My First Hackathon

Some experiences in life are so rare and intense that you transform into a better version of yourself unknowingly. For me, Women Hackathon was an enriching journey of self-discovery. This social hack was rewarding at many levels. The platform gave me a chance to participate in candid conversations about issues pertaining to women and voice opinions on matters that we never speak about in open. During various sessions, we discussed our collective concerns about privacy, freedom and the future of technology. The relevance of free software movement is as important as ever before. The Women Hackathon sessions were absolutely enjoyable – book-reading sessions, games, barbecue nights, speed- mentoring, technical sessions and group discussions.

I have mindfully shifted to using FOSS alternatives than proprietary because I value the freedom to create and be in control of my data and code. This shift gave me a chance to explore new FOSS tools and frameworks. I started doing projects on my own. I also secured an internship in the summer of 2017 at SPACE (Society for Promotion of Alternative Computing and Employment) where I got to work on Machine Learning with some amazing people. This internship also gave me a chance to associate with the Free Software Users Group Trivandrum through their Tech Round Table sessions. The support from ICFOSS was inevitable to start a FOSS Cell in my institution. Ever since its inception in early 2018 , FOSS Cell has been an integral part of SCTCE. I am extremely thrilled to be a part of this amazing community which has inspired me to think about the impact digital technologies have on our society at large. I think we must embrace new alternatives and not stop from seizing new opportunities. I express my gratitude to each and every member of ICFOSS for organizing such brilliant events and I am sure it will continue to inspire more girls through women hackathons.

Arundhati Kurup