In October 2015, Travis Moore launched TechCongress, an innovative fellowship program intended to infuse the Legislative branch with some much needed technology expertise.
After making the big announcement at the 2015 Code for America Summit, Travis had one last thing to do—find a system for collecting the applications that he hoped would pour in over the next month.
Since he only had a small budget, made up of small grants from various organizations, he couldn’t waste precious resources, which meant not spending money on a bulky intake system or devoting valuable staff time to administrative work during the evaluation process. Most of the work would rest on his shoulders, so the system would have to provide a clear path through the application process, including an easy tool to collect feedback from board members and other reviewers.
Luckily, someone pointed him to Screendoor. After scrolling through several months’ worth of emails to find a reference to “this great form-builder,” Travis had a lead and quickly purchased a flexible Screendoor license that would do exactly what he needed within his budget.
He was able to stand up the form in just a few hours and begin taking in applications almost instantly. After responses started pouring in, he used labels and statuses to sort candidates, sent follow up messages to schedule interviews, and harnessed the built-in suite of workflow tools to collect feedback from reviewers and remind them when their ratings were due.
Most importantly, Travis and his team were able to use blind form fields within the application to remove bias from their review process, upholding a vital part of their mission and enabling them to select a diverse class of fellows.
In 2017, TechCongress placed a batch of four Fellows in both the Senate and the House, where they’ll work on a broad spectrum of problems, from cybersecurity to autonomous vehicle regulatory policy.