A concise but thorough introduction to working in civic technology in the United States. -- Kirkus Reviews
This friendly guide is for technology people who work, or want to work, in the public sector. In it, Cyd Harrell outlines the types of projects, partnerships, and people that civic technologists encounter, and the methods they can use to make lasting change. She focuses on principles and sets of questions to help technologists find the right way to do the most good, starting with finding the people already doing the work. Based on her years of government tech partnerships, Cyd offers practical advice on how to build alliances with public-sector partners, what tech (and non-tech) skill sets are most useful, and how to show up in spaces dedicated to stewardship rather than profit. You’ll also find tips from experience on how to introduce new methods and tools, and how to connect with others in the field and work sustainably on hard problems.
If our team had had this book when we were first brought on board to help fix HealthCare.gov, we would have been able to hit the ground running so much faster. A critical map for people interested in engaging with public institutions, and a much needed compass for those neck deep in this challenging and rewarding work—a reminder of where we’re headed.
- Sha Hwang, HealthCare.gov rescue team member and co-founder of Nava Public Benefit Corporation
If you think you already know how to fix government services and you are ready to enter public service, this book is full of loving truths that make it an indispensable resource.
- Dana Chisnell, co-founder of Center for Civic Design
Civic technologists—and more of them—are critical to our country's future. This book explains how to become one and how to practice the craft with wisdom, intelligence, insight, and heart. A must read for anyone interested in the field and an important refresher on ethics and strategy for experienced practitioners.
- Jennifer Pahlka, founder of Code for America and former US Deputy CTO