Women and Hackathons: An Analysis on Hackathons' Effects on Women's Motivation in Computer-Related Fields
In today's world, technology plays a large role in everyone's life. However, there is a short supply of professionals to fill the roles in the computing field. When examining closer, it is clear that one group has a smaller representation: women. This can be contributed to many factors early in the women's lives and academic careers. In hopes of increasing the number of women computing professionals, this thesis aimed to understand the problem of a lack of women in technology and studied how hackathons could be a possible solution. The research followed Desert Hacks as it examines the typical participants as well as the hackathons effects on women's morale in technology. Two important questions during the investigation were what kind of women are attending hackathons and how do women feel about the technology industry after a hackathon? The results suggested that hackathon had an overall positive effect on women's motivation in the computing field. Additionally, most research participants believed that everyone has the potential to do well in the field and that gender inclusion is important for the industry. This ideology can foster a healthy environment for women to become more motivated in computing. Through these results, hackathons can be seen as another mean to help motivate women in the field and open up the possibility of future studies of women and hackathons.