WTM Tucson Hackathon 2016

From Maggie Melo, Event Organizer

Couple weekends ago I attended the Women Techmakers Tucson Hackathon at University of Arizona library, and although I couldn’t stay for a lot of the workshops and hacking I’m still glad I went. It was my first Hackathon and first real tech event that wasn’t aimed at learners or a one-way lecture.

The Keynote

The keynote was pretty cool — Alice Ferng, a biomedical engineer at U of A talked about her work in organ scaffolding for stem cells and 3D bioprinting and how her love of tech came full circle with her research.

It was a precursor to talking about imposter syndrome — her non-tech background made her feel sort of out of place at her own first hackathon. An odd combination of ‘what am I doing here?’ and what you think you know must be a small subset compared to everyone else.

How to Not Feel Like an Imposter, Sorta

There’s no simple or easy way to get rid of this feeling except to push yourself out of your comfort zone. Showing up is often the hardest part, and once you do you often end up realizing that what you know isn’t quite the small subset you thought it was.

The trick is to try not to compare yourself to others too much. It helps both your sanity and self motivation to realize that everyone has their own story and background. You come from somewhere and have a different skill set that you can use to contribute in your own way.

Phasers Set to Stun

The workshop I was able to attend hit a few snags but I still got to see something new: Phaser.io and get back into a bit of JavaScript. All my omitted semi-colons reminded me of how simple and elegant ruby feels (I’m nearly a complete Ruby convert!), oh — and I also got to make a spaceship!