#TechItForward for good

Women Driven Development’s hackathon @ Expedia Group

Women Driven Development (WDD) brings gender minorities and leaders in tech together, to share knowledge, experiences and to create real connections, promoting sponsorship through hackathons, practical sessions and events.

After the huge success of our first hackathon @ Google London in October 2018, WDD hosted the 2nd #TechItForward hackathon in March 2019 at Expedia Group.

As an agile organisation, we focus on incremental improvements based on constructive feedback we get from our attendees — here’s what we did differently this time.

  • Collaboration with other charities
  • Two pre-hack evening session
  • Self-organising teams

Collaboration with other charities

The overarching theme at our hackathons is to use technology for good and we wanted our attendees to make real tangible differences to the world by attending our event.

This is why we’ve partnered up with charity organisations below, to use the power of tech and data analytics to provide solutions that can facilitate and help their programmes.

Body & Soul

Body & Soul is an innovative charity that uses a comprehensive, community-based and trauma informed approach to address the life-threatening effects of childhood adversity in people of all ages.

http://www.bodyandsoulcharity.org/about/
@bodysoulcharity

Code Your Future

We are a non-profit organisation supporting refugees and underprivileged individuals with the dream of becoming software developers.

https://codeyourfuture.io/about
@CodeYourFuture_

Culpeper Community Garden

Set up in 1982 by local people near the Angel Islington, we believe it is one of the oldest community-run open spaces in the UK. After 32 years, the garden is still flourishing and attracts large numbers of people throughout the year — members, volunteers, casual visitors, young and old, from all socio-economic backgrounds and abilities.

http://culpeper.org.uk/projinstall/about/
@Culpepergarden

Little Angel Theatre

Little Angel Theatre is a home for puppetry. Since its doors first opened in 1961 the theatre has been dedicated to creating and sharing inspiring stories. Puppetry is at the heart of this innovative theatre, from igniting the imaginations of the youngest minds to equipping tomorrow’s puppeteers with the tools they need to succeed.

https://littleangeltheatre.com/about-us/what-we-do/
@LittleATheatre

London Village Network

LVN brings components of the village together to make a change to the lives of vulnerable young people. We help professionals volunteer one hour of time to inspire young people.

http://www.lvn.org.uk/aboutus/
@LDNVillageNet


Two pre-hack evening sessions

Our members thought that it would be good to have more than one pre-hack evening session to make the most out of the full-day hack.

Pre-hack 1

At our first pre-hack evening, the focus was to find out more about partner charities, familiarise ourselves to their missions and start thinking how we might be able to help them.

We invited representatives from each charity to present us their projects (video credit: one and only Eddie Jaoude!).

Jonny from Code Your Future
Paul from Culpeper Community Garden
Sophie from Little Angel Theatre
Rachael from London Village Network

It was followed by breakout sessions where attendees asked questions to charities, identified what skills are needed and discussed potential solutions.

Pre-hack 2

The second pre-hack evening was more focused on forming teams and start figuring out technical aspects of the projects.

Again we invited as many representatives as possible from partner charities — it was important for us to have them especially at the ideation stage, to make sure we were building what they really needed, rather than what we thought they needed.


Self-organising teams

The pre-hack sessions enabled attendees to self-organise, joining projects that they were interested in, technically and/or subject matter. Teams rallied together to ensure that they could deliver real value to the charities.

Here are brief summaries of amazing amount of things they achieved!

Body & Soul

Body & Soul were having difficulties accessing and utilise their user data in an efficient way. The team has setup a Google Data Studio view for caseworkers to visualise data, as well as a GCP-hosted MySQL DB as a prep for data migration in the future.

Read more about their project

Code Your Future 1— Student Tracking

They built a student tracking system which logs the basic activity of students by utilising the data available in the public Slack channels, as well as from github profiles. This will help instructors understand which students need most attention.

Read more about their project

Code Your Future 2 — Volunteer application workflow

They built a slackbot for event subscriptions, student sentiment analysis, and a volunteer application workflow!

Culpeper Community Garden

They updated the Culpeper Garden website with a new design, a calendar and a donation page!

Little Angel Theatre

Little Angel Theatre wanted to make their booking system more user-friendly and professional as it was very text heavy. They also aimed to increase the website speed and performance, particularly the calendar page.

The team conducted seven user interviews which informed their design. In addition, they have built an interactive dashboard using Google Data Studio tailored to Little Angel Theatre’s needs.

Read more about their project

London Village Network

Rebel with a cause 1

Chrome extension that blocks out things you don’t want to see on social media e.g. posts with swear words, or about brexit :(

Rebel with a cause 2

Another rebel group created a webapp that connects charities with tech-y volunteers.

More photos from the day

With all these going on, we somehow still had time to squeeze some fun! At WDD we work hard and play hard ;)


Finally

A huge thanks to everyone at Expedia Group for sponsoring and hosting us. A special shoutout to Jenna for being there every step of the way! You can see her experience of the day here.