Tech Diversity Achieves Amazing Results at WWCode Atlanta Hackathon
Winning Projects Include Syrian Refugee App, Police Rating Program, Roommate Connector, Wearable Tech Games, and More
Atlanta, GA - August 11, 2016 — Women Who Code (WWCode) Women Who Code, an international non-profit that supports career aged women in technology, successfully showcased diversity in the industry at the Atlanta Hackathon, Women Take on Tech. Scheduled from July 29th to 31st, the WWCode Atlanta Hackathon featured more than 100 engineers, designers, and mentors who participated on 9 teams, and with 90% of them identifying as never having been to a Hackathon before. The WWCode Atlanta Hackathon included a job fair, a Hackathon 101 symposium, and 50+ hours of coding, creating, and crafting tech based business plans and products.
The event took place in Atlanta, Georgia, in Tech Square which is known as a center of innovation in engineering. On the first day participants were allowed to choose different training tracks, where they were able to learn about emerging trends and technological advances through lectures by esteemed industry experts. They were then able to pitch ideas to the entire room with no constraint on topic or subject, and extra "points" being awarded to those utilizing knowledge gained during the first day. After that everyone was allowed to choose their own teams based on whatever concept inspired them the most.
The winning project, named Pairsona, was an app that was designed to connect Syrian refugees and other immigrants to the US with social services they need including medical care, housing, job training, and language education. The team was comprised of seven people, four developers and three creative product experts who came from Atlanta, San Francisco, and Seattle. Members included Nivedhitha Venugopal, Kimberley Mach, Filza Mazahir, Marissa Swanson, Samelia Brooks, Sabrina Harris and Sarah H. Homsi, who is herself a Syrian refugee and the inspiration for this project.
Pairsona team member Kimberley Mach spoke about her experience at the event saying, "It’s scary out there in the tech world for women who have never done a hackathon. Participating in this hackathon, and being on the Pairsona team was a life changing experience." Teammate Nivedhitha Venugopal reinforced that sentiment saying, "Our product was something we were all passionate about and we were amazed at the support we received from everyone. We hope to continue to make it a reality with all the resources and connections we got through WWCode."
The second place prize went to Cohab, an app that allows people to connect with potential roommates through a series of criteria including desired living location, rent that can be contributed, and personal habits that might cause problems. Third place went to a project called Public Defendants, which is a rating system similar to Yelp, but which will allow people to anonymously rate police officer's actions, as well as those of other members of the public service industry.
Other projects include Meta Gnome, which is a virtual tag game employing wearables, Faith Bulletin, which is a social networking app for religious and metaphysical institutions, Legendary Sensors, which are wireless long distance monitors that can allow farmers to download on site data from the cloud, Teen Squad, which is a community app and site for teenagers to get advice from peers, as well as Party On which helps match party planners to venues and services.
All of the teams that won honorable mention were given $25 Amazon gift cards, with larger denominations going to the first, second and third place winners. The top three also received a press and media promotion kit, and those who worked on the first place project were given one hour mentoring sessions with top industry experts, as well as Amazon Echo's.
The WWCode Atlanta Hackathon was organized and run by Atlanta Network Directors Erica Stanley, Alicia Carr, and Beth Laing, and was supported by the help of dozens of dedicated volunteers, mentors, and esteemed speakers including Regina Wallace Jones, Head of Security at Facebook, who gave an inspiring talk on the first day. It was also coordinated by Women Who Code Global Leadership Director, Joey Rosenberg who said, "I'm so happy with the way this turned out. Everyone was incredibly inspired, and the creativity, dedication, and skills of the people involved were amazing to see."
About Women Who Code
Women Who Code is an international non-profit dedicated to inspiring women to excel in technology careers. Our goal is to empower women with the skills needed for professional advancement, and provide environments for networking and mentorship. The organization executes more than 3,000 events around the world each year, has garnered a membership exceeding 50,000, and has a presence in 20 countries. Help us to empower even more women to advance in tech with the training and community they need to succeed by supporting our #WWCode networks. Learn more at womenwhocode.com.