I am writing this to highlight something that I do not want getting lost for any of you that attended the #HackForLA event this past weekend.
I know we want to talk about the great apps that people in the community may use some day and how much better the government could be engaged with its people.
There is a large focus on community members engaging each other in better ways, for the good of themselves and their community. We talk about these things in the context of a geographically defined community that I am sure Esri can pull up for us a hundred different ways.
However, I want to talk about the tech community; the software developers, data scientists, geeks, hackers, evangelists etc… This community literally has no boundaries. I am not sure how far everyone traveled but we had people come from as far away as Canada and Hawaii.
What I saw over the weekend was some of the best that this community has to offer. Most importantly, the community of Boyle Heights saw it too. In return, Boyle Heights residents shined bright and demonstrated that it is the home of great and young technical talent.
This is the engagement I want to highlight because it is the most important. This is a key step in getting past the diversity issues we have in technology. It is how we will expose and enlighten others about the great careers we have in technology and that anyone with any type of personality could learn to code and build with the best of us. It is how the technology community will adapt its perceptions and work to cure the imbalance we have in our workforce because as one of our followers recently told us: “we all benefit”.
I am not going to say this was a start to something big because I want to recognize the efforts of others before this weekend that made this event possible. To use my everyday lingo, this was not the end of a sprint but the achievement of a milestone.
We have many more to go and after the great showing at the HackforLA event this weekend I am feeling especially optimistic about the future of technology in Los Angeles.