When hackers come to mind, many of us envision a group of computer geeks bent on making the lives of innocent people miserable. But not all hackers are out to cripple civilian or government systems, nor are they all male. Females are quite active in the hacking community, and professional social networking service LinkedIn took time out to give the ladies their due.
In the beginning of June, LinkedIn announced that it would be having another hackday. But unlike last year’s versions, this time around, it was dedicated to highlight and celebrate the contributions of women in the hacking community. This year it was from June 30 to July 1, and nicknamed, “DevelopHer Hackday.” It was originally scheduled to take place in Mountain View, California, where the company also planed to encourage women with skills to stop watching from the sidelines and join in the fun.
The response to the first scheduled event was so positive, that LinkedIn decided to host another one at a second venue. Now on the same weekend, there was also a DevelopHer hackday held in Delhi, India, which on a side note, illustrates how the company has continued to expand its presence on a global scale. The rules at both venues were identical. Participants had 24 hours to assemble a team, or go at it alone in a designated hacking mission. All women who competed had the opportunity to earn stripes within the community, showcase their skills to a panel of judges, and even win some cool prizes. Check out the results of 2012‘s Developher LinkedIn Hackday .
Back in November of last year, LinkedIn presented veterans hackday. This event was centered around paying homage to America’s fighting forces. The company asked hackers to come together to develop projects that would somehow improve the quality of life for veterans. Before this one in July, there was intern hackday, an event that called for interns from the any technology company in the San Francisco Bay Area to come out and put their skills against the best hackers Silicon Valley had to offer. The hackday competitions have been very popular, so it is very likely that the company will continue the tradition for some time to come.
Meet the Panel
The four judges for the DevelopHer hackday event in Mountain View, CA were: Gina Bianchini, CEO of group collaboration service Mighty Bell, Megan Quinn, a partner at venture capitalist firm Kleiner Perkins Causfield & Bryers, Rashmi Sinha, CEO of SlideShare, and Christina Allen, Director of Product Management at LinkedIn.
LinkedIn encouraged all female developers and designers to take part in both hackday events. According to the company, number of years in experience didn’t matter as the initiative was open to novices and veterans alike. Regardless of skill level, LinkedIn views hackday as a great way for all hackers to hone their skills and network among their peers.