• How did Code Michigan come to be?

    Code Michigan was inspired by the writings of Tim O'Reilly who speaks of government as a platform. O'Reilly believes government should provide the plumbing to let anyone interface with public data and services. Rick Mason attended an open source conference and heard the city of Austin's Mateo Esquibel speak about his efforts to both create an open application programming interface (API) for the city and host an event to promote it. Rick returned to Michigan motivated to do something similar. He contacted his friend David Smith, who provided the opportunity to present the idea to Michigan's CIO, David Behen. Rick said if the state were to create a series of open APIs then he'd help host an event and promote it to programmers. Behen liked the idea and helped form a public-private partnership, which became Code Michigan.

  • Is it strictly related to Michigan data?

    No, but judging requires the use of data from at least one Michigan data set. (See Application Requirements below.) You may create your own dataset or combine data in new and interesting ways.

  • How do I get started?

    Register for Code Michigan by using the "register" button on this page, build a team, review the available data sets, come up with an idea, build a prototype, and participate in on Oct. 3, 4, 5, 2014!

  • When can I start?

    You can start as soon as you Register! Michigan data will be released over the summer of 2014.

  • What is civic coding?

    Civic coding is the act of creating works of software for the purpose of promoting government transparency, citizen engagement, government efficiency, public policy, economic development and monitoring emerging issues.

  • How do I use APIs?


  • Application requirements

    All applications shall incorporate an API from the State of Michigan. The preferred source is http://data.michigan.gov/browse. Data sources found at http://www.michigan.gov/ are also eligible, but be prepared to demonstrate the source is the State of Michigan web site. (You could ask us to load the dataset into the API database via the Suggest a Dataset feature.)

  • When and What do I have to submit?


    • When? Anytime during the event, but the drop dead submission time is 10 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 5.
    • What? Submit a five (5) minute or less video to the Code Michigan YouTube Channel demonstrating your Team's application. In addition to the video you must also submit a written description, 400 words or less, of the application via an online form. (The online form will be activated during the event.)


  • How should I present?

    Making it big means a lot more talking and less coding, so get started with the following links:

    How to Ted Talk
    How to Ignite Talk

  • Does Code Michigan have a preferred OS?

    No, play to your strengths.