Over at Mother Jones, everyone is talking about Jennie Lamere, who just won a Boston hackathon hosted by TVNext. What she created is a program called Twivo, which allows you to censor certain spoilery tweets, so that you don’t get your favorite forms of entertainment ruined just because you haven’t caught up with your DVR yet. But there’s more to this already very impressive story.
What’s more intriguing about Jennie’s story is the hackathon she entered had 80 additional competitors… and all of the other contestants who finished their projects and competed against her were male. In fact, most of the other contestants were working in groups to code their programs, while Jennie Lamere created hers solo in ten hours. That’s 150 lines of code, for a program she conceived the night before the competition, executed in ten hours. And she is only 17 years old. She won in the subcategory “best use of sync-to-broadcast” and then won “best in show,” beating out professional developers sent by the event’s sponsors.
Happily, she received more than just a few fabulous prizes for her efforts—the tech company Furious Minds is going to market her product, and Twivo might be the next helpful extention you download for your Twitter account. Noting the imbalance of gender in the competition is causing people to look up and take notice; while Jennie Lamere likely has a bright future ahead of her in computer sciences, she will often be the only woman in the room. We can only hope that her presence will encourage other women to follow in her footsteps, paving the way for a more women in the world of technology.
She is certainly taking the initiative on her own: when she returned from the hackathon, she brought the code she had created to her computer science class (she attends an all girls high school in Massachusetts) and showed everyone how she put the program together. Lamere hopes that next time, more girls will join her at the hackathon. We can only hope with her.