As the tech industry continues to grow, companies are finding a workforce that cannot keep up. In cities like Buffalo, there are major efforts underway to cultivate and nurture a new generation of web developers, innovators, technologists, designers and marketing experts. The movement is taking place in our schools, as well as in more unexpected places.
One group that is being proactive about helping to solve this critical issue is The Buffalo Chapter of Girl Develop It (GDI Buffalo). Each year, GDI organizes the region’s only All-Female hackathon, which is intended to attract a segment of the population that doesn’t typically enter into the tech world so readily. At this point, GDI is looking for females to sign up for its upcoming hackathon. GDI is also looking for females to geek out for the day. GDI is also seeking minority owned business owners who are looking to have a website developed or enhanced for free by the participants of the hackathon.
This is still the only all-female hackathon in the region, which is important to help bridge the gender divide in the tech industry.
This year’s hackathon (GDI Hacks powered by AT&T) is anticipated to double in size from last year, to 70 participants. The event is scheduled to take place on Saturday, November 12, from 8 am to 9 pm at the DIG Innovation Center,
Ultimately, ten businesses and non-profits will be participating this year. Those ten entities will benefit by accessing the vast talents of the 70 tech oriented participants, via a collaborative programming competition. The teams will come up with website solutions for the businesses and organizations, and then a panel of judges will award prizes based on the outcome (based on digital needs, business scope, and overall identity).
“At Girl Develop It we know that an outstanding web presence can have a great impact to a business. It is important to us that our Hackathon not only help our members hone their skills, but also help local non-profits or small businesses succeed. It’s a win-win,” said Lena Levine, Founder of Girl Develop It Buffalo.
“As the largest business incubator in Buffalo, the Innovation Center focuses on bringing together entrepreneurs and service providers for idea sharing and collaboration that leads to new business creation and growth”, said Vic Nole, Director of Business Development at Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc. “Hosting Girl Develop It’s All-Female Hackathon is a natural fit for us. We are proud to support the development of local small and non-profit businesses.”
GDI Hacks is powered by AT&T and supported by Blue Cross Blue Shield of WNY, Interview Cake, Doolli, Liazon, ValueCentric, and Stark & Wayne.
“AT&T is committed to bridging the significant gender gap in the technology sector and collaborating with organizations that provide females with opportunities, skills and confidence necessary to become future technology leaders,” said Marissa Shorenstein, New York State president, AT&T. “That’s why we are so proud to again support Girl Develop It, Buffalo’s all-woman hackathon, which provides Western New York’s female population with a unique opportunity to showcase their innovation and technology skills and help female and minority owned businesses enhance their digital identity.”
GDI Hacks is open to female developers of all skills and levels of expertise to promote peer supported growth. GDI Buffalo is now looking for businesses, sponsors, volunteers, and hackathon participants. To sign up for the hackathon or for more information, visit www.gdihacks.com.