Behind the Scenes: SheHacks V

What is SheHacks?

SheHacks is Canada’s largest all female and non-binary hackathon! Over 600+ female and female aligned students attended SheHacks on Jan 8–10. SheHacks brings together hackers of all experiences, backgrounds and gender identities to turn tech ideas into realities. We believe that no matter how experienced or inexperienced you are, everyone has their own unique starting point and “next step” goal.

Building you from Zero to Hero!

Games have always had a recurring theme where users gain skills as they progress through their journey completing challenges and fulfilling technical requirements. Similarly, the route to becoming a hacker represents the kind of transformation hackers will undergo after attending SheHacks. Through networking opportunities, creating projects that advance skills and meeting inspirational industry professionals, SheHacks will help hackers level up.

We also thought it embodied an interesting concept of superheroes. Although coding isn’t what people typically think when they think about heroes in a cape, it certainly should be! Those who code have everything it takes to change the world — a creative brain, an appetite for challenge, and a plethora of programming languages to fully encapsulate the power of technology.

Introducing Hacker Olympics

With SheHacks being a beginner hacker, Women in Tech Society’s mission is to ensure participants feel welcome and allow their skills to shine through. Equipping hackers with introductory workshops, access to mentors and tools, we created the first ever Hacker Olympics. Hacker Olympics was introduced as a separate competition stream for 100 beginner hackers who worked in teams of 4, completing small-scale technical challenges. These included 4 topics centered around workshops throughout the weekend:

  • Introduction to Python
  • Machine Learning
  • Product Design
  • Web Development with HTML/CSS

Our new goal was to introduce beginner hackers to new aspects of technology as it can be pretty overwhelming to begin their exploration! Proudly, SheHacks sparked newfound interests in technology and helped to better prepare them for large scale projects.

Fun fact: lots of hackers learned how to collaborate with GitHub, an important tool for sharing code in development roles!

Design Inspiration

Our design team worked away around the theme of “Fluidity” as represented by the several gradients. Specifically, during this era of the pandemic, it depicted the idea of ambiguity and the flow through time.

The main colours red, yellow and turquoise represent optimism and hope for the future in technology and the energy as brought by the ecstatic hackers. The fluid gradient and colour combination is soothing to look at and easy on the eyes; this allowed a sense of relaxation for those who work from home and have to stare into screens all day. Other elements included the boxes, spheres and glitches to create a digital and cyber mood.

Design Process

The magic all began with the creation of a colour palette, by experimenting with previous WITS colours, the first element created was a tritone gradient sphere! This concept continued into the other graphics due to its aesthetic nature and vibes as created by the colour palette. The girls were created by the WITS design team and were easily integrated into the Zero to Hero theme. Each portfolio of graphics was diverse and had their own unique flares, while still managing to bring the overall theme together!

Workshop Highlights

Author: Janice Xu

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