Girl Coder, 17, Rules All-Guy Field at Hackathon
Jennie Lamere's Twivo blocks TV show spoilers from your Twitter feed
By Arden Dier, Newser Staff
Posted May 12, 2013 2:32 PM CDT
17-year-old Jennie Lamere was the only female to complete a project at TVnext Hack 2013, which she won.   (Twitter)

(Newser) – Jennie Lamere was the only girl competing at a Boston hackathon last month, and the only of 80 coders who competed solo. So when the 17-year-old New Hampshire native took 10 hours and 150 lines of code to come up with a gizmo that lets you block Twitter spoilers for your favorite shows, she captured best in show—and some serious notice in the male-dominated tech world, reports Mother Jones. "We're always interested in the convergence between TV and social media, and Jen's hack was awesome, not to mention she did the entire thing herself," says Ashley Swartz, CEO of Furious Minds, which is looking to help Jennie take Twivo to market. "Jen is going to be the only chick in the room for a very long time, and my responsibility is to give her opportunities that I didn't have."

Women make up a meager 12% of all computer science grads, notes Mother Jones—and that's a precipitous drop from 37% in 1984. The female to male ratio was "a bit weird," Jennie says, "but it's something that I'm used to at these things." She has since taken Twivo to her computer science class to walk her friends through it. "Hopefully the other girls will come to the next hackathon!" she says.

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Showing 3 of 66 comments
Skyisthelimit
May 16, 2013 5:25 PM CDT
It is wonderful to see that a young woman is excelling in a field dominated by men for many years and it really makes me happy to read about it. Jennie Lamere’s success needs to be praised because she has effectively overcome a stereotype. It saddens me to know that many people still conform to the backward sexist thinking. Women are becoming more and more involved in fields like IT however there still isn’t enough compared to men. I am not advocating that fields like IT should have an equal amount of men and women; I simply want more people to accept that women are just as capable as men. Many young girls want to be engineers and IT specialists and so on; however, they lose their motivation and desires when confronted by the overwhelming amount of discouragement from their peers, parents and news. Furthermore, even statistics offer discouragement in the form of low ratios of women in these fields. We need to spread the word about accomplishments like Jennie’s because not only will it encourage girls who want to choose this career path but it will also make men reflect about how they might view women as inferior in these fields. I am not pointing fingers at men only, there are women who are afraid of stepping into these fields and they also discourage other women from doing the same. Our society needs to evolve and get past looking down on women according to what has been the nature of them in the past. Jennie is a perfect example for this and she will be a role model for many women around the world. Gender stereotypes make it very difficult for a person to succeed in an uncommon field, so when they do succeed, their success should be celebrated. Therefore, it is great that Jennie beat 80 other competitors who were all male and she was the only solo competitor. Women will definitely be encouraged and inspired by Jennie but men will also take heed of her success. Being so young, she has a very bright future ahead of her and will definitely make a name of herself in the IT field. I really hope men and women alike read about Jennie and learn to accept that men and women are equally equipped in terms of intelligence. The reason 12% of computer science graduates in US are women is because women are either afraid to step into a field dominated by men or they are scared that they will be targets of stereotypes. However, let this be a lesson to all, that women are capable of trumping men in this field and that they should not be afraid. Since Jennie’s story is just one of many that is actually reported, our media needs to do more in this regard to celebrate more successes like this. I say this because since it is just one story, people might overlook it as an exception to the norm, which leads to no change. Therefore, I am glad that writers like you are publishing articles like these because we need to change the way our society thinks. More specifically, we need to evolve from our backward sexist thinking and encourage more women to pursue the career paths they really want.
Tascam
May 13, 2013 5:16 PM CDT
Maybe I missed something, but when I read the article; the first thing that came to mind was... I just wanted to see the 150 lines of code. I also wanted to know what programming languages and operating systems they were using. I don't care if the person that wrote the code was male or female... I just wanted to see how creative the person was. I feel letdown by this article and by the comments
KooKooforCocoPuffs
May 13, 2013 1:15 PM CDT
What is the point of this article and articles like it, really? That women are "better" than men? That women are poor, downtrodden souls denied access to computer skills? That women are superior to men in computer hacking, but are sorely unnoticed because of their gender? Why must a big deal be made, along with insinuations in regard to sexism, every time a women does something in a field that was previously male dominated? The insinuation is always that somehow women were denied in this or that field when, in fact, up til now, they traditionally just weren't interested. Y'know, we don't hear about how some guy "Rules All-Female Field at Fashion Week." I mean, seriously, the differences and supposed sexism in any field will go away once we stop shining bright lights on the "shocking" differences. Cut the shit, journalists.