Our team is tackling the outcomes of COVID-19 through software development

At first glance, being a developer may not seem like a very heroic career. Indeed, some professionals such as doctors and caretakers generally choose their profession with the purpose of saving lives (at least, we hope so). While a developer may not have this philanthropic idea in mind when choosing his path, its job positively and highly impacts people’s lives. I mean, just think how much apps are shaping our lives and how software and programs are solving one of the most dreadful problems of our era.

The use of technology has been a key element in helping mitigate the numerous impacts caused by the coronavirus outbreak. As a matter of fact, developers throughout the world are playing a vital role in the fight against COVID-19.

According to an article from Computer Weekly:

Since the end of January, the community has contributed to thousands of open source repositories that mention coronavirus or COVID-19. These repositories consist of datasets, models, visualizations, web and mobile applications, and more, and the majority are written in JavaScript and Python.

The same applies to our team who has recently been approached by the city town hall with project proposals. We decided to jump on this opportunity to help make a difference using our developers’ skills.

“We instantly accepted and started to work right away so we could deliver the app the fastest way possible.” Tiago Gouvêa

Here, we are sharing the two projects we are currently working on and which we believe will greatly help reduce the negative impacts of this pandemic in our region.

Mercado Popular

Mercado popular is an open-source application built by developers at App Masters which purpose is for the authorities to assess the number of vulnerable families impacted by the COVID19 crisis and guarantee food and essential goods to them. The coronavirus pandemic has hit Brazil which is already suffering from a slowing economy and an extremely fragile labor market and where millions of Brazilians are already in a situation of poverty. The vulnerable population will be greatly affected so identifying them and concentrating efforts on the areas occupied by these families is a way to act quickly and reduce the damage caused by the spread of the virus.

Different government programs are being implemented to support this population during these difficult times. The online tool will allow individuals in need to receive some government benefits (such as food and necessity goods) which they are entitled to.

“We aim to keep the application simple and objective so that it really helps those in need in the fastest possible way.” Tiago Gouvêa

Data Warehouse

Hospital Occupation Consolidated Data is an application built by developers at App Masters which purpose is to allow authorities and hospitals to better understand the impact the virus will have on hospital demand.

Hospitals and the Health Secretary are providing twice a day data such as hospital beds available, occupied beds by COVID patients, medical staff available, quarantined medical staff, suspect cases, confirmed cases, and many other relevant data. The application will act as a consolidated data warehouse which hospital leaders and state authorities can use to get more informed and to estimate how demand might increase over the coming days/weeks. The online tool allows them not only to better understand the impact the virus will have on hospital demand but mostly to help them make the best decisions accordingly. In these pressuring moments, decisions-makers must access all variable information in order to make fast decisions and share information with their colleagues.

“Having fast access to the right information is crucial to make optimal and quick decisions. We use Google App Script and Postgres to consolidate information from many sources, we then provide it to a Google Data Studio dashboard that makes the difference.” Tiago Gouvêa

In both projects, our capacity to act and react fast was the most important asset. We knew that each day we loose was a day that our app could have made a slight difference during this crisis. This has motivated us to deliver the projects rapidly and it has also given a higher meaning to our daily tasks.

In the midst of this pandemic, developers’ skills and abilities are helping save lives, and we at App Masters are proud to contribute to it. Now more than ever, is the time for a more scientific and analytical approach, as the physicist Marie Curie said: “Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less. By creating user-friendly and efficient applications, developers worldwide are helping us understand better the situation and are bringing innovative solutions that enable us to fear less and to fight collectively against COVID-19.

We keep in our minds that luckily our profession allows us to engage in this fight with the comfort of our home which is not the case of several professions who risk their lives daily in the front lines and for which we are deeply grateful. It is important to emphasize that in this strange period of our history, all professions, all jobs are heroic, and for those who have the privilege to continue working from home, please do so, be a hero and stay home.

Yasmine Yohannes

Graduated in International Business Management, is passionate about Marketing, Communication, and Project Management, She is currently taking care of the Marketing activities at App Masters working with outstanding professionals. In her free time, she enjoys learning new languages and can’t spend one hour without listening to music.

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