How the Heavybit Community is Contributing to COVID-19 Efforts
- Mina Benothman
Earlier this month, Jason Lemkin asked to Twitter, “What did you ship / launch last week to help your customers more?” In our March newsletter, we shared some of the ways member companies have shifted to support their customers. Our portfolio companies solve problems. In normal times, they’re solving problems for developers and people building products. But during this time, many have gone above and beyond to find solutions or to help others solve problems that are impacting everyone globally. In this post, I’d like to recognize just a few of the individuals and organizations using devtools to contribute to COVID-19 efforts.
Contentful, Netlify, and GatsbyJS: Stop the Spread
Organizations need easy and effective tools to communicate with their communities — now more than ever. That’s why Contentful, Netlify, and Gatsby are providing a customizable JAMstack website template for organizations around the world. It’s a website that’s easy and fast to set up, but scalable by default due to several layers of caching in content delivery networks. On stop-the-spread.dev, you can find instructions for implementation, a demo website, FAQs, a help center, and if your organization doesn’t have a developer, you can request help from their volunteer network of developers and agencies.
The COVID Tracking Project, which is collecting and verifying data about testing in every US state and territory with the help of hundreds of volunteers, is a static site built on the three products. The team of volunteers uses Contentful to manage and update their site, the GatsbyJS static site generator to handle large sets of data changes without formatting issues, and the Netlify integration with Contentful to preview and develop pages together. You can learn more about how the site was built, here.
The Norwegian expression “dugnad” symbolizes unpaid voluntary work done in a group, for local, national or international causes and Sanity is continuing that. tradition of communal work. Over the last month, they’ve seen an increase in people using their product to develop solutions to help others so they’ve decided to offer a free Sanity advanced plan (and carry the cost of any project that exceeds that plan) to every non-profit COVID-related initiative. All you have to do is reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with your project ID and a simple description of your project and for an upgrade.
Corey Ward, a freelance full-stack designer and developer, and his partner, used Sanity to build Takeout Tracker in response to stay-at-home orders. The website was launched in less than a week and after 9 days, had indexed more than 500 restaurants in Austin, TX that are still open for takeout. The source code for Sanity Studio and and the Gatsby frontend is available here, so if you build your own tracker, let Sanity know and they can upgrade your plan.
COVID-19 has shaken the events industry and many conferences scheduled for 2020 have been cancelled or postponed indefinitely. But why let all the time, energy, and resources already spent on putting it together go to waste? On April 15th, the Snyk team, along with their community members and partner sponsors, including companies like Lightstep, CircleCI, and Honeycomb, hosted AllTheTalks.online. For 23.999 hours, speakers got an opportunity to share their talks with a world-wide audience, all the while raising funds to assist select charities benefiting virus victims.
Sponsorship and donations, matched up to $25k by Snyk co-founder Guy Podjarny, raised $100,000 for the World Health Organization by the end of the conference and they’re still taking donations until April 30th.
PagerDuty: Free Licenses for Healthcare Orgs
Though the company was founded to help developers respond to mission-critical issues, PagerDuty has since then expanded to include their social impact arm, PagerDuty.org, to support organizations and people working across sectors, such as suicide and safety hotlines and disaster relief services. They’re providing financial support to several response funds and offering healthcare organizations 20 free licenses for six months.
They’re also offering six free PagerDuty licenses for six months to any business that isn’t already on PagerDuty. If you’re thinking of organizing a local volunteering group, you can follow Jim Downing’s guide on spinning up a request handling and tracking system using PagerDuty’s Starter Plan, Twilio, and Zapier.
If you haven’t already, subscribe to our monthly newsletter to stay up to date on what our portfolio companies and community members are building.