Telling Our Stories – Sara Pedersen

Each year we meet incredible women at womENcourage™ celebrations. We ask womENcourage participants to tell their stories in blog posts. We continue 2023 with Sara Pedersen, who was a student from NTNU Norway, in her third year bachelor’s degree in informatics.

My name is Sara Pedersen and I am a student from NTNU Norway, doing a bachelor’s degree in informatics. The most memorable activity from the womENcourage conference was for me the hackathon. It was my first hackathon and I did not quite know what to expect, but it turned out to be a fun and memorable experience. I would love to attend again next year.

This was the first activity of the conference, and it was a great way to start. Within the theme “software solutions for blending the arts with science”, we had to create something presentable just 7 hours later. I worked in a group with four of my classmates from NTNU so we knew each other well enough to skip straight to the work. We started with about 30 minutes of ideating to find out what we wanted to make. After settling on an idea that we liked, the real work began.

We started with finding relevant APIs and creating a sketch in Figma to get a good common understanding of what we wanted to create, and how we were going to make it. Then we split the group into two parts, where one part continued to develop the Figma prototype to make it interactive, while the other part started programming. I have never experienced working in a more motivated group, and the hours passed in no time. We even forgot to eat lunch with the rest because we were so focused on the task. 7 hours passed and it was time to present our work. It was cool to see each group’s different approach to the task, and there were some really good presentations. On the last day of the conference, the winning group was finally revealed, and the excitement had grown quite big after waiting a couple of days for the announcement. It turned out that our hard work with no lunch paid out because our group was elected as the winner group!

The hackathon was a great experience that inspired our group to continue working together, and maybe even continue to develop our hackathon project. It was a great activity to make the conference more engaging and interactive, and I would recommend everyone to attend if they get the chance.

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