GET EMAIL UPDATES FROM POWERTOFLY
By signing up you accept the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy
BROWSE CATEGORIES
GET EMAIL UPDATES FROM POWERTOFLY
Career and Interview Tips

Four Reasons Every Female Developer Should Attend A Hackathon

Even for a seasoned computer programmer, hackathons can be an amazing opportunity to learn, network, and think outside the box. Success stories like GroupMe and the Facebook "Like" button (both of which came from humble hackathon beginnings) may feel unattainable to the average engineer, but that's half the fun! You never know what your team will come up with in the collaborative, fast-paced, rule-bending hackathon environment.


At the 2015 Emirates Travel Hackathon in San Francisco, software engineer Susan Chin and her all-women team took first place in the competition. Susan is no stranger to hackathons. She knows first-hand that hackathon attendees—like the tech world at large—are skewed heavily male. After a fellow attendee congratulated Susan on her win by saying, "I rarely see an all-girls team at hackathons, much less win one," she wrote a list of "Why More Women Should Attend Hackathons" on Women Who Code's blog. Here's why she thinks more women should try their hand at these rewarding events:

"Sharpen your public speaking/presentation skills"

Even if you're not a fan of presenting in front of a group, chances are you'll need to perfect this skill at some point in your career. Hackathons provide a great informal setting to practice public speaking and pitching your work to strangers.

"Network and have fun!"

Experienced programmers, eager newcomers, company representatives—hackathons have them all! Susan urges participants to keep an eye out for potential mentors. "If you meet someone who knows more than you, just ask them if you can contact them with more questions," she suggests. "The answer will always be no if you don't ask."

"Foster teamwork"

Working in the tech industry typically means working on a team, and that's a good thing! As Susan explains, "It's possible to build a good app by yourself, but you need a team to make a great app because it becomes a collective of all the different great ideas."

"Learn, learn, learn"

OK, so your team might not create the next GroupMe app—heck, you might not even finish your app at all. But if you attend a hackathon and put in the effort, you'll come away with new skills and knowledge that will make you a better engineer.

Are you interested in attending a hackathon, but perhaps not so thrilled about having to prove yourself in yet another male-dominated tech space? Consider starting with a women-only hackathon. Over the past year, women-only events have been held in Philadelphia, San Diego, Dubai, and even online. It's the perfect solution! You can experience all the fun of a traditional hackathon, but no one will ever ask you what it's like to be the only woman in the room—win-win.

To read Susan Chin's article about the benefits of hackathons in its entirety, check it out here.

Join PowerToFly today to become part of our fast-growing network of all-star women in tech.

Zapier Inc

How Zapier Director of Compensation Jocelyne Wright-McLemore Is Tackling Imposter Syndrome as a Black Woman in HR

Jocelyne Wright-McLemore has a sticky note that she looks at every day: "I'm overqualified and I can do this."

Zapier's Director of Compensation put that sticky note up shortly after she rolled out a big new project at the online automation company and received some critical feedback on it. Though the criticism came from a tiny portion of her audience and the project was a success overall, hearing it brought back some of the self-doubt and imposter syndrome that she faced earlier in her career.

READ MORE AND DISCUSS Show less
Webinars

Meet PowerToFly's 2021 Diversity & Inclusion Award Honorees

This past February, PowerToFly was very proud to wrap up the panel portion of our recent Diversity Reboot 2021: The 100 Day Kickoff virtual summit by presenting our very first Diversity & Inclusion Award Show, honoring some true D&I champions across multiple industries

Back in 2020, we launched a submission process to honor select individuals who just don't talk the talk but truly walk the walk when it comes to making their companies and the world a more diverse and inclusive place. From the many submissions that we received, we chose six champions to honor.

You can watch the acceptance speeches for our honorees below or click here to watch the 45-minute awards show which included a roundtable discussion with our six DEI champions.

Want to nominated a friend or colleague for a future D&I Award? Submit their info here.


READ MORE AND DISCUSS Show less
popular

How These 30 Companies are Celebrating Women's History Month in 2021

Women have always had a lot on their plates, juggling their professional goals with societal expectations and responsibilities to their families, partners, and communities.

But women have never had a year like 2020.

READ MORE AND DISCUSS Show less
Career Advice

How Hopin’s CCO Knew a Startup Environment Was Right For Her—and Two Questions to See If It’s Right for You

If there's a thread that connects all the different facets of Rosie Roca's life, it's the power of bringing people together.

From how she was raised, to how she got her first job, to the decision to leave enterprise software to take on her current role as the Chief Customer Officer at fast-growing events technology platform Hopin, a focus on community has helped to guide Rosie's decisions.

READ MORE AND DISCUSS Show less
© Rebelmouse 2020