LadyHacks Ⅲ

me presenting at LadyHacks 2014
The SheTechPHL team presenting at LadyHacks 2014. Photo credit: Corinne Warnshuis

LadyHacks is Philadelphia’s only women-only* hackathon. Well, it used to be the only women-only hackathon in Philly until femmehacks was born. So awesome to see more events like this one! The goal of LadyHacks is to introduce women, who are typically underrepresented at most tech events, to what a hackathon is in an inclusive and safe space. It offers women a chance to come together and work collaboratively on civic-minded projects.

At the first LadyHacks, three years ago, I was still working as an administrative assistant at a job I hated. I was taking some web design & development classes at this point and a friend from school and I decided to sign up for the hackathon. At the last minute something came up and she had to cancel.

The thought of going to the event alone scared me so bad. I’m pretty shy when meeting people for the first time and I was losing my guarantee of knowing at least one person there. I decided to suck it up and go anyway and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. Some of the women I met there have become really good friends and have been such a huge support to me throughout my transition from admin assistant to full-time developer to wannabe public speaker. I really feel like if it hadn’t been for this event, I might not be where I am today.

This years LadyHacks is going to be extra special for me. Not only did I help organize and plan it, I was invited to get up and talk about my experience at the first event. I’m a little nervous about it. I guess because I’m going to get a little personal with the anxiety that I felt going there on my own and stuff like that. Oh, and it’s going to be filmed. Yikes! Hopefully my path will inspire some others to continue on after LadyHacks and participate in other hackathons or maybe take some other chances they might not have before. I’ll do a full event recap here early next week.


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