So a couple of weekends ago I ended up at Startup Weekend, my second event.
Startup Weekends are a blast. 54 hours of utter crunch, sleep deprivation and stress, the end result being a thing that you can say “We built that” at the end of.
It’s a heady feeling, full of success and intensity and purpose, of finding your own drive, seeing if it’s just you, and making something real.
There’s prizes, of course; motivators towards a goal, but reaching the goal you see that the only prize that really matters is community, awareness of your self, that you’ve transcended your own limitations in a very real way. Speaking to people on the streets; building the smallest piece of the smallest step towards something that could be huge. Pitching your idea to a room full of excited faces. Standing before judges and holding your ground, loudly and proudly saying “yes, my idea is worth something.”
Our last Startup Weekend had a great gender representation as well; roughly 50/50. Additionally, the two winning teams (first and second place) were predominately women. The winning team’s backend developer was a woman.
It was a wonderful environment to work in and be inspired by, to hear stories in. There was none of the sexism endemic to being in tech; none of the “you can’t do that, you’re a woman” or despicable commentary. We were all there to be amazing, together.
And we were.