Attending the First SheHacks

21 February 2018
By Veronica Child

From January 26th to January 28th, I had the honor of attending SheHacks Boston. SheHacks is…

“… a 36-hour, student-run hackathon open to all female and non-binary individuals. Led by women from across Boston’s universities, SheHacks is the largest all-female and non-binary hackathon in the world. The mission of SheHacks Boston is to: empower women and femme non-binary individuals in technology to achieve; provide them with opportunities to explore the tech industry in an inspiring, encouraging, and energizing environment; create a community of inclusivity within the tech industry.”

she Hacks boston logo

Thanks to funding from CSA, SAO, and the Career Center, I was able to lead a team of Carleton students – Thu Nguyen ’19, Chae Won Kim ’19, Mallika Dargan ’19, Janis Lee ’18 – in traveling to Boston to attend the hackathon.  building a mobile application at the hackathon.

The hackathon was an amazing experience all around. We met with recruiters from top companies such as Google, JP Morgan Chase, and IBM. In addition, we were able to learn new programming languages, in particular React Native, which we used to build our app. We also networked with female and non-binary programmers from across the nation – oftentimes fellow college students, but also high school students and graduates. We also heard the latest news about tech’s current status in a variety of fields, such as global health and the future of AI. We also enjoyed fun events like face masks at 3:00 AM and cup stacking tournaments.

The only negative experiences were the logistics of the event and general challenges of coding. We got little sleep – as to be expected – and had difficulty installing some of the software tools we needed for our app. But these negative instances in no way diminish what we learned from SheHacks.

I strongly recommend the SheHacks experience to all female and non-binary identifying people. You don’t need to know how to code to attend (3/5s of our group didn’t) — just motivation and an open mind!

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