Why Women Should Hack at Hackathons | Women in Tech Demo Days 2017


Going from growing up as the only girl in my high school who was a part of our computer club, I felt that I was “different” early on. It wasn’t until I came across supportive women communities in my 20s and attended Grace Hopper: Celebration of Women in Computing with 10,000 women in tech, did I feel at home. Now I’m so excited to see gender parity at tech events, and more importantly women-focused events that highlight what’s possible.
Capital One’s Women in Tech Demo Days is not only a chance to connect with other women of all technical levels and backgrounds but to also hone your skills, receive mentorship and access to opportunities. This event is presented by Capital One in partnership with AngelHack and Women Who Code.
This 2-day event happens in NYC June 16th-17th and in Washington DC on July 21st-22nd.
Did I mention all proceeds go towards an amazing non-profit?! If you aren’t already a member of Women Who Code,I highly suggest joining - no matter your background or skill-level.
These are 3 essential skills hackathons allow you to develop:


One benefit of hackathons that doesn’t get talked about enough is pitching. At a hackathon, you gather a team to build out an idea. Then as part of the hackathon, you present it to the judges to show your final project or “demo” (short for demonstration). Learning to pitch is a valuable skill that helps build your self-confidence as you learn to showcase your technical ability.
It’s also a lot of fun! Imagine if you could build anything you wanted - whether it was to make social impact or something you wish existed. What if you could share that idea with the world?


I found that one of the hardest things to learn, especially if you’re self-taught (like myself) is the dynamics of working in a group. Hackathons are a low stress way (at least I think so!) to go through the whole product and software development process and learn what does and doesn’t work for collaborating in a group.
Hackathons also bring together people from all different skill-levels, so don’t be shy. I think this is the perfect way to figure out what your strengths are and what you’re passionate about.

Design Thinking

In traditional software development, there may already be an existing roadmap or “to do list” of things to build. At a hackathon, you learn to iterate quickly to build a prototype and find/develop solutions versus going through long “build” aka development cycles. 

Normally this take weeks, months or years to master. But what if you could dip your toes in for a day? I think the ideation process is one of the most exciting parts of creating through technology which is how I evolved and transitioned from a developer to program and product manager. Without knowing how each of those pieces of the process works, I wouldn’t have been able to learn best practices for creating apps, products and software.
Are you ready to take the next steps? This is your chance to shine.
Prizes include a $10k General Assembly scholarship for your team plus tickets to Capital One's Women in Tech Experience in Virginia, November 2017.
Register with this code for an exclusive discount: WITDDwithRebecca
I hope to see you there in-person at the Women in Tech Demo Days NYC! Don’t forget to tweet me @geekgirlweb™.

Photo Credit: Women in Tech Demo Days

Disclaimer: Thank you Capital One for sponsoring this post! This is a paid endorsement. All opinions are my own and were not directed by Capital One. To learn more about Capital One, visit www.capitalone.com.