Progressive HackNight at ThoughtWorks

Tech Meet ups are going to be mandatory by 2020, this I can promise you. It may not seem like a big deal, but the portion of like for tech professionals that does not involve sitting in front of a computer, can be life saving.

Tonight I attended the Progressive Hacknight at Thought Works in the city. I was pretty excited to go back since I had attend an event for they them before.

Progressive Hacknight
Progressive Hacknight

“Progressive HackNight is an intersection of technology and activism. A physical space for progressive activists, organizers, ux/ui designers, and coders to come together, discus the issues, and work on projects together that will drive the movement forward.

This event is open to technologists, organizers, data enthusiasts, ux/ui, creatives, project managers, product managers, coders, etc, of all backgrounds/experiences.”

So I’ve been to the space before and I wasn’t to worried about being in the city. My main concern was getting to the place from LAGCC campus (I always get nervous on transit treks for Queens going anywhere) on time. Luckily for me the place was only 30 minutes from the college. Once we wrapped up class, I left and headed to the train to get in into the city. My goal was to find a Starbucks to eat, rest, recharge and study for a while since I had some time to kill.

I honestly get to places extremely early. I arrived to the location at 5:50pm when the event didn’t start till 6:30pm (being late gives me weird anxiety). Of course that was the talk to the networking portion when the event started (aka “This is Kellie, can you believe she was here before we even finished setting up?”). During my introductions I met Annie and Alex two of the people who run the events at Thought Works. They told me that they started the Progressive Hacknight to invite people searching for tech help and creatives/coders who want more experience.

The event speaker was Wendell Potter.

Wendell Potter
Wendell Potter

Wendell Potter spoke on his experience as a whistle blower for the health care industry and the lobbying of politicians. He created a journalism news outlet called Tarbell.org. The purpose of this outlet is provide a news outlet that is not controlled by outside organizations and publishes for bettering the people.

Once the speaker was done, the breakout groups introduce themselves. I met with Professor Rodberg, Jeremy and Amii. They were working on Infoshare.org and redoing the website. Professor Rodberg created the site in the late 80’s to organize a database for his urban studies students. Jeremy and Amii joined Professor Rodberg to help him develop the interface for the site. We spoke about the use of his website and the need for what the design should look like. I told him about my experience as a designer and some of the projects that I got to work on. We discussed the needs for the development of the site and I suggested my professor from City Tech who taught me PHP, MySQL, and Back-End WordPress.  I was offered the web design position by the professor once he heard me go over the needs of his site. I told him I would get back to him by the end of this week to let him know how I felt.

Overall, this was a fun event. I’ve been to a few other events, most of them larger than this. I feel like events like the one I attended at Progressive Hacknight are great if you are new to tech events. The place was not very large and you could navigate it pretty easily. The people are friendly and excited to meet you (though I will say I’ve never see otherwise at these events), everyone is there to learn and have a good time.

So no surprise, this won’t be my last event.

 

 

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