Our inspiration for this project was women empowering other women. One of our group members heard about Built By Girls, an organization that pairs high school and college girls with experienced women, and she remembered when her mom was trying to re-enter tech after staying at home for six years. This led us to come up with the idea of TechLadies, a site that would pair women of all ages to mentors and allow them to network and receive resume advice to get jobs.
What it does
The site first asks for a user profile comprised of work experience and interests. Women entering tech (whether coming out of college or women who have been out of work for several years) are paired with a mentor to help them network. They can upload their resume and receive advice on skills they should focus on or how to better-word. There are also forums in addition to where women can exchange tips and ask questions.
How we built it
We first built a mockup on Figma and then proceeded to research available platforms and tools. We chose HumHub, an open-source social network platform. We then used Amazon to deploy it on an easy-to-instance and followed the setup guide. We then registered and acquired a domain name and mapped it to that server. Finally, we modified the HumHub employment theme, color, fonts, and content to personalize our site and customize our features.
Challenges we ran into
Some challenges we ran into included team alignment and availability (one of the team members had to leave). Another challenge was participating in the hackathon (most of us are first-time hackers and so we wanted to participate in the workshops and guest speaker events) while pursuing and developing our project. Another challenge is that we started with bootstrap studio but found configuring our site took too much time.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Some accomplishments we're proud of include the image of our project—the logo, the domain, the name, the inspiration behind our project. We are also proud of having our domain publically exposed that provides full authentication and registration with security. We are proud of deploying our domain on a server and researching the extensibility of this platform and customizing our own theme. Lastly, we are very proud of our mockup and design.
What we learned
We learned how to use HumHub and Bootstrap despite this hackathon being a first for the majority of our team. We also learned how to customize this open-source platform to create personalized features and a unique theme parallel to the image we wanted for our project.
What's next for TechLadies
We would like to add an inside networking feature and create forums where women can anonymously express grievances in the workplace and experiences at different companies. Here, they could also compare salaries, provide interview feedback, and offer tips to help close the gender gap and provide common ground to express gender-related issues at major tech companies. Many apps like Blind are similar, but women only make up a fraction of the users.