R60K up for grabs in GirlCode hackathon

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 26 Jul 2022
Zandile Mkwanazi, GirlCode CEO.
Zandile Mkwanazi, GirlCode CEO.

Software development skills organisation GirlCode will host its annual GirlCode Hackathon in Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town in August.

The hackathon is open to all female IT students and graduates, who will work collaboratively to create a website, game, or mobile app that addresses a selected real-world challenge.

The event, which will focus on showcasing the tech skills of young female software developers, is set to take place on 6 and 7 August. Female innovators will compete for a R60 000 cash price.

“The GirlCode Hackathon plays a critical role in South Africa’s innovation ecosystem by growing our pipeline of female software developers at the grassroots,” says Zandile Mkwanazi, GirlCode CEO.

“Everyone who participates comes away with new skills, ideas and networks that will continue to fuel our innovation into the future.”

GirlCode says this year’s hackathon has attracted a lot of technology partners, including Mint Group, which has partnered with GirlCode for about seven years.

Lauren Clark, Mint Group head of people, says: “We can see the value and impact of this hackathon event. We look forward to speaking with the participants and seeing what problems they solve using their technology skills. Mint Group endeavours to support GirlCode’s initiatives because we know that technology is a sustainable career for our youth.”

Another partner, Taylor Kwong, corporate social investment manager at fibre company Vuma, says: “Vuma is proud to partner with GirlCode for the upcoming #GirlCodeHack, which is another step in bridging the digital literacy gap for young South Africans.

“Our mission is to enable opportunities for individuals and communities to allow them to flourish and realise their full potential, an ethos that aligns strongly with GirlCode’s goals. We are excited to be part of a movement that is passionate about igniting the spark for young women and girls to develop an interest in coding and the STEM [science, technology, engineering and maths] fields, allowing them to be at the forefront of innovation.”

Cape Town-based tech company Byte Orbit has also joined as a sponsor. “Byte Orbit has always strived to empower the youth through various initiatives in the company. We have fostered a culture of continuous learning and knowledge-sharing, and encourage job shadowing and internships in various areas of the company.

“Our partnership with GirlCode has given us access to a bigger platform to support the youth of South Africa, and we look forward to seeing the young coders in action at the hackathon,” says the firm.

Takealot Group, which is also a partner, says it will provide laptops, tablets, headphones and vouchers.

“It’s through partnerships and initiatives such as this one that the Takealot Group invests with the knowledge that the decisions and actions we take today will help secure future generations to achieve the generational equality we seek for women,” says Nomaxabiso Teyise, Takealot Group’s head of diversity, transformation and inclusion.