At All-in Diversity Project, we believe the progress we make as an industry is based on real collaboration. In that respect, we asked Peter Mares, CTO of Playtech’s Games Innovation Labs who is the Co-Managing Director for Girls in Tech Gib to tell us a little more. Girls in Tech Gib is doing some amazing work with the help of their gaming sponsors Playtech and Gaming Innovation Group (GiG).

Girls in Tech Gibraltar

By Peter Mares, CTO of Playtech Games Innovation Labs

The Girls in Tech Gibraltar chapter opened its doors in Q1 2017. Embracing the values of engagement, empowerment, education and entrepreneurship of women in STEM fields, the chapter joined the global network of 60+ chapters across the globe to effect change in the Gibraltar and surrounding communities.

The year’s calendar of events was kicked off with an incredibly successful Launch event in June which received the attention of professionals in both the public and private sector as well as enjoyed the presence of the Chief Minister of Gibraltar and the newly appointed Mayor.

Shortly after the launch event, the team immediately planned and executed the ‘Women in Tech: Stories’, an event that invited local female professionals in technology and gave them a platform to deliver their personal and professional narratives, talking about the challenges, achievements and motivators that had played an influencial part in their lives. The event was received positively and the team plan to deliver the next ‘Women in Tech: Stories 2018’ event in April of this year.

In August, Girls in Tech executed a 2-day programming bootcamp for the Python programming language. The bootcamp was held over a weekend and invited participants with little to no technical knowledge to learn about technology, the internet and most importantly, programming. The bootcamp hosted 24 participants who, after spending a grueling weekend learning Python through a mentor-guided curriculum, managed to deliver a fully functional blog application. Not only did they successfully implement the blogging software, but they also took care of their own deployments of the software to the internet to allow them to show off to their family and friends.

A lot of positive feedback has been received from the bootcamp event and the team have been made aware of some participants seriously contemplating continuing their education towards changing their career to a technical one.

Finally the year was closed with a hackathon event called ‘Hacking for Humanity’. The Hacking for Humanity hackathon is a Girls in Tech global initiative where each chapter engages with local communities and charities to understand the pain points and challenges that they face. These challenges become topics for the hackers participating in the hackathon to find and create innovative and forward thinking solutions for. The resulting solutions are presented to a panel of judges at the end of the event and then given to the communities and charities in the hopes that they can provide positive and sustainable benefit in the future.

The Gibraltar edition of the hackathon featured 7 teams of 3 to 5 people per team, working on projects for Childline, Animals in Need and Understanding Gibraltar. We were pleased to see an almost equal distribution of women and men participating.The Gibraltar Finance Centre joined the sponsors list and provided monetary prizes for the top three places, with first place receiving £2,000 in prize money for their winning solution that provided a complete and modern solution to replace Childline’s legacy call centre and management software.

The Girls in Tech Gibraltar team have received media attention throughout the course of the year and have featured in both print and broadcast media, highlighting the appetite that exists in the small British Overseas Territory for their work.

2018 promises to be a great for Girls in Tech Gibraltar! 

They have already presented a Tech Talk on Blockchain technology, and have plans for another Women in Tech Stories, a Global Classroom initiative, a Design Thinking bootcamp and of course, another edition of Hacking for Humanity.