Pearl Hacks will host its 10th annual "hackathon" this month, specifically aimed toward women and gender non-conforming students.
The hackathon, first founded in 2014 by UNC alumna Maegan Clawges, will allow students to collaborate to create a code that addresses a prompt provided by the sponsors of the event.
Though the event will take place on Feb. 24 and 25, there are several pre-event workshops participants can take part in, starting with a computer science department resume review on Feb. 15.
Other pre-workshop topics include different technologies that hackers use, computer science topics and how to actively participate in a hackathon.
The name “Pearl Hacks” comes from the idea that gender minorities in computer science face pressure and obstacles. Still, they can accomplish their goals, similar to a pearl undergoing many stages before becoming what it is, Rashi Jagani, experience and executive chair for the organization, said.
Shaina Patel, director of sponsor outreach for Pearl Hacks, said attending the event helped her feel less alone in the computer science field.
“Seeing so many people that were similar to me in a room made me feel really good because a lot of the time in CS classes, there aren't that many women or non-binary people,” Patel said.
Participants can attend a kickoff dinner on Feb. 23. Registration for the main event will begin at 9 a.m. on Feb. 24 and the hacking period will follow at 11 a.m. Participants will have 24 hours to submit a hack — or the code they create alongside a team of three fellow participants.
Much of the event will take place in the Frank Porter Graham Student Union and several rooms will be designated as places where participants can sleep.