#YACKATHON Partner Spotlight: Nancy Naluz of Ladies Learning Code Montreal
Yelp’s First Community Hackathon is getting closer, RSVPs are heating up and we’re starting to get into some interesting conversations about how it’s all going to work. Today on the #YACKATHON FAQS we were asked if it’s OK to join the Yelp Community Hackathon solo, and if there was a pitching component to the launch event where you might be able to share your ideas, meet people and form a team on the spot. Yes, yes, a thousand times yes is the answer to all of the above.
One of my goals in organizing the #YACKATHON is to bring together a really diverse group of people to empower each other to play with Yelp’s data and to experiment with each other’s ideas about how we can interact with our cities. I’m really excited to have Ladies Learning Code as partners in this project, and specifically the local Montreal Chapter Lead Nancy Naluz, because to me she’s not only a great connector but also an inspiring figure. She’s a musician who decided to learn code and build herself a new career as a front end web developer, and while she’s at it to facilitate learning opportunities for others as well. Check out her thoughts on Ladies Learning Code and hackathons below, and then come meet her and all the cool people hatching the #YACKATHON, Feb 6–8, 2015 at Notman House in Montreal and let’s experiment together.
“I love it when the theme of a hackathon brings technical and non-technical people together.”
Yelp Montreal: Tell me a little about Ladies Learning Code in your own words?
Nancy Naluz: Ladies Learning Code is a women-run, not-for-profit organization that offers women (and men) the opportunity to learn programming and other technical skills in a social and collaborative environment. We strive to make digital literacy accessible and demonstrate that anyone can learn how to code (from adults to kids, too). As technology becomes a bigger part of everyday society, it’s important that we acknowledge how valuable it is now more than ever to learn how to code and that the field needs more diverse voices to participate.
YM: What do you think makes a hackathon a great experience for participants?
NN: I love it when the theme of a hackathon brings together technical and non-technical people. I think bringing other people’s voices into technological innovation is so important and there is bigger potential for more creative and innovative projects, thus a great experience.
YM: What do you imagine could be the most interesting possible application of Yelp’s local business data?
NN: I think it would be cool to take Yelp’s API and make an app for last minute meetings. Using the API to find out what restaurants or cafés are in the area, have the appropriate wifi, knowing how busy it gets and the likelihood of finding a table.
YM: What are you working on at Ladies Learning Code that you’re most excited about right now?
NN: We’re excited to be hosting more youth events as I think that that’s the key to addressing the issue of gender disparity in the tech industry. I’m also very excited to introduce new workshop content in 2015, bringing more advanced front-end development and introducing back-end programming language workshops to the Montréal chapter.