By Anna Billstrom (Developer, Momentus Media)

I spoke on “Winning! At Hackfests” for Women Who Code in San Francisco where we had 12-15 lightening rounds of women talking about coding. It was really awesome! Some favorites: using genetic algorithms to solve computing problems, and digital visualization.

Back to me. Ever since seeing myself on cable access, singing and dancing in a musical at the age of 12, I’ve really cringed whenever I see myself on screen. Mostly because of the disconnect between how I think I appear, and how I really appear. Not that I’m judging the quality of my haircut or anything. It’s just that the brain can be talked into things, etc. But this, oddly, is pretty much how I see myself, ha.

I’m moving around bit and the the sync is a bit off, but I got my views across pretty clearly. Note to self: practicing really helps. The rest of the talks are up too – enjoy: women who code videos via @elsagold.

After receiving two consecutive prizes – Best New Developer and Best Social Game – with dev partner Stacie Hibino, I thought I’d share with you some trends and patterns I’ve seen in hackfests. Also, here some tips on getting the most out of hackathons, and sometimes winning:

This video was filmed at Women Who Code Lightning Talks on February 28, 2012 at Parisoma in San Franisco, California.

This post was originally posted at Banane.

Editor’s note: Got a question for our guest blogger? Leave a message in the comments below.
About the guest blogger: Anna Billstrom is a developer with Momentus Media, a startup in the Mission District of San Francisco specializing in helping brands go viral. Their recent app “8 Bit Your Pic” for Black Eyed Peas saw 2 million users in 2 weeks. She’s done the gamut of OLAP DB modeling to iPhone development and Ruby on Rails. Currently, Anna is enjoying the fast lane of rapid, viral app development on Facebook. Contact her at or follow her on Twitter at @banane.