On Saturday, I participated in my second hackathon: Hack’n Jill. Hack’n Jill was created due to a gender imbalance often present at hackathons, inviting 50 men and 50 women developers and designers to join together and develop apps with the theme of Hack Your Summer.
My team was fortunate enough to have three developers and three designers. We designed Why Don’t We, a fully functioning iPhone app designed to highlight events nearby to cure summer boredom. Every member of the team was essential to creating and promoting a fully functioning product. It was an absolute pleasure to meet them and hopefully we will be able to collaborate in the future.
Overall, Hack’n Jill was a very positive experience. The vibe of the hackathon was laid back and upbeat. Despite the fact we were given about half of the time generally given in a hackathon (with just one day to actually build something), we were able to fully complete our project. The beer and guacamole was flowing, and the sponsors were always around to answer questions. The founders of Hack’n Jill also took the time to meet the developers and designers, eager to know what brought people to the event.
There’s a serious imbalance in gender and technology. Women are under represented in hackathons, on tech panels, and in the start up community. Hopefully, Hack’n Jill and other such projects will continue to not only bring attention to this issue, but also to try and create solutions.
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