(Photo by Lalita Clozel)
But its success this year is also a good indicator of how tight-knit the D.C. tech community has become, on the strength of its own self-awareness.
“I’ve always wanted to bridge the gender divide and offer a chance for people to meet, network and share ideas,” said DC Web Women president Sibyl Edwards. She believes that the D.C. tech community is now “ripe” for that message.
So she came up with the idea — and name (before RadioShack nabbed it) — for Tech The Halls, a celebration that would bring the big family of D.C. tech together once a year during the holiday season.
In 2012, the event drew 140 people. This time around, 332 tickets promptly sold out.
In between taking selfies with VIPs and gobbling up appetizers (jk!), we got to meet some of the revelers.
Plenty of newcomers showed up, too.
“I kept seeing invitations online and wanted to see what it was all about,” Amanda Zapata said. Zapata works in customer service, but she’s trying to learn more about computer programming and coding in her spare time by going to Women Who Code and PyLadies classes.
Jose Troche, a curriculum developer for Praescient Analytics, noted the idea of getting together with people who work in similar fields is interesting because he can see what others are doing.
“Sometimes I think there’s too much of an umbrella around the word technology,” Troche’s coworker Charlotte Stasio added. “As you can see here, [technology] is so across the board.”