UVA Hacking Diversity

UVA Hacking Diversity--a FREE Tom Tom Festival event--is a coding hackathon exclusively for women, African-Americans, Latinos/Latinas, and other underrepresented groups. Come for the community, the coding, the food, and the swag. Cash prizes/gift cards for the best hacks.

April 14th, 2018 at the Jefferson School's African-American Heritage Center in Charlottesville, VA

Shauna Keating
Ace Callwood
Richard L. Taylor Jr.

The UVA Hacking Diversity initiative is a University of Virginia Provost-funded event meant to help uproot the intentional and unintentional bias prevalent in today's communities and society. This hackathon provides an exclusive event for women, African-Americans, Latinos/Latinas, the LGBTQ communities, and other underrepresented groups in computer science and the software engineering industry. This coding hackathon is meant to encourage participation by minority groups in order to expand diversity in software, so that the applications and algorithms of the future can be free from the biases potentially created by an industry that often lacks fresh, diverse perspectives. The hackathon will be an all day, free event at the Jefferson School's African-American Heritage Center with breakfast, lunch, and dinner provided. In addition, the best hacks will be awarded with cash prizes (Visa or Amazon gift cards) with other door prizes (e.g., books) being awarded throughout the event.

Schedule & Hacks

Time Event
Registration & breakfast
Shauna Keating (Speaker)
Ace Callwood (Speaker)
Hackathon starts
Lunch-and-learn with Richard Taylor
Hackathon continues
Dinner (while hacking!)
Finish hacking/pull requests
Closing remarks

Data Science!

Education has no shortage of large data sets that need crunching. Come hack away to solve one of our big data problems using Python, F#, or R.


Students need help. Let's give them help at their fingertips! Come solve a student personal digital assistant problem, and see your bot come to life.

Web/Mobile Apps & DataViz!

Solve for mobile-first web application issues using PWAs and data visualization libraries in order to give students a better view of their progress.


Shauna Keating

Shauna Keating

Designer at Moonfarmer


Shauna is a proud resident of New York's Hudson Valley. She studied graphic design at SUNY New Paltz, completing her undergraduate BFA thesis with a project focused on inclusive design. She carries that research and insight into her current position as a designer on the front end team at Moonfarmer, a creative digital studio based in the city of Kingston, NY. Her approach to design goes beyond basic web accessibility guidelines. She believes that by creating work that addresses the challenges faced by all kinds of different people, we can make higher quality work that more of us can appreciate and use. She and her team accomplish this through an agile and human-centered approach to building software. Shauna is also a leader in the design and tech communities in the Hudson Valley and Upstate New York. She currently serves on the board of directors for AIGA Upstate NY, and co-organizes the Hudson Valley Tech Meetup & Catskills Conf.

Ace Callwood

Ace Callwood

CEO of Painless 1099


Ace Callwood is the co-founder and CEO of Painless1099, a smart platform that manages 1099s, benefits, and taxes for independent contractors and their clients. Prior to Painless1099, Ace co-founded Coffitivity, an ambient sound app that was one of TIME Magazine's Top 50 Sites of 2013. His past gigs include Entrepreneur in Residence at VCU's School of Business, Vice President of the Richmond Venture Forum, and member of the (Virginia) Governor's Council for Youth Entrepreneurship. Beyond writing and tweeting, Ace enjoys direct messaging in person when he's let out of his cage. He's a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University and splits time between Virginia and New York.

Richard Taylor

Richard L. Taylor Jr.

Director of Engineering at SentryOne


Richard L. Taylor Jr. is a 25+ year software development and technology professional living in Huntersville, NC. His experience includes the design and development of small to enterprise class applications. For the last 10 years, He has focused on web based applications and has recently began to explore mobile application development. He currently serves as Director Of Engineering at SentryOne.

Richard has a passion for the software development community, and serves as one of the organizers of the Modern Devs Charlotte meetup group. He is also the founding organizer of Charlotte Xamarin Developers. In addition to serving the local software development community, Richard also speaks at regional, national, and international technology users groups and conferences. His speaking schedule can be found here.

Richard received the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Award, and recently received the Progress (Telerik) Developer Expert designation.

When not developing software, Richard is focused on spending time with his lovely wife Shondrecca (she gives the best hugs!!) and their five children (Richard III, Ayanna, David, Jonathan, and Stephen).


Do I have to register?
You do not have to register to attend and hang out, but you have to register to participate in the hackathon. Only registered participants are eligible for prizes and food.
Do I have to attend the entire event?
No. If you are only interested in the hackathon, you can show up just prior to 10:00 am.
It's Charlottesville... where do I park?
The Jefferson School has it's own parking deck. You can park there for free! The hackathon is on the opposite side of the parking deck.
Do I have to be on a team? How large are teams?
You do not have to be a part of a team. Teams can consist of 1-4 people.
What equipment do I have to bring?
Please bring your own laptop. Wireless access to the Internet will be provided.
Do I have to be a programmer?
No. This hackathon ranges from web development to chatbot development to data science. It encourages a wide range of participation. Judging will be based on innovative ideas and solutions, and not necessarily completed code. Participation is open to the technical and the techni-curious alike.
Is this for beginners or experts? College students or professionals?
This hackathon is open to coders and non-coders alike from novice to professional. We encourage both college students and Charlottesville professionals to attend. The point is to have a good time, network, and encourage diverse ideas.
What programming language do I need to know?
As mentioned above, you don't have to be a programmer to participate; however, if you are a programmer, you can tackle the problems with whatever language you are most comfortable in. The data science hack is open to F#, Python, and R, while the chatbot will be limited to JavaScript. The web app/data visualization hack, however, can be in any web technology.
I work for UVA. Can I participate?
What do I get if I win?
Each problem will have a top team based on their innovative approach, giving us three top prizes for the hackathon. Each winning team member will receive at least $100--with potentially more to be awarded. In addition, various door prizes (e.g. tech books) will be awarded throughout the event that are not dependent on placing first in a particular category.

Prizes & Swag

Winning Hacks
Over $1,500 to be divided amongst the winning hacks.
Data Science Exclusive
Each winning member of the data science hack gets a free item from the "Becoming a Data Scientist" store courtesy of Renee Teate.
Door Prizes
Books from No Starch Press and Rosenfeld Media to be given out as random door prizes. Also, $50 coupons for No Starch Press eBooks and notebooks from Baron Fig will also be randomly given out.
Swag Table
Take advantage of our sticker and swag table. Copies of Offscreen Magazine will be available. We'll also have stickers from Baron Fig, No Starch Press, Microsoft, and more!
All attendees will receive a discount code for 20% off at Rosenfeld Media and Pragmatic Programmers.



Celebrating 10 Years!

Food Sponsors

Swag Sponsors

Offscreen Magazine
No Starch Press