QUEEN’S ROAD:The words of Steve Jobs, “The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do,” encapsulates the spirit of a women-only tech competition which will reveal its final winners in December.
'Tech for Good,’ is a platform for women coders to innovate with the purpose of serving a cause. The first round of Tech for Good was held in the city and saw the participation of over 150 students and professional web developers. Last year, the winning team developed a referral service for domestic help.
“If the helping hands are free for a certain time and are on the look out for work, their references can help them and those looking for them," explains Rashmi Mohan, committee member, Tech for Good.
This year again, the participants are divided into five categories based on a cause.
This year the divisions are, cancer, disability,youth management, logistics and management. Each category has been placed directly with an NGO, for the final product to have a direct target audience and person to refer to. “ We wanted the teams to work with a specific requirement and goal. Creative calls can be taken with the design, but there can be no diversions from the concept,” Rashmi explains.
Teams were formed at the event which took place at Diamond District. The topics were explained and allotments were finalised during the meet.
The groups will be working together in space provided by 10,000 Startups, a Nasscom initiative. “A panel of judges will decide the winner in December,” she adds.
NGOs are a crucial part of the competition as the foundation wants to ensure that the final products have a meaningful impact. “Earlier, we would settle for a portal but now we insist on all the participants making apps. Mobile access is a necessary prerequisite,” Rashmi says.
The foundation was started by computing genius Anita Borg, who developed a patented address tracing method. Her life’s aim was to bridge the gender gap in the computing world with the target of reaching 50 per cent gender parity by 2020.
Tech for Good channels her vision by inviting women to participate. It was started five years ago with only 40 participants.
“We received over 100 applicants and less than half showed up . Today, it has expanded to five cities and 1600 women web developers,” signs off Rashmi.