I heard about the Women Driven Development community through Ada’s List and after my initial call with the dream duo Phoebe and Misa there was no doubt that these were the type of people we at Expedia Group wanted to partner with. I connected with their genuine passion of giving back to the ‘Women in Tech’ community and concurred with their philosophy that sponsorship could make a huge difference when increasing diversity in tech!
Together we planned the amazing 3 part #TechitForward Hackathon that took place at the Expedia London offices over February and March.
What we considered during the planning and organisation of the Hack;
What happened at the three events that made up the Women Driven Development Hackathon:
Evening Event 1
6 charities shared their problems and the 90 developers self-managed into groups based on their interests. A self-proclaimed ‘Rebel’ group formed to create something that could be used by all charities.
Event 2 - conveniently the day before International Women's Day
Now mostly in groups the idea precipitation began. During the event each team did a quick elevator pitch on want ideas they were working on.
Event 3 - Full day Hack
Event kicked off with an inspirational panel sharing their journey from Engineer to Director and the challenges they had faced in their career as an under represented group in tech. Hacking began with a regroup at 2pm for groups to share what they were working on (and call out successes/barriers) and all work was showcased at 6pm followed by food and drinks.
During the presentations the groups presented amazing work for the charities from building interactive dashboards, a slackbot for event subscriptions to a tinder like app which will match charities with volunteers
There was a lot of action on Twitter during the Hackathon this is what some of our attendees had to say:
‘First Hackathon done! With the lovliest and most supportive people @WomenDrivenDev. We built a matchmaking app for charities and volunteers. Very well looked after by @LifeatExpedia; Unlimited super nice coffee all day and tasty food. Can’t wait to #TechitForward next time’
‘A wonderful day @womendrivendev - so lucky to have got the chance to work with incredible women in redesigning @Culpepergarden 's website. Thank you @ExpediaUK for hosting, and to everyone that was a part of this :star2: #TechItForward’
And what some of the charities shared;
@BodyandSoul: ‘On Friday Body & Soul took part in @womendrivendev hackathon. What an amazing #womenintech event it was. And this badass team helped us tackle challenges re data & reporting #TechItForward #techforgood’
@LondonVillageNetwork: ‘Thank you to everyone @womendrivendev Hackathon hosted by @Expedia Friday. It was a long fruitful day. Looking forward to catching up with you again soon #TechItForward #womenintech #tech4good’
The projects with the charities will continue.. WDD are planning further evening events where attendees can get together and continue to work on their hacks! And I know some of the hackers have already continued to engage with the charities and their teams to do more since the Hack.
It was an amazing experience being part of the Hackathon across all 3 events and I loved every minute. I look forward to partnering with WDD on future events, as well as working with my lovely Expedia colleagues to organise more Hackathon and events.
If you want to check out more photos from the event you can do so here.