WomenTechmakers + LadyHacks

Women Techmakers events are geared toward increasing visibility, community and resources for technical women in the computing industry. LadyHacks is a civic hackathon that empowers future female involvement in the tech community.


  1. The Philadelphia GDG (I’m the founder/organizer) and LadyHacks partnered for International Women’s Day!
  2. A key tenent of this event was creating a safe and encouraging space for women to get involved in their first hackathon. We removed many of the barriers that keep women from participating in similar events. In particular, the hackathon wasn't competitive, it didn't last all night/all weekend, and it didn't tolerate sexist BS/chauvinist projects. We also made sure there was a breadth of projects with various ways to contribute, such as content generation, coding, and UX.
  3. We had 79 attendees (including 16 mentors and 6 volunteers) and many of the mentors participated in/led group projects. We had a diverse group of attendees at all skill levels. Roughly 33% were students, 12% percent were women seeking to change careers or re-enter the workforce, and more than half were women already working in the field (many hadn't attended hackathons in the past).
  4. I was really impressed by the draw this event had for first timers. I hope this won't be the last we see of them!
  5. Friday: Brainstorming & Project Selection

  6. The first night's agenda included introductions, project pitches, forming teams, brainstorming project ideas, and networking with fellow attendees.
  7. There were lots of great ideas including creating a Google Glass application, creating a tool for finding safe apartment rentals, creating a mentorship portal, aggregating college computer science gender breakdown statistics, and spotlighting women in tech.
  8. I wrote a blog summing up my experience on Friday evening, check it out!
  9. 311 Glass Reporting Project

  10. As a Glass explorer, I thought it'd be fun to do a project. Many people hadn't heard of them or seen them in person, so I walked people through using them on Friday night. Since it was hard to determine that evening who the final team would be, I had anyone who stopped by pitch a project idea. We aggregated all the ideas on the board and attendees voted on their favorite ideas through the morning.
  11. By Saturday morning, I recruited a team of talented students to help me:
  12. We chose the 311 Reporting application on Saturday morning and set to work.

    Our first step was to break down the flow and story board it out.