Recapping LadyHacks 2015

Last weekend was one of my favorite tech events, LadyHacks! In my previous post about LadyHacks, I talked about how this one was extra special to me since I was able to be a part of the planning committee. The feedback so far has been really great and we already have some ideas on how we can make next year’s event event better.

friday night networking

On Friday night we did a round of intros and asked attendees for their name and how many hackathons they’ve attended. We had somewhere between 80-90% of people participating for their first time! It’s so great to see so many new faces and meet so many awesome ladies. I really hope LadyHacks was able to inspire some of our participants to get involved with other upcoming hackathons or to attend a project night with our local Code for America brigade.

my blurry panorama from the front on friday night

We also had Developing Philly come out to tape parts of the event and interview some of the hackers and organizers. Super exciting. Keep an eye out for that!

We had a lot of really great projects that were demoed at the end of Saturday. There were so many enthusiastic project leaders I hope some of them continue to build off what they started during this weekend. Here’s a list of what we saw at LadyHacks 2015:

  1. High school girls choosing STEM majors (STEM project github repo): This project focused on helping high school aged girls find the best colleges for women based on what they want to study. They created charts using d3.js to compare the percentage of women who have graduated with a STEM degree from a women’s college compared to a coed college. 
  2. Animal rescue/shelter map: This team built a Rails app to pull info from an api and make a map of local animal rescues. 
  3. Wiki Wow: Wiki Wow set out to create a resource site for women wiki editors that would be outside of the wiki environment to encourage more female wiki editors. I never knew that 90% of wiki editors are male and of all the problems within the wiki environment contributing to this gender gap.
  4. Elderbot: Elderbot wants to be a free, online database for senior living options. Similar to something like Airbnb, this team wanted to create an easily searchable database for seniors looking for affordable housing based on location and needs. 
  5. N3rd.st: If you’re a tech nerd and you live in Philly, you’ve probably heard of N 3rd St. or N3RD St. as it’s become an area of the city that is home to so many tech companies and is quickly becoming a well-connected community with various events going on at an time. This team worked on a redesign as well as adding some new features to the website. 
  6. Philly Open Health: Philly Open Health is an ongoing project that began at Code for Philly. The hope of this project is to take public data and combine it into a central repository. Check out their github repo for more info and ways to get involved. 
  7. Tech Bridge: This project came out of the project lead’s own involvement in organizing hackathons for underrepresented youth. The goal was to create a wiki type space that would bring more awareness to the learning resources and programs within different communities.  
  8. So you want to be a woman in tech? “Choose Your Own Adventure”: This was a fun game based off the Buzzfeed quizzes that have become ever so popular except this one does more than just help you procrastinate. 🙂 The idea was a choose your own adventure quiz to help women find a specific career in tech to pursue. Super fun! 
  9. Owning a Home: Why Buy? (CFPB github repo): This website is being built to help consumers decide whether or not they should buy a home. It will help to educate them which weighing the risks to help them find out if buying a home is the right choice. Another great open source project that’s currently in production. Perfect for front-end developers, UX/UI designers and graphic designers wanting to contribute to an open source project. 
  10. Girl Develop It website (GDI github repo): Updates and fixes for the new Girl Develop It website. It’s open source! Check out the issues here and make some pull requests! 
  11. Simplici-Tea: This was another fun project done by 4 Penn students. The idea behind it is to promote a healthy lifestyle through drinking tea. It breaks down different tea types, what the benefit of each is and how long you should steep the teabag for. 
  12. The final project of the night didn’t have a team name and they almost didn’t present. This would’ve been a total bummer because their project was a really awesome idea and could really help women in an unsafe situation. The concept of this project was creating sort of an emergency contact card that would talk to  a Pebble watch. If someone were in a bad situation and needed help they could notify their pre-programmed contacts to let them know where they are and that they need help.

So to sum it up, LadyHacks is one awesome weekend with a bunch of awesome projects and a ton of awesome ladies. Hope to see you at the next one!

happy hackers

Were you at LadyHacks this year? What was your favorite part or project? Let me know in the comments.


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