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Meet Anna Ho, Anna Lee, and Bryanna Phan: the lovely ladies of SB Hacks! We spoke with them to find out more about coding, what it can do for us, and why we should use it in our lives.


Name: Anna Lee

Age: 20

Major: Communications and Global Studies

Hometown: Bay Area


Name: Anna Ho

Age: 20

Major: Communications

Hometown: Los Angeles



Name: Bryanna Phan

Age: 21

Major: Computer Science

Hometown: Los Angeles


What is coding?


Bryanna: Coding is a tool that acts as a form of expression for software developers. For SB Hacks, our development team uses coding from the front-end to the back-end to create the look and feel of our website and to build the foundation for gathering students together. Without the power of coding, our process of simple tasks such as registering students and providing resources for event information would have been extremely difficult to organize and distribute. Especially with the amount of traction we got from other schools, both in-state and out-of-state, it’s crucial that we have sufficient means for organizing student information. From my own perspective, coding is definitely the backbone of creating ideas into reality and helping to make your life easier.


Anna Ho: Coding gives users the ability to create something to help the masses. Let’s take UCSB for example, students have probably heard (if not, you should definitely check it out) of the free “Rate My Gold” and/or “Grade My Gold” chrome extension. This was developed during a previous hackathon and then was later hyped towards students to generate usage.




Why do you like it?


Anna Lee: I like SB Hacks because of our mission to build a tech and innovation community in Santa Barbara. Since our university is a research-based institution, we found that sometimes the curriculum falls short of teaching students the practical applications of the theories they are learning. SB Hacks is that bridge to the real world and provides an invaluable experience not offered in the classroom setting.

From a personal development point of view, SB Hacks is the best way to get your creative juices flowing and to get a true taste of entrepreneurship. Participants get a weekend to hash out and bring to life the ideas from the back of their minds while working with students from a variety of colleges and backgrounds.

As a completely student-run organization, we organizers also learn a lot from SB Hacks. We must do everything from raising funds, to marketing the event, to planning to hackathon itself, and more. But all the hard work is worthwhile in the end because of the great team dynamic and mission we’re working towards together.


What got you into it?


Bryanna: I came into college not knowing what “computer science” was but what really got me into it was knowing that I liked puzzles and art. Those two things seem very unrelated but to me, that is computer science --  being able to code is just knowing how to put pieces (of code) together to create something bigger, and that bigger “something” is the art and end result. I joined SB Hacks particularly to gain more experience in something hands-on that would impact our school and help me learn the basics of building a website.


Why do you think it’s important to get more women into coding?


Bryanna: Whenever we create technology, it is created with the intent of making society better. As a result, coding is an empowering tool that can be used to influence so many lives at once. By having more women computer scientists, we would naturally create a smaller gender gap and women would be more well-respected and valued.


What is SB Hacks?


Anna Lee: SB Hacks is an annual hackathon event where we invite students all over California, including our own students, to code solutions to problems in the name of innovation.


Anna Ho: Our event is one of many hackathons that happen around the world and have really exploded over the past 5 years or so, and now we serve 65,000 students annually! (find out more at https://mlh.io/about)

It’s different from startup weekend - students are more focused on technical skills, design, and creativity rather than business models. It’s also different from career fair. Rather than sharing bulleted lists of accomplishments as if you’re speed dating with companies, SB Hacks offers a more intimate and engaging space where company representatives can witness at first hand the work ethic and collaborative projects of the students.



SB Hacks is recruiting! Check out their Facebook page for more info about their upcoming event on Friday, February 17th at 5:30 PM in Harold Franklin 1132 here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1242604695853044/


We're looking for students passionate about:

•        graphic design**

•        coding/development

•        marketing

•        event planning

...and much more to join us for SB Hacks IV.

** = high demand!


As a hackathon organizer, you'll get to:

- engage closely with company sponsors like IBM and Citrix

- work closely with a group of motivated and awesome individuals in a startup-like environment

- gain an invaluable learning experience not found anywhere else on campus


If you've got what it takes to #makewaves, come through to our info session this Friday and learn more!

Kristine is a 3rd year Chemistry major at UC Santa Barbara. She was born and raised in San Francisco, CA. When she's not writing, she works with her sister to create adorable baked delicacies for The Royal Icing, their at-home bakery. She's also a ballerina, lipstick enthusiast, and bunny lover. Post-graduation, she plans on going to graduate school while continuing her writing career. Catch her on instagram @CookiesForKay  
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