Philadelphia competes for tech expertise

    Philadelphia is vying for a chance to have world-class web developers make city services more available online.

    By Meggan Kole

    Philadelphia is vying for a chance to have world-class web developers make city services more available online.

    The competition run by Code for America, an organization aimed to help governments become more transparent, will connect the winning cities with five Web developers.

    They will help the cities bring in new technologies to make government run more efficiently – such as making services available via 311 workable online and on smart phones.

    The prize is not free. The city would have to put out $225,000 for expenses. The contest organizers say this talent is worth over a million dollars.

    Philadelphia’s Chief Technology Officer Alan Frank says it’s well worth it.

    “We don’t have a large number of people in this city with the very, very senior skills capable of doing this,” says Frank. “So we would end up having to go out into the marketplace and buy professional service or hire new people to do some of this stuff.”

    Up to five winning cities will be announced in May.

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