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CU ATLAS T9Hacks: Bridging the Gap Between Women & Tech

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CU ATLAS is hosting its first ever T9Hacks hackathon on February 20 – 21. It’ll be a weekend of creativity, collaboration, design and code. The hack seeks to bridge the gap between women and technology. It’s no secret that there is a lack of diversity in tech, with women occupying significantly less engineering and technical roles when compared to their male counterparts. ATLAS hopes the hackathon will get more women interested in technology, by providing them with the opportunity to hack, no matter their technical skill level or proficiency in code.

So what is a hackathon? For those new to hacking, listen in: Hacking is defined as an event where people come together for an allotted period of time to solve problems. For those who are new to hackathons, it can be difficult to comprehend what a hackathon is, especially when the first thing that comes to mind is a sci-fi movie where some expert coders hack into government networks.

Along with the stereotypes that come from even trying to define a hackathon, a deeper and more problematic stereotype is that only certain people can contribute: coders. But one of the key ideas behind T9Hacks is that the best ideas come from diverse groups of people bringing their minds together to solve complex problems.

Quick Left is especially excited to participate in this hackathon because of the reach it will have. The T9Hack takes the intimidation of not being a programmer out of the equation, bringing together people of different backgrounds, especially women who are often a minority in such events. 

This is not to say programmers aren’t welcome, but in addition to programming, students will be encouraged to focus on ways that art and media can help to create new ideas and products. This is an important focus for hackathons to hone in on because of the innovation that diversity provides. With this mindset at the forefront of the event, the hack will broaden the definition of what hacking actually means and will give many people the opportunity to partake in a fun and collaborative process, which historically has been instrumental in fostering innovation in tech.

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To bring the hackathon to CU’s Boulder campus ATLAS is partnering with Quick Left and some amazing tech companies like SendGrid, Twitter and VictorOps. The weekend activities will be divided between hacking and mini challenges to help get those creative juices flowing. ATLAS will help hackers form teams so don’t fret if you’re riding solo. There will also be free food and lots of goodies from the companies supporting the hackathon. A dinner on the 20th, along with breakfast and lunch on the 21st, will be provided to all hackers and mentors… yes mentors!

Mentors will be made available for the hackers to grab for any guidance they may need depending on the problems the teams decide to solve. If you’re a savvy business leader, tech guru or design visionary, sign up here to assist the hackers in their creations.

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Interested in hacking or know of someone who might be? Have them sign up here!