18F Women’s Hackathon

[MUSIC] This is the 18F Women in Tech and Data Hackathon
and Training Day. So we’re working on some 18F projects and some other government open
source projects and doing some basic intro to tech training. Women are greatly underrepresented in tech
and so we want to start developing the community around that. I’m used to being the only one in the room,
and now it’s everybody in the room, that’s definitely a great sort of feeling to be in. This one in particular is really special because
we are women that are interested in government and serving our country in some sort of fashion,
and so being able to network with women that are like-minded, in particular government
space where, you know, we’re kind of known for maybe not being at the forefront of technology.
This is really interesting and almost kind of rare. This gives you a platform to feel a little bit more relaxed,
and to talk about issues that relate to one another, and see what others have done in
the past to get to where they are without having that, solid, man-figure, kind of right
here hanging on top of you, see what you’re doing At the beginning of the day, I asked everyone
to raise their hand if it was their first hackathon, and almost everyone in the room
raised their hand, and they just started cheering. I think that a lot of them didn’t realize
they were new to this, and that they were, I mean, they knew they were new to this but
they didn’t realize that they were among a lot of other people who are new and interested
and want to support each other in getting into this. I learned about user experienced design, so
far, and I’ve learned about all the cool projects that are being done within 18F, which I think
is really awesome, and I think that the rest of the government should know about it. I guess the idea that you’re with a lot of
people who have possibly had similar experiences to you, or are facing similar struggles in
the industry as you. And having them there either as, even if you’re not asking them
questions about their experience, but just sort of having that understanding, as kind
of a background to the work you’re doing, is great to know that there are other people
like you out there. We are trying to build a very diverse team
at 18F, and this helps us promote that and advance that. [MUSIC]

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