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  • Julia A. Pimentel ('22)

HackViolet


Woman on Laptop Illustration
Graphic / Johnathan Tan

Hosted by the Association of Women in Computing (AWC), HackViolet is a 24-hour hackathon for all students that features a coding competition, interactive company

workshops, technology prizes, and a career fair. The 2022 fully virtual HackViolet is scheduled for the first weekend of February. Through this event, AWC aims to “encourage all individuals to learn about and become change agents for the gender gap in technology by innovating and inspiring with code.” The following information was shared in an interview with Nikita Patel, a senior studying computer science, Vice President of AWC, and one of the executive directors of HackViolet.

Nikita Patel, Co-Executive Director for HackViolet
Nikita Patel, Co-Executive Director for HackViolet

Overseeing a diverse team of 15, Patel manages workflow and coordinates with Major League Hacking (MLH), HackViolet’s hackathon sponsor, to ensure AWC organizes an event that lives up to everyone’s expectations. Patel herself was a former prize winner at HackViolet, formerly known as SheHacks.


“I decided to pursue a leadership role after realizing that my team was the only all-female team to win a prize—I wanted to be a part of the change.” - Nikita Patel

Members of the Association of Women in Computing (AWC) team wearing custom shirts: Dream it, Believe it, Code it.
Members of the Association of Women in Computing (AWC) team wearing custom shirts: Dream it, Believe it, Code it.

Last year’s virtual Hackathon boasted over 600 active participants, and this year they are exceeding their record by receiving over 1000 registrations. HackViolet is a beginner-friendly hackathon in which attendees can simply attend introductory coding workshops, STEM panels, or the career fair. There is an additional coding project competition, in which teams design, code, pitch, and submit a unique project which grants them the opportunity to win a variety of prizes and receive recognition from attending companies. Some of the attending company sponsors include Peraton, Leidos, and Bloomberg. A complete list of sponsors and their interactive workshops can be found on the HackViolet website.


Former virtual HackViolet event during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Former virtual HackViolet event during the COVID-19 pandemic.

When discussing previous hackathon projects, Patel revealed that Bare Skin, winner of Estee Lauder’s best self-care hack award, was a highly creative and aesthetically pleasing tracker that encouraged healthy skin care habits. HackViolet is an engaging way for students to put aside their school work and come together to develop creative projects in a 24 hour period.


Panel Q&A session for professional development.
Panel Q&A session for professional development.

One of the biggest misconceptions of HackViolet is that we’re a female-only hackathon. While one of their main motivators and goals is to encourage females in technology, HackViolet is designed to be inclusive and welcoming of all genders and backgrounds. The leadership team rebranded their former name SheHacks to HackViolet for this very reason.


“Violet represents empowerment.” - Nikita Patel

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, a highly attended in-person hackathon was held.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, a highly attended in-person hackathon was held.

If you’re interested in viewing some of the hackathon projects when they are submitted, here is the website listing all the projects, prize categories, and prizes: https://hackviolet22.devpost.com.


Several prize categories include: Best Overall, Best First Time, Best Hack to Support Women, Best Low Code Hack, and Ut Prosim Hack. Pro-tip: if you want a free VT

student football season ticket, you may want to gear your project towards the Ut Prosim Hack award.


For inspiration, here is the website to view former projects: https://hackviolet.devpost.com/project-gallery.


To register, find the schedule, and learn more about the HackViolet event, check out their official website:

https://www.hackviolet.com.


If you’re interested in other hackathons at Virginia Tech, VTHacks is another opportunity for you to grow your coding skills!


Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, numerous companies hosted inperson interactive workshops. For the upcoming HackViolet event, workshops will be held virtually.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, numerous companies hosted inperson interactive workshops. For the upcoming HackViolet event, workshops will be held virtually.

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