This afternoon three VIPs came by. And by VIP I mean they had a different take on the hackathon event than any of the participants thus far.
Called end-users, these three individuals were, like me, completely new to the hackathon scene. Why their insight is invaluable however is that these three participants represent people who would take the tools that are being built by the teams and use them to try to find a new job or career path.
Veronica, user volunteer extraordinaire
I sat down with one of the VIPs end-users, Veronica, and asked her a bit about her experience at the event.
Veronica is currently thinking about making a career change and what's to be able to answer the question "is this the right time?". She has years of work experience in workforce development so concept of hackathon resonated with her, which is how she got involved.
She arrived at the event excited to hear about ideas and solutions. She had spent most of her afternoon up until this point with a team that was looking at building a tool to guide the user through career planning via an app.
In terms of figuring out if it's the right time for her to make a change, she really wanted to figure out how to articulate the skill set she has built up over the years into something different than what she does already. Veronica is hoping to find a way to assess the transferability of those skills to another career. Once she has an idea of what other paths are available to her, she wants to get an idea of what activities she can undertake to upgrade her skill set and what roles she could look at without starting at square one.
Veronica's thoughts on the hack
This is Veronica's first hackathon experience, and she is really enjoying seeing it all in action.
Veronica is most fascinated by the willingness of these groups to come together and solve a problem from a different perspective. She is impressed by the creativity - that teams have a mash of skills, and are building programs that take a different lens to search for new solutions.
Thank you Veronica for taking the time to speak to me about your experience!
Chelsea Robinson-Sharman, #HackFoW Volunteer