fact the company brings in more than 30 percent of its TAP class through Code for Good.
“I met a couple of my teammates before Code for Good, but it wasn’t until the event that we spent more than 24 hours together and got close to each other. We knew how to code, but to be able to build a real product that would eventually go to market—that somebody actually wants, and you can deliver—that feels great.” – Recent attendee of Code for Good.
The best part is that the ideas generated at Code for Good do not just sit on the “digital shelf”—they are later brought to life in Technology for Social Good’s Force for Good program. Participating technologists—all JPMorgan Chase employees—spend four hours a week on eight-month projects building technology platforms for nonprofits.
Corey Shirk, a technologist in Columbus, has participated in many facets of the Technology for Social Good programs. As a university student, he attended Code for Good in Tampa. His team created a data catalog that will allow organizations such as the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, which is dedicated to advancing quality of life and discovering cures for spinal cord injury, to partner with travel sites to provide more complete accessibility information for their visitors.
Shirk was offered a position in the TAP program in 2016 and later participated in Force for Good, working with other tech analysts to create a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform to ease program and service workflows for an Ohio nonprofit.
“Force for Good is a great way to test out your skills in technology and learn new things,” he said. “I wouldn’t know of another opportunity to learn how to build a CRM system. It was cool to go and do this outside of my regular work duties, while also giving back to a nonprofit in my community.”
To continue driving interest in Code for Good and other technology opportunities at JPMorgan Chase, Technology for Social Good also launched a Sponsored Hackathons Program, which allows the firm to get involved in hackathons hosted at university campuses across the country.
“Hackathons are becoming more and more popular in the technology community,” said Julia Backon, Global Lead of the Sponsored Hackathons program. “We started sponsoring external hackathons and realized it’s a great way to showcase how technology driven JPMorgan Chase is and our passion for social good, all while connecting with technology talent and supporting students who are interested in these events.”
Since launching in 2010, Technology for Social Good has been giving JPMorgan Chase technologists’ unique opportunities to give back. The group sponsored over 30 external hackathons in 2017, introducing social good challenges to thousands of computer science students around the country. Code for Good has been hosted 44 times in 15 cities around the world since inception, including Bengaluru, Chicago, Wilmington, London, Mumbai, New York, and Singapore. The Force for Good program, which pairs JPMorgan Chase technologists with nonprofits to fully develop solutions, operates in 17 cities supporting over 70 nonprofit organizations just this past year.