What software products does your Brigade need?


Hey Brigade leaders and members, I’m working with the Network team at CfA to identify which software products are most important to your groups and projects. We are looking to approach companies that produce software that’s useful to brigades to solicit donations of those products. In order to help me plan this, I need a bit of info about the current lay of the land.

What software products does your brigade need?

Right now, a couple that are on my radar include Heroku, Github, and Slack of course… but there are many others. Mailchimp? GSuite? What else? Could you tell me a few of the most important pieces of software that you use, currently, or that you would want to use if it were provided to you for free?

In-kind sponsorship from tech companies

Mailgun! It’s great for deploying apps that need to send transactional emails. Their free tier comes with 10K emails/month which is usually plenty but it would be nice to know there’s some support available for email-heavy applications that take off.

Code for Philly is using Laddr for example to send bi-weekly emails to our members that are a hybrid of newsletter and personalized updates. With ~3K members not-yet-unsubscribed we’re getting very close to the 10K limit


Anyone here use RStudio? I was just on a call with a new brigade leader who recommended that requesting the hosting/server space could be a potential time-saver.


Digital Ocean, AWS, Gitlab : )


Combining AWS and Azure gices over 5k USD in hosting credits yearly for non-profits: https://codeforall.org/resources


I :heart: RStudo. But I’m a nerd.


Code for San Francisco DS Projects have not used a ton of R, although individuals have expertise. I’m sure R Studio would be welcome, although I don’t have specific ideas of use cases yet.


Honestly, I am of the opinion that we need to move away from Meetup some in terms of a CRM; Meetup just doesn’t work well as a CRM. It’s excellent as an inbound membership acquisition tool, but not very helpful (for us at least) when we want to reach the entire community.

Moreover, at the risk of beating a dead horse, the fact that Code for America and most brigades use Slack instead of an open-source chat alternative is somewhat befuddling. Slack’s great for community. It’s not great for project management (unless you get more than 10 integrations) and it’s an inherently exclusionary piece of software. For example, it’s blocked by City of Savannah’s firewall, meaning we can’t communicate with any gov employees via Slack. Also, given that open source is a fundamental value we all share, why are we using an enterprise product to do it?

We’ve just deployed Mattermost and I can report back on how well it is or isn’t received…

+1 to VPN credits -– Digital Ocean, AWS, or Azure would be a dream!

  • 1 to Mailgun – Yes, absolutely. Or even Sendgrid.

Personal preference: DNSimple credits!


Oh, ArcGIS Online access would be lovely for those of us working in jurisdictions where ESRI is the ipso facto geospatial vendor of choice.