LadyHacks: Philadelphia's first hackathon for women - Technical.ly Philly

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Feb. 20, 2013 9:30 am

LadyHacks: Philadelphia’s first hackathon for women

The community growth in Philadelphia’s female web development learning communities will be on display at LadyHacks, a hackathon for women set for March 1-2 in Old City. RSVP for the hackathon at WHYY here. “These women need a chance to use the skills they’re learning, in a hackathon setting,” said Tristin Hightower, co-founder of GirlGeekDinners […]

LadyHacks organizers prepare details for the March 1-2 event.

The community growth in Philadelphia’s female web development learning communities will be on display at LadyHacks, a hackathon for women set for March 1-2 in Old City.

RSVP for the hackathon at WHYY here.

“These women need a chance to use the skills they’re learning, in a hackathon setting,” said Tristin Hightower, co-founder of GirlGeekDinners Philly, who took the lead planning the hackathon. LadyHacks may join April’s Women in Tech Summit during Philly Tech Week as an anchor of female STEM scene here.

This hackathon and the nearly two-year outpouring of other women in tech events locally — PyStar, Girl Develop It, Girl Geek Dinners, TechGirlz and Web Start Women to name a few — are meant to create an easier entry point for females to join a technology community. It’s a national conversation that has taken a stronger root here.

LadyHacks will span a night and a day. On Friday night, the organizers will present a list of problems they’d like to see solved, and groups will form to attack each one. Then after a night’s rest the groups will reunite to spend Saturday coding with the goal of a working prototype.

“It’s kind of a mini-hack,” said Hightower. “If they show up they’ve met my No. 1 goal, to participate in the hackathon.”

Hightower would like to see the women create apps that enrich the female development community and Philadelphia in general. Here are a few ideas she’ll pitch the first night:

  • An app for book swapping to crowd source a library of the community’s development knowledge.
  • An app built on top of WeWorkinPhilly.com, so that community organizers can plan evening meet-ups in the neighborhoods where their members work.
  • Apps to help nonprofits – like the William Way Center – approach their challenges from new angles.

“Our external goal is 150 participants, but I’ll be super happy if we get 75,” said Hightower.

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Are men allowed to participate in LadyHacks?

“No, but we are considering male mentors,” says Hightower.

Two weeks after the Hackathon, March 15-16, the local chapter of RailsGirls will host a workshop for learning ruby on rails in a weekend, at Huntsman Hall in University City. Tickets for Rails Girls are $10 and already over half sold out.

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Cary Betagole

Cary Betagole is the Product Manager at Technically Media. He studied journalism at Boston University and has previously worked at Nextdoor and SEER Interactive, in addition to experience with a few (failed) startups of his own. Originally from Cincinnati, he is interested in how financially sustainable media can help build stronger communities.

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