The day did not begin until 12:30 at Hackbright. I arrived about 30 minutes early to find a smattering of other sleepy classmates. It seems that all of us are being reminded by our bodies that we were sleep deprived for too long. Everyone is incredibly sleepy, despite actually getting a solid night’s sleep.
The first talk of the day was inspiring. It was the CEO of Reddit, in an honest, open, conversation about his journey. Among the things that struck me were the similarities in his story to mine: he spoke about learning LISP in college, being an introvert, spending free time as a kid coding. All of these are things that I did too. I just saw a lot of myself in him….
He is also keenly self-aware and emotionally intelligent; he gets it. I’ll mention one item from his talk to demonstrate this: many people are focused on the D but not the I when it comes to diversity and inclusion. It’s one thing to try to recruit and hire a more diverse workforce, but it is another thing to actually include those diverse voices and keep them, we need to be focused on inclusion too. He spoke of the ability to use technology to make changes and that those changes could then compel social change. I don’t want to say much more because it’s his story, not mine, to tell.
During his talk, he drew a table of the database model that they use. The model made a lot of sense to me, despite the fact that it bucked tradition in terms of how it is structured. It was refreshing because it was focused on practicality. He promised to meet with a few of us later to talk about how the database was structured and works. We’ll see if he has the time to do it.
The second part of my day was dedicated to my first ever hackathon! I had actually read about it online, but I didn’t plan to attend – until one of my friends asked me to go. The first thing I noticed is that the majority of teams were just men, there were only three other girls, and there were no brown people. Our team was all female (all Hackbrighters) and we had the only two brown people – and we were among the top three.
The host was name.com – they register domain names and provide services to small businesses and others related to the domain names. We even received a free domain name as part of our participation in the hackathon. They selected a theme and we had two hours to build something. The theme was a domain name: fogsurging.live. The winner gets to actually use the domain name.
I didn’t get to program as much as I would have liked. Instead, I paired with all of the other girls: helping to set up our server and database model, seeding the database, working on image sizing, creating html pages, and general problem solving on issues. It was fun. I am so glad I went with friends. We all agreed that we would do it again – but that we would prepare a bit differently so that we could have certain files “ready to go” before the hackathon.
I am exhausted (it’s 1:49am), but so motivated it is hard to sleep – but it’s time.