The gender imbalance in computer programming is so commonplace that it is almost accepted as the norm. With male participants in hackathons often outnumbering the female ones by many multiples, Anna Carey’s article for The Daily Californian discussed one unlikely candidate that is trying to address this issue by encouraging more young women to engage in the tech world.
Before the 24-hour SXSW Music Hackathon began, several musicians presented their ideas for integrating music with technology. One of those musicians, UK indie-pop artist Neon Hitch, has been working with Microsoft to build a personal API that she hopes will encourage her fans to engage in tech by using her API to experiment with coding. Creating a new application using Hitch’s API could be a way of expressing yourself through an artist you believe in.
To create the API, Hitch collaborated with media experience evangelist at Microsoft, Michael Scherotter. It will include her photos, videos, and music. But the ground-breaking API is going even further than that by adding metadata with Hitch’s vernacular as well as other elements of her character, essentially embedding her personality into the code.
The reason Hitch is a surprising advocate is that she seems to know very little about programming. However, since her demographic is mostly young women, she could become a role model for young girls who may not otherwise harbor any interest in tech.