Yonatan Levin, Android GDE, makes use of his developer superpowers to assist refugees in Ukraine



Posted by Kevin Hernandez, Developer Relations Group Supervisor

Headshot of Yonatan Levin, smiling
Yonatan Levin, R&D Tech Lead, Monday.com

Preliminary response to the information

Initially of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Android GDE Yonatan Levin was confused. He began his day similar to every other – with train and a e-book – however on the day of the invasion, his cellphone was bombarded with textual content messages from associates, relations, and coworkers. Usually a tough employee, Yonatan tried to enter work however as he sat at his desk, he had a distracting thought within the entrance of his thoughts. He recounts, “I used to be observing my monitor and in my head, all I saved repeating was, ‘I’ve to do one thing, I’ve to do one thing.’” He messaged coworkers in regards to the state of affairs to see what they may do and finally, the management of his or gave Yonatan their blessing to go to the Ukraine / Poland border and assist the refugees. Yonatan and his associates instantly packed their luggage and got down to Poland.

Arriving on the border

Yonatan and his associates landed and instantly drove 6 hours from Warsaw to the border the place camps organized by volunteers had been situated. When he acquired there, he and his associates felt speedy shock. They noticed hundreds of refugees crammed in a small house with their entire lives packed into luggage. His feeling of shock shortly wore off as he noticed the unorganized volunteer efforts; he began specializing in methods to assist aid efforts as a developer.

Yonatan observed that there have been volunteers arriving from throughout Europe to supply free rides, lodging, and even work alternatives. Nonetheless, there was little expertise getting used – volunteers held up indicators with areas they had been driving to. The present matchmaking course of was inefficient, so he determined to construct an Android app and an answer on high of monday.com (an all-in-one work administration software program) the place volunteers with automobiles and refugees registered on-line and had been matched primarily based on the place they wanted to go.

Utilizing expertise to show chaos into order

Identical to any new thought or a startup, Yonatan’s group went by iterations earlier than they’d an answer that really labored. To switch the cardboard indicators that volunteer drivers held up, Yonatan and his associates purchased laptops and a TV so they may show a listing of drivers and their locations. Then, they matched refugees with volunteer drivers – however this proved to be a handbook resolution. They supplied this resolution to different camps however after they got here again to the unique web site, they discovered that the laptops had been closed and volunteers reverted again to the previous system of holding up cardboard indicators. This was an indication to return to the drafting board to create one thing that may stick.

Whereas the laptops and TV screens helped, there have been nonetheless massive queues on the camps as busloads of refugees got here in each couple of minutes. With monday.com, they created a registration kind for the refugees and a very new course of. As soon as refugees arrived on the camp, they acquired a wristband with a QR code, registered their names, and chosen what they wanted: meals, sim playing cards, a mattress, a journey to a unique metropolis, and so on. This new course of took simply 10 minutes they usually constructed a dashboard to maintain monitor of information with the intention to dedicate assets the place they had been wanted. For instance, if essentially the most in-demand vacation spot was Warsaw, volunteers knew to recruit extra drivers heading there.

Yonatan and his associates had been in a position to pull off the spectacular feat of creating a whole Android app with third social gathering APIs integrations for driver verification and a core database with monday.com in only one evening. “To construct an app in a single evening is superb. You can’t simply do that with different platforms,” he noticed. This was a turning level for the camps and volunteer organizers embraced this technique.

Reflecting a yr later

Yonatan hopes to encourage others by his expertise. “That is one thing that occurred very near me. If I did one thing about it, I hope others know they will help too,” he urges. He expanded the system to different camps and remembers one of many organizers beaming that it was the most effective software program they’ve ever used. Yonatan and his colleagues used their experience to assist refugees get to security and he displays on being a developer by saying, “It’s a energy that we builders have – to establish an enormous ache and clear up it with comparatively minimal effort, typically in a matter of hours. This can be a tremendous energy.”

Yonatan’s motto is to assist in any means you may. He encourages different builders, “Issues occur in every single place, on a regular basis. Don’t distance your self from the struggles of others. As a substitute, seek for methods you may assist them.” As a result of altering atmosphere, the app isn’t getting used in the present day however numerous refugees had been pushed to security due to Yonatan’s developer superpowers.

You will discover Yonatan on LinkedIn or Twitter.

The Google Developer Specialists (GDE) program is a world community of extremely skilled expertise specialists, influencers, and thought leaders who actively assist builders, corporations, and tech communities by talking at occasions and publishing content material.