Posted by Shemika Lamare on June 29, 2017

When I woke up I was a bit of a nervous wreck and didn't want to go to the hackathon. I was doubting my abilities and knowledge, I am happy that I convinced myself to get up and just do it! I was so lucky to have an encouraging team that created a welcoming environment for questions! Team HerWin!

Summary: This hackathon was hosted by The Expat Women . They wanted to have a hackthon where women could come together and solve issues related to women. And it was all levels and they put emphasis on making sure that beginners felt welcome. Our group decided to choose to find a way to improve the wage gap that women are facing; we wanted to find a way to expose the pay differences, while also holding the companies accountable! This lead us to create the protoype for an app we named HerWin.

Process: We followed the process laid out by the UX designer; I didn't take notes on it and I will definitely need to look for an article that outlines the general process.


The Challenges:

  • Everyone has great ideas, but its not always ideal to implement them in your final product. 
  • Establishing a process and sticking with it. There was a point were we realized we needed to re-vamp our idea so we started at the beginning of the process and some people wanted to skip parts of it, but if we skipped those parts of the process it would lead to an incomplete project. 
  • Making sure everyone voices their concerns, ideas and strengths! 
  • Speaking up! Half the group seemed a bit timid and spoke in really low voices and the rest of us could hardly hear them (we were working in an open space where all the other noises were interfering with us hearing them). We asked them to speak up several times and they didn't seem to understand they were speaking to low and inaudible. 
  • Crunch Time - a few hours before the project is due is extremely stressful. I am not sure that its something that will ever change. 

What I learned:

  • I am happy that I decided to go to a small event that was for all women, I think that it was such a welcoming environment! And the added bonus was it was great to see women leading and taking ownership in the tech space. 
  • I finally got to see the process of creating a web application, this was critical because I had read so many articles and it just never made sense to me!
  • The UX designer is crucial in this process, they are the foundation of the team! They lead you through the persona process and make sure you are considering all the key factors before you begin building the product. 
  • If you have an idea you MUST speak up otherwise it will not be heard or implemented!
  • Even if you are unsure if you should do it. You may feel like you don't know enough or aren't skilled enough, GO! I promise that there's a team could use your help, whether your an expert on the project topic, have great communication skills to lead the presentation or you are really good at project management finding a team that fits your skill-set.
  • And don't be afraid and branch out and take on task that you are interested in learning!

What's happen's next: I want to focus on taking what I learned and creating a website or application. I left the event feeling inspired by all the AMAZING women I meet.