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News  11, Jul 2012

The first ever women-only hackathon held in New Delhi, India

Photo Credits: http://developherdelhi.hackathon.io

Also known as “DevelopHer”, this female only hackathon has been extended to India. Held for the very first time on the 30th of June, the event saw 44 developers alongside coders and designers as attendees with 12 teams as participants.

The first of its kind in the country is an open hackday about anything, from mobile apps, web apps to games, tools, frameworks and optimizations.

Sponsored by LinkedIn and its family SlideShare, all groups were tasked to find innovative ideas, code their hacks, generate prototypes or demos and pitch to the judges. All these had to be done within 24 hours. One team could only have a maximum number of three members.

Intended to encourage women to participate in engineering, hacking and technology, the hackathon is open to working professionals and student from any companies, universities and ages across the nation to attend and battle for a MacBook Air and iPad as the first and second place prizes.

Deepa Sapatnekar, LinkedIn Head of Communications for India & Korea says to e27.sg that “DevelopHer Hackday is a global unique initiative by LinkedIn. It is a fun and competitive event for women engineers and designers. The idea behind this hackathon was to engage with women engineers to create, build and present their ideas to an audience of peers and pros. India is a hub for engineering excellence and LinkedIn Hackdays are highly optimized events around the engineering culture. Hackdays are a day to break free and work on whatever you personally find interesting. In fact, some of our best internal tools have come from previous hackdays.”

Innovation, execution and presentation were set as the predetermined criteria in a two minute demo presented through Skype to SlideShare Founder and COO Rashmi Sinha and Silicon Valley Investor, Founder of 500 startups Dave McClure sitting in as judges.

The main event, DevelopHer was held by LinkedIn at its’ headquarter office in Bay Area Mountain View while Delhi’s hackday occupied the organizer’s SlideShare, New Delhi office. Both were the sponsors of this woman-only hackathon. And the app doesn’t have to be related with these two companies.

All participants just need to bring their notebooks and necessary software to develop the apps. The rest – F&B, Wi-Fi, foosball, table-tennis (there was table tennis contest in Day One) – was provided for by SlideShare’s Delhi folks. A team from LinkedIn, coders from Bangalore and Mumbai also joined this geeky show.

Some of the hacks created included a social app to split and track expenses amongst friends, an infographic generation tool for LinkedIn, a natural language search apps, another hack is a language translator for Slide Share presentations and making Slide Share accessible for the visually impaired.

Amit Ranjan, SlideShare Co-Founder and COO pointed out that there was“something that stood out remarkably from other hackdays – there were no dropout teams between the start and end. Every team that started actually finished their hack and demoed it. My previous experience with hackdays is otherwise, the dropout rate is app 40%. This shows that amongst girls, only the really motivated ones actually turn up to participate in a grueling 24 hours non-stop coding event.”

Last but not least, ‘FixCity’, a crowd sourced mobile app for reporting civic problems was the winner while ‘Talkin’ a tool featuring voice capability to LinkedIn profiles was the runner-up.

Goutama Bachtiar

Goutama Bachtiar

Goutama is a Technologist, Consultant, Trainer, Writer & Courseware Developer mostly in enterprise space. Having written for a number of other outlets on technology and business, he is fascinated with Tech Investment and Social Tech. The e27 Senior Contributing Writer based in Jakarta counts travel, culture, culinary, coffee and soccer among his myriad interests.

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