How do you help people connect to current COVID-19 information and services? What system is best to improve UH building security? How can the state’s information tech portfolio be more visible to the public? On Nov. 21, teams of student, amateur and professional coders tackled these and other challenges in the 2020 Hawai‘i Annual Code Challenge (HACC). The event, inspired five years ago by Governor Ige, has become more relevant than ever in the current pandemic with people having to search for information online and navigate websites.
“We see the HACC as a way for the local tech community to help state government provide more effective and efficient services,” said the governor. “It’s one way we can build local IT talent and create jobs here at home. With advances in technology these days, you can work for any company in the world and still live in Hawai‘i.”
The winning team, “OverEasi” from the University of Hawai‘i, designed a COVID-19 “chat bot” that could answer a user’s questions 24/7 or direct them to the appropriate agency for more information. Their first place prize was $4,000, and their challenge was proposed by NIC Hawaii. Other challenges came from the Department of Human Services and First Lady Dawn Amano-Ige for a “one-stop shop” directory for the needs of families and children, the Hawai‘i State Archives, the University of Hawai‘i and the state’s Office of Enterprise Technology Services, which coordinated the event.
The HACC has been nationally recognized with the State IT Innovation of the Year award by StateScoop, the leading government IT media company in the nation’s capital. For more information and a complete list of winners, go to hacc.hawaii.gov.