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How can programming ability be used to help people in poverty?

I have begun a career as a web application and database developer while slowly discovering the passion I have for work in the international development sector. Since this is not the most obvious line of work for someone with my credentials, it seems to me that special care must be taken in order to court international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and position myself in the field.

Aside from adding grant-writing to my skill set and getting volunteer experience, what indispensable advice do you have for a fledgling programmer who wants to save the world?

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marked as duplicate by Mark Trapp Jan 5 '12 at 18:12

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2 Answers 2

Its always nice to work on a non profit organization, i love the feeling that i am working for a particular course, whether its helping children or anything that that particular NGO is working on. I tend to work more in those kind of situations than working in an area where i know i am benefiting some top guy up there, i am not sure how you feel about it

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Stick with it! You'll be extremely valuable. I worked for a year for an academic center who offers nonprofit/NGO degrees and it was such a great experience. The people were fantastic and as the only tech person in the office I was able to take on a lot of responsibility as a fresh college grad. I don't have any specific advice other than to stay true to your passion.

There is a nonprofit academic center conference going on in March, and there are some sessions that deal specifically with technology for nonprofits/NGOs. Check out the schedule, and if anything sounds interesting you could probably email the NACC director for information after the conference. I maintain the NACC site so I could put in a good word for you if needed.

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