austin / lotv / nonprofit / nptech / open source / time bank

Codeathon Participants Earn Time Exchange For Their Volunteer Time

Participants earn time to receive services for their work building open source software to benefit the nonprofit community.

(Austin, TX) The Austin Time Exchange Network (ATEN) helps people trade an hour of work for another hour of work within a community. Instead of bartering between just two people and placing different values on the service, our network allows equal sharing of an hour for an hour within the whole community.

The idea is to build community assets and to match unmet resources with unmet needs. I can mow someone’s lawn for an hour and then have that hour to spend on a service from anyone else in the community. That service can include services as varied as dog walking, housecleaning, massage, violin lessons or C++ program development. If you feel your service is very intensive, you also can cap how many hours or participants a month you’re willing to give for that particular service.

This past weekend, ATEN gave an orientation to about 20 volunteers involved with the Designathon. That event brought together people willing to create designs for open source software that will benefit non-profit organizations. Because ATEN recognizes the assets being created will continue to spur growth, value and productivity within the open source and non-profit community, these volunteers received Time Exchanges for each hour they participated. For those who spent the whole day there, they earn ed 9 hours of time.

These members now have hours to spend within the community. One developer expressed the need to simply have some furniture moved by someone who has a pick-up. Other useful scenarios include Designers exchanging time with Coders, or Coders exchanging time with each other. A programmer might need some additional assistance with something in development, or they may be willing to spend a couple of Exchange Shares to learn Ruby or PHP from another developer. I may not have databse skills, but will now have access to someone who does. They can also use it for more real life issues like housework or repair while they continue to keep their heads down and code. This exchange of time will serve as an impetus for additional collaboration within the development community.

Participants in the upcoming Codeathon will receive an hour of Exchange Shares for every hour they spend at this event focused on creating open source software to benefit the nonprofit community. Those who stay for the whole event (you can come and go) have the potential to earn 30 hours for their time spent creating assets and building a commons for the community at large.

The Codeathon is a marathon overnight event where developers create open source software to benefit nonprofit organizations. All languages and skill levels are welcome. Entertainment and food is also provided. It is organized by the League of Technical Voters and Knowbility. You can find out more or sign up at:

The Austin Time Exchange Network is one year old in Austin as of Tax Day, 2007. You can find out more about the organization and theories at or by e-mailing

You can also contact Rich Vázquez who is a board member of ATEN and a participant of Codeathon at Tom Brown and Gregory Foster are two existing ATEN members who are also participating in the Codeathon.

Tom Brown and Rich Vázquez blog about open source and currency at

The irc channel for Open Source Currency is #opensourcecurrency at

Create open source software to benefit nonprofits. Two events! Two chances to participate! Free food, prizes, unique entertainment. All types and skill levels of designers needed. Collaborate on issues of usability and accessibility, graphical interface and high-level software architecture.

More info and to sign up:
Log in with password: codeon

Kick off party at Triumph Café
Friday, 4/13, 8 p.m. – 11 p.m.

Saturday, 4/14, 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sunday, 4/15, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
MCC Building, 3925 W. Braker Ln.

Saturday, 4/21, Start at Noon
End at 6 p.m. on Sunday, 4/22
Overnight event
Tek Republic
5310 Burnet Rd.

The packages created during this event, while targeted for use by NPOs, will be showcased and freely available for anyone to use.


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