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Photography of Alvaro Montoro being a doofus
Alvaro Montoro

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ATX Diversity Hackathon 2020

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The Women Who Code Austin chapter organized their annual ATX Diversity Hackathon (ATXDivHack) this weekend.

It was the 6th time this event runs, and it is much more than just the hackathon its title may imply. It includes talks, workshops, job boards, and of course, a coding hackathon.

The workshops were mainly related to development (Python, APIs, design...) and soft skills & career advancement (interview tips and tricks, company creation, investment...) Many of them focused on women and minorities.

I couldn't watch all the workshops due to work. Still, I really enjoyed the ones I attended, especially the one about work values by Jane Claire and the recommendations on how to create your own company by Deldelp Medina.

a clipboard with notes and drawings from a workshop

CC's notes from the workshop "How to Not Die Broke"

Then it was time for the hackathon. There was no special topic –the same thing as last year–, so we were relatively free to develop what we wanted.

There were some interesting ideas:

  • A club finder that allowed students to find same-interest clubs on campus.
  • An app that analyzed and displayed different demographic stats.
  • A machine learning project for performance indicators during COVID-19.
  • An app that analyzed information about property values and taxes.

My 5-year-old daughter and I participated, and we presented something slightly different: a video game. It was a web version of Dance Dance Revolution with a focus on accessibility (so blind people could potentially play) and monetization (so authors could make money out of their creations.)

Screenshot of the home page of the game

All the background images in the game are from Aditya Ali at Unsplash.

We didn't complete the whole game, but we had a demo mode that actually worked and that could be easily customized using JSON files.

I did all the coding and most of the design, and my daughter had input in the design and tested the app (she doesn't know how to code yet)... And in the end, our project the overall hackathon prize!

It was an amazing experience (it would have been even if we hadn't won anything), as it always is at the ATXDivHack. We are already looking forward to the 7th edition.

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