Here's a look at what's new for 2018 at UMD's Technica, the world's largest female hackathon - Technical.ly Baltimore

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Oct. 17, 2018 5:24 pm

Here’s a look at what’s new for 2018 at UMD’s Technica, the world’s largest female hackathon

The hackathon returns to University of Maryland College Park for year four on November 10-11. This year, organizers are introducing a theme and a new track.

In 2016, Technica became the world's biggest female hackathon.

(Photo by Jenny Hottle)

Technica, which in 2016 became the world’s largest all-women hackathon, is turning four this year. The event returns November 10-11 at University of Maryland College Park’s Reckford Armory.

This time around, things will be a little different than in previous years. For one, the organizers have introduced a theme – “Light the Way” – which will define the event and its participants.

“This year is probably the first year that we have a theme that has been heavily marketed. Other years, we had themes, but people didn’t really know about them and we didn’t do anything special to commemorate the themes,” said Kayla Brown, Technica’s marketing director.

“We wanted to come up with something that would be very motivational and pay tribute to the women who have come before us in technology, as well as the women now,” said Brown. “Our theme is a call to action to our participants to really take charge of their own career paths within tech and to light the way for other women who are going to come behind them.”

In celebration of the theme, organizers of Technica are planning to invite a number of keynote speakers. According to Annie Fang, workshop team director, the speakers will be women who are high up in the chain of management, come from a technical background or are founders of technology companies.

The student-run event is set to host over 900 participants. The event is not limited to college students, meaning adults or students in high school and middle school will also have the opportunity to attend.

Students should expect numerous workshops in web development, virtual reality, and hardware. These workshops will be held by event sponsors as well as by students.

“I’ll have students who have previously attended Technica, or know about Technica, message me and mention that they would love to hold a workshop,’” said Fang. “ There are so many students wanting to hold workshops, that we don’t even know how we will fit everything into one event.”

The event will also feature Tech + Research, a new track which is being introduced this year. In collaboration with the University of Maryland Center for Women in Computing, a small group of students will have the opportunity to work with professors to do research. At the end of Technica, students who participated will be able to demo what they worked on.

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According to Fang, all efforts will go into making the venue inclusive and providing participants with a multitude of opportunities and possibilities.

“Our mission is to empower women in technology and make sure that there aren’t any barriers that stop women from going into technology,” said Fang. “ For me, I am satisfied as long as one person has a story that they won’t forget from attending Technica.”

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