# 100Women:Hacking for social change with BBC and Facebook

I got the opportunity to build something really cool the other day.I work in Technology, so there are many opportunities to build really cool things. However, what made it extra special this time,is the fact that it was an opportunity to contribute to a global women campaign.

The BBC and Facebook put out an ad calling for female software developers and creatives to pitch and demo a social media product that could be used to launch the 2016 season of the BBC 100 Women initiative.

The BBC 100 Women series profiles 100 women from all walks of life from different parts of the world every year. The BBC’s campaign aims to celebrate women by sharing 100 inspiring and thought provoking stories to spark debate and create a dialogue about their achievements and issues women face.

I found this to be one of the most touching stories from the 2015 season. Worth the watch.

Ola,Bunmi and I(that’s us in the first picture!) got together to form a team.We sent off our application and waited for a couple of days(I checked my email at least every hour during the wait!) before receiving an email inviting us to the Facebook London office to build, demo and pitch our application in less than 24 hours. The opportunity was even more exciting because we were pitching to BBC journalists and Facebook developers, of which included the Founder and Editor of 100 Women, Fiona Crack.

The day started with talks from Fran Unsworth, Director of the BBC World Service and Amy Cole, Head of Brand Development at Instagram.We were given several design briefs for the hack by the 100 Women journalists. It was great being in the presence of so many women who are game changers in their fields of expertise.

Then we began to hack and hack we did.So here it goes….

Things I learnt building a social media product from scratch in 24 hours:

Start with the end in mind.Draw wireframes and map out the user experience

Make sure you brainstorm EVERYTHING. It might seem silly drawing loads of windows and walking through page transitions, but trust me, it helps to map out tasks and identify which APIs and styling libraries you will need.

There are really cool wire-framing tools that you can use online.I love Balsamiq! However, we had to get a working prototype up and running in 24 hours so we had to be quick-we had most of our mockups on sheets of paper!

Get online project hosting software and sort out your file sharing ASAP

There is nothing more annoying than emailing code and files during a team project.Github is the major key for checking in and pulling code.Files can be shared using google drive/dropbox.

Stick to the design brief a.k.a It’s not all about you,it’s about what the user wants.Remember, you need to build a prototype that works.

Working in Technology can have you wanting to explore all sorts of cool things in your spare time.There is a time and place to use all the recent technology buzzwords, a time constrained hackathon is not always the place to start learning it.Learn how to use the cool stuff before the hackathon!

An expert from Facebook, gave us perfect advice during the brief.It went something like this:

Number one tip for hackathon success and personal development: use new technologies to implement a solution you’ve previously mastered OR use technologies you’ve previously mastered to implement a new solution.One or the other.Not both!

This is not the time to over-optimize your code

Please write simple code.This is not the time to challenge the demo-gods(the forces that ensure your demo doesn’t go as planned) and use new javascript frameworks you’ve never heard of. You want to have something that is easy to debug and works end to end during the demo.

The best teams are diverse teams

This was a great lesson. We worked as a team of 3. We had different skill sets:some of us had done a lot of UI work, some of us were pure back-end developers. To top it all off, we also had different working styles.We collaborated effectively and I was very grateful for the chance to work with these talented ladies.

I said it in this blog, and I’ll say it again.The best teams are diverse teams!

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail

Planning is key. Time-box everything. Every 15 minutes, give yourself a small deliverable-that way you don’t go off on your own beating yourself up for not figuring something out.Time-boxing is very useful when planning development sprints-especially super short ones.

You will learn a lot in a very short time

Self explanatory.

Also hackathons are super exciting when you have unlimited breakfast,lunch,dinner and snacks- Thanks Facebook! :)

Pictures from the day:

Amy Cole, Head of Brand Development at Instagram, spoke about her career in Technology:from starting out in the auto-industry to joining a 6-person start up (now Instagram). Absolutely loved the way she explained how the platform has shown that women are experts at visual story telling. She showed some examples of game-changing women on Instagram (from your everyday woman,to fashion bloggers, to politicians) and how they are creating a huge impact.
Fran Unsworth, Director of BBC World Service, gave a talk about the relevance of news stories to the current modern media industry and how 100 Women has helped the BBC World service increase it’s audience over the last 4 years. She spoke about the huge impact the initiative has so far and how they are moving closer to their goal of a half a billion audience.
It was a privilege hearing from the visionary behind the world wide initiative that we know as BBC 100 Women.I love how she highlighted that the campaign is not just about the women you see on TV.It’s about the everyday women that are in our families and communities.

Thanks to the BBC and Facebook for an amazing opportunity!

Find out more about the BBC 100 Women series

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BBC100women/

Instagram: @bbc100women

Website: http://www.bbc.com/100women

Be part of the conversation #100women

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