Women Coders in Pune Explore Technology Based Solutions for NGO Partners at the First Round of Tech for Good 2015 Hackathon


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By Nadeem Inamdar

As many as a hundred young women Information Technology (IT) professionals from different companies and students from computing institutions in Pune converged at the Allscripts auditorium at Eon IT park in Kharadi putting their mental capacities to test and ideate for designing futurist high quality applications for social empowerment.

The hackathon was organized by the Anita Borg Institute (ABI), a non-profit organization focused on the advancement of women in computer science and engineering and sponsored by Allscripts (India) Pvt. Ltd.

The main objective of this hackathon is to code and work on ideas and projects that will have a social impact. 10,000 Startups (A Nasscom initiative) is the ecosystem partner for this initiative. 

The women coders participated with full enthusiasm and focus exploring technology based solutions for Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) partners at the first round of Tech for Good 2015 Hackathon.

Vivek Shangari, chief Geek of Ace Hacker gave a brief presentation to the participants on what code should they make, the mental challenges ahead in designing the app and how it could accrue benefit the society at large.

Shangari also briefed them about the NGO requirements and technical challenges they would be facing while going ahead with their projects.

Speaking to punekarnews.in, Shangari pointed out that the gathering has some of the most of talented individuals designing high quality apps in accordance with the requirement of the social organizations .

“These NGOs will get high quality apps from the competitors which otherwise would cost them a fortune. Moreover, they have a plethora of choices to pick their choicest of apps, ” Shangari added.

Nitin Deshpande, president of Allscripts (India) Pvt. Ltd. said, “Non-profit organizations and Pune’s growing technology industry will benefit from the innovative ideas and talent women coders bring to these projects.”

Hailing the hackathon as a major milestone towards women’s empowerment, Shaila Srinivas, Senior Manager, Development, Allscripts, said that it provided women with a computing background a national platform for innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship. “A number of young and talented women gather at such events to showcase their spirit of collaboration and code making contribution towards interdisciplinary approach towards coding technology,” she added.

Srinivas further added that during next four months, the coders will build on ideas, architect the applications through developing, testing and deploying their skills sets for knowledge generation.

The first round for the Tech for Good 2015 hackathon will also be conducted in Bangalore, Madurai, New Delhi and the finals will be held at the largest technical conference for women in India – the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing India (GHCI) 2015 in Bangalore during 2-4 December, 2015.

“ABI is pleased to have created a platform for women technologist to come together and code for projects that have a social impact. Currently there is a large focus of developing technology solutions within India for our country. We look forward to the innovative solutions that will be built by these talented women to bring about a positive change to our society,” said Geetha Kannan, Managing Director – Anita Borg Institute India.

During the first round of the hackathon the participants were briefed on projects from the NGO partners and their technical challenges. The participants were then divided into teams and allotted their projects.

The teams will continue to work together to build a working software product and submit the same a few weeks before the grand finale. The finalists will be selected from these submissions and will go on to present their applications at the grand finale at GHCI in December 2015. The winning teams will be chosen by a panel of judges.

For all details on Tech for Good 2015 hackathon visit –http://gracehopper.org.in/tech-for-good-2015-hackathon/

About The Grace Hopper Celebration India

The Grace Hopper Celebration India (GHCI) is the largest gathering of women technologists in the country. ABI India has been successfully organizing this annual conference since 2010. GHCI focuses on the career, research and entrepreneur interests of women in computing and technology. Presenters at the conference are leaders in their respective fields from industry, academia and government. GHCI 2014 drew 1600 attendees (33% growth over 2013) from 10 countries, had over 250 volunteers and received an 82% overall quality rating of excellent and good. The key highlights of the conference are various Tracks covering topics such as Technology, Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Management, Back to Work, Early Career and more. Event participants can also look forward to the Hands on Lab, Student Career Fair, Poster Session and the Women Entrepreneur Quest.

About the Anita Borg Institute (ABI)

The Anita Borg Institute (ABI) connects, inspires, and guides women in computing and organizations that view technology innovation as a strategic imperative. Founded in 1997 by computer scientist Anita Borg, our reach extends to more than 65 countries. We believe technology innovation powers the global economy, and that women are crucial to building technology the world needs. As a social enterprise, we recognize women making positive contributions, and advise organizations on how to improve performance by building more inclusive teams. ABI partners include: Cisco, Google, HP, Microsoft, Thomson Reuters, Amazon, CA Technologies, Dell, eBay, Facebook, First Republic Bank, IBM, Intel, Intuit, Juniper Networks, Lockheed Martin, National Science Foundation, National Security Agency, NetApp, SAP, Symantec, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich &Rosati, Broadcom, EMC, Neustar, Raytheon, Salesforce.com, VentureLoop, Xerox, and Yahoo! The Anita Borg Institute is a not-for-profit 501(c) 3 charitable organization in the US and a non-profit organization registered as a section-8 Company under the Companies Act, 2013 in India. For more information, visit www.anitaborg.org

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(Nadeem Inamdar is consulting editor of Punekarnews.in)

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