I attended last year's Hack the Gap hackathon and had an absolutely wonderful time. That was my very first hackathon ever, and I had some trepidation about attending. It was also my first all-women tech event, even though I have been in the software / IT industry since 1980 (earlier if you count university jobs).
It was a supreme thrill for me, and engendered an excitement about the tech scene that I have not felt for a long time. In working with other women, I saw how a different way of interacting with co-workers on making business and technical choices can be done. It was refreshing and inspiring to me.
Even though on the surface the hackathon is a competition, what I found was so many people from different teams cheering for each other, interested in what we were all doing, and helping each other out where we could. In the team I was on, sharing ideas, implementation choices, encouraging each other, and giving space to let each other shine were something that has only rarely happened in teams I've been on professionally.
I made some lasting friendships last year, and I'm so glad I could attend and have it be a springboard for me to work more on creating the space in our world for more diverse and inclusive work spaces and learning spaces.
If there ever was a vision of how "Things Could Be" it was that weekend.
I'm extremely happy to see the event is happening again this year, 2016. I can't say I am going to be able to attend this year, but I will make an effort to do so.
Tamara Temple is a self-described "Webologist", Tech Maven, and deeply interested in Software as a Craft. As a life-long learner, Tamara has long had an interest in teaching, coaching, and mentoring people in the arts of programming and helping people to learn how to use computers to solve problems, communicate with others, and have a lot of fun.
Tamara works on both back-end development in Ruby on Rails, and front-end development in AngularJS, ReactJS, and loves playing with Bootstrap for designs using static site generators such as Jekyll. She loves mentoring and TA'ing for the GDI Minneapolis Front End Developer Series.
Tamara is deeply committed to increasing the diversity of her chosen field by increasing the opportunities for women, LGBTQ people, people of color, and people with disabilities to have wonderful, rewarding, and respectful learning opportunities.