Rainmaking Loft is a co-working space in in Christianshavn, København. But it’s not only a co-working space, it is also a place for events, happenings, business- and start-up accelerators and now also hackathons. We’ve interviewed Lenka from Codher about the hackathons and why you should join.
What’s your name?
My name is Lenka Prochazkova
What do you do?
I work as a web designer & developer. I also volunteer at Codher. Codher is a non-profit tech organization. Our main goal is to bridge the gap in the IT industry and make it accessible for those who are interested in pursuing a career in this field. We educate and equip women and men of diverse background with insight and hands-on experience in web development and IT. If you want a little sneak peek of my daily life and projects I am working on you can follow me on Instagram.
Tell us about the Rainmaking Hackathons – what is it about?
Rainmaking Hackathons are weekend events. They start on Friday afternoon and end on Sunday afternoon. During a hackathon, programmers, together with many other professionals (like designers, business analysts, project managers etc.), intensively work on a software project in order to develop an innovative interactive application. Participants are divided into teams that tackle the problem from different angles. The topic of a hackathon is announced in advance, as well as an operating system, application, or device that needs to be used. Since you work with a team of people with diverse capabilities and skills, the hackathons are indeed very close to the real work process.
What I really like about the Rainmaking Hackathons is that the events have relaxed atmosphere are and well-organized.
First of all, the organizers invite experts in the particular fields to join the event as mentors and consultants. The experts are go-to people if you have additional questions about a hackathon challenge or you quickly need to validate and test your ideas, the workflow, and user journey. In my experience, the mentors are happy to help and answer all of your questions!
Secondly, they also hold hackathon pre-events which are a 2-3 hours event few days before the actual hackathon. You get to know some of the participants in advance, get a crash course in the hackathon topic, and learn some brainstorming and prototyping techniques. And finally, they also do little treats during the main event. Last time, they organized a little yoga session for the participants to get some stretching.
Why do you participate/what do you get out of it?
I participate because I want to improve my team working and prototyping skills.
I work as solo designer and developer on most of the projects and don’t always get enough feedback on my collaboration skills and the way I work. I also enjoy concept developing and networking. It is very inspiring to get to know people with the different background and set of skills than I have.
And why do you think it’s important for women to participate?
First of all, I think it is important for women to participate to bring more diversity. They have different points of view, experience, and market insights. There are some studies showing that diverse groups make better decisions and outperformed homogeneous groups. That’s because there are more disagreements in the heterogeneous group which leads to more careful information processing.
Secondly, I also believe that joining a hackathon is a way to learn more about the newest tech trends and keep up with them. Technology is everywhere and we use it on daily basis. But how much do we actually know about it? I guess not that much.
Going to a hackathon is an empowering experience because you are in a situation where you are no longer a passive user, but are becoming a creator and taking part in the development process.
You also get a chance to talk to developers, designer, and business people and hear about their approach.
Can women do something men can’t, regarding the hackathons?
I don’t think a gender is important when it comes to hackathons. I think everyone is unique and has a special set of skills that can be used during a hackathon.
One of the thing that is not mentioned very often is that hackathons actually test your soft skills as well. Especially the collaboration, communication, and organization skills are put to the test.
Hackathons are not about the perfect code, they are about turning your innovative conceptual idea into something tangible and presentable.
A big plus is if you can connect easily with people and are good at articulating your thoughts. What also counts are the group presentation skills. There are many women who excel in these kinds of skills.
The next hackathon will be held on on the 27-29th of October, and you can find more info here