EMEA Feature

Geekettes Hackathon

June 11, 2014


Adobe was a proud sponsor when the Hamburg Geekettes—a community of women dedicated to helping aspiring and established female tech innovators—and the Hamburg Open TechSchool—a distributed community initiative for code learning—invited participants from across Europe for a 2-day hackathon. The event attracted an audience of more than 50% female coders, designers and creative innovators who teamed up and then matched up to find the best and most innovative new hacks. Fabian P, group program manager with Adobe Engineering in Hamburg, was extremely involved in this initiative. Adobe Life met up with Fabian about the role that Adobe’s playing in encouraging women to consider careers in the technology field.

Adobe Life: What made you participate in this project?

Fabian: The current percentage of women in tech is fairly low. The industry certainly needs more female role models. Excellent tech talent is hard to find despite a booming tech sector. We just need to attract more women into the field as there are tons of opportunities.

Adobe Life: What was your advice to the attendees of this hackathon as far as how best to be noticed by companies like Adobe?

Fabian: Adobe has four core values: Genuine, exceptional, innovative and involved. If you’d like to consider a career with Adobe and get noticed, check to see if those values are represented in your life, education and career. If they are, connect with us and tell us how you’ll make an impact at Adobe.

Adobe Life: Name the top 3 things that Geekettes need for a successful career?

Fabian: There are probably many things you need for a successful career but here are 3 which are top of my mind for me.

  • Believe in yourself, you have to!
  • Do what you love and become an expert.
  • Develop good presentation and public speaking skills. You need good communication skills to be able to rally support for your ideas.

Adobe Life: Where do you see the advantages, both in the products and the work environment, of having a more balanced engineering team?

Fabian: Having a diverse team, with individuals from a variety of background and experiences, is essential for creativity and innovation. This enables us to make greater impact with our work and customers. At Adobe, we constantly improve our products to remain successful and to offer cutting edge experiences for our customers. We create products for everyone, so in my view, those products should be created by both men and women! That’s one of the reasons why we need more women in tech.

Adobe Life: What are your key takeaways from attending events like this?

Fabian: I’m always impressed by the variety of ideas and solutions you see at these types of events. It’s a fantastic opportunity to get a fresh perspective. Another important aspect is to see how much fun tech can be and how quickly people connect over multiple projects. One other key takeaway for me, specific to this event, was the message by the European Commissioner for Digital Agenda, Neelie Kroes (@NeelieKroesEU), when he said that tech is too important to be left to men alone!