A while ago MuleSoft started considering sponsoring an organization supporting women in technology. There were many to choose from but we wanted to work closely with an organization that would allow us to be very involved. We also wanted to be inclusive since technology is not just about coding. Luckily, we learned that a new branch of Girls in Tech was getting started in Argentina and were looking for sponsors to organize a hackathon, so we jumped in.
Inspired by Technovation Challenge (featured in the CODEGIRL documentary), groups of girls ages 14 through 17 would learn how to develop, present and pitch an Android application with social impact; they had to find a way to solve a problem in their community. This idea really struck us because we know one of the main reasons there are so few women in technology is that there are few girls picking STEM careers and majors. Not only was this a great opportunity to showcase the power of technology to transform a community but also to get girls talking about the many possibilities around it.
We got to meet these incredible young women and presented MuleSoft to them. We wanted them to know a bit more about what working in technology is really like and hear from women doing just that. We encouraged them to keep learning and trying new things fearlessly, and congratulated them on their projects. Our presentation was right after they pitched their applications and we Muleys were all inspired by their hard work. They managed to create complex apps in just 2 days and presented them with a clarity and vision beyond their young age.
The girls tackled important issues like floods, addiction, emergencies, discrimination and unemployment, all of which were really close to their hearts. I was a mentor during the event and got to work with a team on an app to reduce the cultural gap in Buenos Aires by making it easy for people to find events related to the different communities that coexist in the city. The winning team came from a neighborhood where floods were very common, so they built an app to alert each other about which streets or areas were flooded and other possible dangers. Those were just two of the great apps presented but all the groups were incredible and left empowered to keep working on their ideas.
A lot of Muleys were involved in this and I wanted to thank them and the Girls in Tech Argentina team for such a great endeavor as well as bringing this opportunity to us. The experience was extremely positive and we look forward to continue working with amazing organizations that want to make a positive change in the world.
For those interested in the more technical and educational side, you can check out MIT app inventor, the tool used to create the apps which allows you to design and code an Android application through a graphical drag-and-drop approach very easy to learn, specially for young kids. Interestingly, it features a “web” component that makes it really easy to use APIs, so you can try that out with Mule!