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The coronavirus pandemic is a global moment of hardship, uncertainty, and mortal risk. But in this shared time of great adversity, there is collective concentration to innovate, investigate, and overcome. It is in this spirit that Microsoft MVPs came together from the comfort of their own quarantined homes to do just that.
Just as many hands make light work, many coders solve big problems – and this concept was on show at Hack4GoodMBAS. The global hack, which was the second edition of the event held before the Microsoft Business Applications Summit 2020, saw almost 400 Microsoft Powerapp-ers from around the world hack on the same day with the aim of building solutions to assist during and post-coronavirus.
Building what the organizers refer to as a “neural network of awesomeness”, the hack asked the community to leverage their technical expertise to improve the crisis.
The rules were simple: The more than 55 teams would be given 24 hours to create whatever solution they saw fit, with start times staggered in order to cater to the participants from more than 40 countries.
“The best bit is knowing they are all working apart by being remote but together at the same time,” said Elaiza.
Andrew Welch, who served with Emma D’Arcy as regional lead for the Americas, said he was amazed at how teams simply got on with the job and stayed engaged throughout the virtual event. This hack only foregrounded that the Microsoft community is filled with warm, decent, and caring people, Andrew said.
“I enjoy the close personal friendships that I share with others in the community. It’s an added bonus that we’re a flock of profound geeks who can talk for hours about Power Platform adoption, business automation, data culture, and the like,” he said.
“The Microsoft community is a place where people connect and thrive from each other's knowledge ... Our Microsoft community is amazing,” Elaiza added.
Each region picked their best submission from the event, with the overall winner announced at the MSBizApps Summit. More important than the winner, however, was the continual and returning community support for such hacking events.
Hacking for good runs deep within the Microsoft community, with the same organizing team behind the MBAS Hack4Good, the Global Hack4Good, and last year’s MBAS Hack4Good.
Instead of one-off events, these hacks are part of an ongoing effort from the community to be the change they want to see in the world.
This particular event, though, goes to show that awesome things can still be achieved even when people are not in the same room. For more information, visit the Hack4Good website.