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Introducing the 5th Chapter Director of TechTogether Boston, Victoria Ono

Meet TechTogether Boston’s newest Chapter Director, Victoria Ono! Victoria is a sophomore at Harvard studying astrophysics and computer science. She will be responsible for running TechTogether’s 5th hackathon for the Boston community. Interested in joining TechTogether Boston’s 2021–2022 organizing team? Learn more and apply here.

Hello! Please introduce yourself and your role in TechTogether.

Hi everyone! My name is Victoria Ono and I am a rising sophomore at Harvard, studying astrophysics and computer science. I’m super excited to be the Chapter Director for TechTogether Boston (September 10–12th) this year!

Why did you join the TechTogether organizing team? How can other students get involved with TechTogether?

I love organizing and planning events, especially events that would bring a lot of people with a similar passion much like a hackathon. It takes skills to organize something with hundreds of participants — I wanted to be a part of this to create the best experience for everyone and see an event come to life from ideation to execution.

The most important aspect of an event planned to have many participants is of course the people! The participants are what actually makes the event come alive and reach its full potential. So spread the word out to as many people as possible to participate! :)

What are you most excited about for TechTogether Boston? How do you hope this year’s hackathon will be different from last year?

I’m so excited to include diverse themes in the hackathon and see the projects that hackers will submit at the end. Though this year’s hackathon will be virtual again, that means we can include many diverse voices and backgrounds in the projects. I hope that the attendees will get to think outside the box and see how technology can be used in a wide variety of fields.

What is your favorite aspect of hackathons?

The workshops for sure! The mentors and sponsors are always super enthusiastic about teaching cool skills to the attendees and it’s amazing to see them use those skills in their final projects.

Can you tell me about your first hackathon experience?

It was ByteHacks 2018 in New York City, where my home is. I remember how cramped the floor was (gotta love NYC buildings) because there were so many women and nonbinary students getting ready to hack. I pulled an all-nighter, which I’ve only ever done a few times, but I remember the surge of excitement I felt when we won one of the sponsored prizes. I had so much fun enjoying bubble tea in the middle of the night with my group, talking to so many different mentors to learn about their experiences and skills, and seeing so many thoughtful projects built by people like me.

Do you have any advice for someone who’s interested in attending a hackathon but may be intimidated?

Go with someone whom you know! In a virtual setting, it can definitely be intimidating, but either joining with someone who already has experience or someone also just starting out will make the experience all the more enjoyable. :) If you identify as female or nonbinary, attending a gender-focused hackathon first will help alleviate feelings of intimidation, as the community is extremely supportive and empowering (like TechTogether Boston😊).

Any secret talents or hobbies?

Pre-pandemic I hated cooking and had accepted that I will never be able to cook for myself. But now I’m always in the kitchen cooking or baking (or washing the dishes which arguably takes the most time), and I’m also obsessed with Trader Joe’s.

Interested in attending a hackathon and getting access to more articles like this one? Subscribe to TechTogether’s bi-weekly newsletter. 💡



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