With countless apps and startups crowding for attention, the concept of making the world a better place with technology has become a cliché. But charity: water is a different breed of tech organization. They are a non-profit committed to providing clean and safe drinking water for people in developing countries around the world. Their mission to enable this basic human right needs reliable software to back it up.
All of charity: water’s coordination, from raising funds to getting reports from on-the-ground personnel, has to be as simple as possible. When they came to VMware, they needed help with specific projects but they also wanted to advance the skills of their employees and give the organization a new frame of mind for how to build software.
Matthew Eckstein, former Chief Technology Officer for charity: water, describes VMware’s first collaboration—“a complete rewrite of our online fundraising and donation platform”—as “probably the largest and most ambitious software project charity: water’s has ever done.”
When new ideas can greatly improve someone’s quality of life, progress is made. But outdated, inflexible software can be a wet blanket for new ideas. The new fundraising platform wasn’t just better, it was built to grow and expand for what charity: water will be years from now—making sure every human has access to clean and safe drinking water.
Eckstein goes on to say that “one of the biggest values that came out of working with [VMware] was that we learned their process and their tools and just their general approach to building a software.” Product Manager Saqib Bedi noted that before working the VMware way, he’d “never worked this closely with a designer before, and it's a great experience to be able to see the start-to-finish cycle of a story.”
It's a great experience to be able to see the start-to-finish cycle of a story...”Saqib Bedi, Product Manager, charity: water
Bedi was a developer before he was a product manager, and he stepped into the product role after learning many new skills through the engagement with VMware. With skills like writing user stories, running iteration meetings, and conducting user research, Saqib feels “better prepared to take on larger engineering teams.”
charity: water is proof that working with smart technologists, advancing your skills, and helping improve the world is not a zero-sum game. It takes a hard-working and forward-thinking team to break the mold for non-profits. Interested in joining their journey? Reach out to them here.