Bolstering women in tech — Save the Hacker 2017

Not long ago, EY in one of their reports spoke of a cautionary tale of innovation.

When voice recognition software for the automotive industry was first launched, it was with a fundamental flaw — the software barely recognized women’s voices. Female customers would give their car a command and — nothing. One woman who called customer service was told point-blank that the system would never work for her — she should just have a man set it up.

What went wrong?

The original design teams lacked diversity. They were overwhelmingly male and unconsciously calibrated the voice recognition systems to their own voices and speech patterns. The value of their innovation was harmed by the fact that the design team didn’t reflect the end users.

Businesses are thriving on disruption with bots, AI, driverless cars, drones and smart homes. To sustain this disruption, it demands innovation.

And, innovation demands diversity.

As a company, we’ve always believed in equal opportunities for everyone, irrespective of gender or background. Today, more than ever, as one of the leading technology companies in the world, we believe that it is our onus to create communities that fuel innovation and facilitate knowledge-sharing among women, especially in the tech community.

On our mission to inspire more women to take up tech career paths, we proudly present Save The Hacker — 2017.

Goodies from Save the Hacker 2015

Save the Hacker, an initiative by Freshdesk, was launched in 2014, to promote and encourage developers from around the country to learn, build and deploy the coolest apps with the latest trends in technology. With this initiative, we set out on a mission to save smart programmers from dead-end jobs by inviting them to Save the Hacker — a two-day hackathon that went on to change their lives.

This year, we’re back, but with a necessary distinguisher. We envision our participating teams to be championed by women leaders.

Save the Hacker is a weekend of non-stop innovation and coding — hundreds of participants from across the country bring their ideas to life. We have panels of industry experts from within Freshdesk helping the teams validate their business ideas and productize it with code.

Over the last two editions, we’ve seen some seriously amazing apps born out of Save the Hacker. Apps which can connect consumers to services based on crowdsourced information, education oriented apps to break down long and boring textbook phrases into stunning imagery and explain complex concepts with unique storytelling elements, and even apps that helps raise an emergency signal in the case of road accidents.

It’s a weekend full of fun and work; the mantra being — eat, sleep, code, repeat.

“When you compare Chennai with other cities, like Bangalore or Pune, there’s always been a dearth of hackathons happening in the city. Save the Hacker provides the environment and exposure, that if one has an idea, with the right mentoring and teammates, one can bring it to life”, says Mohammed Safiq, who then went on to join Freshdesk after the previous edition of Save the Hacker.

The hackathon will be followed by a day filled with keynote speeches, panel discussions and networking sessions, some tailor-made for the women tech enthusiasts. The last edition of Save the Hacker had over 1000+ registrations, 100+ shortlisted teams from across 15 cities, and 50+ lakhs worth of prizes and swag given out in total.

Save the Hacker is one of the ways we fuel diversity in ideas, experiences and especially gender. Come join us!