“We like to explain the hackathon as a marathon of creation. There are 24 hours where you get together with teams, work on a project surrounding technology and computer science and see what you can make in one weekend.” — Cassandra Goodby/T9Hacks.
On February 9th and 10th, the ATLAS Institute at CU Boulder will host the 4th annual T9Hacks, a 24-hour hackathon with a specific goal of including women and non-binary people. Cassandra Goodby is the student organizer of T9Hacks.
“My first experience with coding was three years ago at T9Hacks, the first one. I had never coded a website before, and I created a website with three other people I had never met before. We created a mentorship app that let you connect with mentors and mentees, and work together to find people in the community to help you on your career path… It was a first taste of what it meant to be coding and what it meant to be a technologist. It was a bug I had never had before, and here I am four years later.”
The task of creating an app or website in 24 hours with little to no experience may sound daunting, but Cassandra is confident in the fact that anyone with any experience can enter.
“If you’re curious about it, now is the time to jump in and see if it’s something that you are interested in. Everything today is surrounded by technology, and its just such an important skill, so it’s worth dipping your toes in and seeing if its something you could potentially get a job for, or just something you’re interested in.”
Along with creating a space for people to code in a comfortable environment, the T9Hacks event also wants to give a space for groups of people that are not as prevalent in the coding industry, including people all across the gender spectrum.
“Hackathons are typically 26% female… We want people who are uncomfortable in this space to have a place to discover what coding is. Women and non-binary, we want to make sure they are as comfortable as possible… We focus on that group of underrepresented individuals. We also focus on newcomers in technology, and we make sure they have the resources they need.”
You can sign up for the 4th annual T9Hacks hackathon on their website at http://t9hacks.org