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Technica: Inspiring the Next Generation of Young Female Coders

Dedicated female coders at Technica catch short naps before returning to work on their websites. PC: Esmeralda Zere (278)

On November 4-5, a group of girls from Central made a trip to the University of Maryland for an all-female “hackathon.” Now, one may wonder, what is a hackathon? A hackathon is a specialized time for people to code freely for hours at a time. Participants first attend workshops where beginners learn the basic code involved in making a website. They then take their skills to the next level to make a demo website of their own, which they can then show off for the public to try out the website on their own.

What makes Technica truly special is that it is the largest all-female hackathon in the world, so young females can meet high school and college students from all walks of life pursuing computer science as a future career. “Seeing so much creativity in one room was truly inspiring to me as a student interested in computer science,”  remarks Eda Dervishi (279) upon entering the gymnasium-sized Reckord Armory at the University of Maryland. Technica also allows girls to meet representatives of major corporations like Target, Capital One, and Facebook, to see that their computer science skills can get them hired anywhere, not only tech companies like Apple or Google. “I learned that technology could be utilized for so much more than just social media by us young people,” says Esmeralda Zere (278).

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Students received temporary tattoos and other merchandise from corporations and sponsors at the hackathon. PC: Esmeralda Zere (278)

The demo websites shared ranged from “meme generators” to virtual reality video games to sites advocating for women with special needs in education. Female coders created all of the websites within 48 hours. A team from Central made their own demo website using Firebase, a website and mobile app platform, and React, a JavaScript “library.” They created a site that allowed victims of natural disasters to connect to a database where first responders can answer their calls for help immediately upon receiving their address. Even if these girls had to sleep on air mattresses in a cramped lecture hall and go for two days without showering, they gave it their all. Central’s female coders successfully completed their websites in such a short time period, often not even stopping to sleep but coding right through until the morning.


MaryElizabeth Greeley (278)
News Editor

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Eda Dervishi (279, left) and students from the University of Maryland teamed up to create a demo website for victims of natural disasters. PC: MaryElizabeth Greeley (278)

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Young coders work in a vast, open gymnasium at the University of Maryland. PC: Esmeralda Zere (278)

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