What we are building
DevsHelpDevs, a platform for developers helping developers
Most developers in industrial countries take it for granted to have state of the art
internet and reliable electricity.
I too, never spend any thought in this until I got a lot of Twitter followers from Africa and other
I learned that there is a passionate developer community who doesn't have our infrastructure but
nevertheless wants for
be successful in IT.
Which means a lot of them code on their smartphones because they can't afford a laptop, or often Laptops
that are in
catastrophe conditions with too little memory and old CPUs making working slow and often impossible if
tools don't run on 32bit systems or need at least 8GB of RAM. Others work with keyboards that miss
keys so that they have to copy and paste them or enter them cumbersome with the mouse. Others work with
which makes reading difficult or with old batteries in their laptop limiting their work time to the
where electricity is available.
When I got to know these people better, I knew we have to help them. With WE, I
address all the software
can afford to help especially the ones in the industrial countries. Most of us have the privilege not
to be able to
work with an excellent infrastructure but also getting paid very well for that.
My first idea collecting used Laptops and ship them, turned out to be much more difficult and expensive
Germany. While I'm still looking for better ways to ship devices from here, I started to help developers
upgrades or repairs for their computers by sending them money and as I can't afford to do this all the
I started to
ask my Twitter followers to jump in and donate parts of what was needed.
It turned out, that once the abstract need for poor developers in far countries got faces and stories it
never took long
to find some donors. As it's not sustainable to ask only my followers multiple times a week for money
help a very limited number of people and probably annoy my followers after a while, I think we need a
brings together developers in need with the once willing to help.
The goal of this project is to develop a website where developers needing support for
their equipment can
profile which describes what they need so that people willing to help, can get in touch with them.
It's definitely not the goal to create any organization that needs funds and employees
we need to
find other ways that allow donors a save and easy way to help. This could be:
- Sending money for an upgrade or replacement part which is
- Shipping a used Laptop if there is an easy way like from the
- Pay for a used Laptop which is below $300
- Collect money to buy new laptops
Thinking of that giving one person a working PC can change the whole live for many of
these developers in
need, for an
amount that for most of us is no problem to afford makes me optimistic that this project can help a lot
Ideally this won’t end with an one-time donation but will lead to friends and mentorships across the
All of the above can be realized with an Web App today. To do this successfully we need
to find solutions
Prevent fraud and scams
Such a platform can only be successful if people trust it. So we have to come up with
ideas how we can
prevent any scam
as much as possible. This is absolutely crucial! Some of the receiving countries are unfortunately know
that's why we need well known IT people supporting and vouching for this project.
Making it really easy to help.
People with money might be sympathetic to our cause but often are short in time. So we
have to make it as
possible for them to select a receiver and send the money to the right place.
We need the support of the community
None of the above will be possible without the help of many people from the
- Developing this platform as Open Source in the open so
this also can be a place to learn.
- Screening applicants for donations
- Help in case there are problems between donors and
- Finding trustworthy dealers for (used) Laptops and parts in
And in my humble opinion, this system should be built by people from the countries
it's aimed to
How will we proceed?
Unfortunately, I have no experience in web development at all, so I can't add much help
I can act as
project manager ensuring that we will reach our goal.
To get everyone you want to participate started I have active discussions on this repository and
some threads with questions that we need to answer before we can start doing anything.
We will start with a minimal feature set to get it launched fast and then add more features as we go.
Hope to meet you there!
You can reach me on Twitter @ThomasBurkhartB
How donations are used?
Donation tracker - We built an internal tool to track how the money contributed are been spent.
You can interact with the tracker below.