Facebook and Girls In Tech Hackathon Promotes Female Hackers, Open Graph API

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By Josh Constine Comment

Facebook’s Girls In Tech Dev Garage Hackathon aimed to stimulate third-party developers to use the Open Graph API and promote women’s place in engineering. A panel of female influencers from the tech space moderated by journalist Kara Swisher set the stage for a day of frenzied app development.

After opening remarks, Swisher led panelists Jocelyn Goldfein (Director of Engineering at Facebook), Sandy Jen (Meebo Co-Founder), Jennifer Pahlke (Code for America Founder) and Herdlick Catherine (Game Producer at Electronic Arts) in a talk that discussed how diverse teams that include women create better apps for a globalized user base. They also dismissed the idea that only women can design for women. The panel, as well as the rest of the opening presentations were streamed over Facebook’s video channel Facebook Live, and you can watch videos of the presentations here.

Following Facebook Platform software engineer Julie Tung’s run-through of Facebook’s APIs, attendants gave quick pitches of their potential apps to lure in new team members.

Teams coalesced around 5pm, leaving the developers around 16 hours before judging if they worked all night. In the morning, each team pitched their projects to the panel of judges, composed of Cat Lee (Facebook), Janet Zhou (Blue Run Ventures), and Dhana Pawar (Girls in Tech). The judges awarded the $2,500 prize to the Kuplia team for their social shopping app. Here’s a little bit more about it and some runners-up.

Kuplia: A social shopping web application. The site is not yet launched, but it’s accepting applications to the beta launch.

SocialRiver:  A desktop news feed reading client which also allows you to initiate video chat with your friends.

ExFinder: The app analyzes a friend’s wall to determine who their ex-romantic partners are. It cross-references words from the wall against a database of flirty words, and also factors in photo tags to return four possible matches, with one often being a real ex.

Yell Sesame: A social shopping site where users can post about what they’re planning to shop for and receive feedback and advice.