Twivo Creator Jennie Lamere Talks Hackathons!
Jennie Lamere is the 18-year-old computer coder and programmer responsible for Twivo, a program that helps Twitter users block spoilers of all of their favorite shows!
Jennie chatted with us about her history with coding, inventing Twivo, and about her future plans in a recent interview!
Jennie Lamere created Twivo at the TVnext Hack event, where coders tried their hand and creating software relevant to the television industry.
Hackathons are events where programmers and software developers buckle down and work on software projects in limited amounts of time. Before the TVnext Hack, Jennie had attended Music Hack Days, so most of her previous work was related to music.
"On all of these projects I worked either with my Dad or my friend," she said.
Jennie's father, Paul Lamere, is also a coder and developer.
"The ones with my friend were overall pretty simple, but the ones I did with my Dad were more polished, but for all of these projects I didn't do as much work as I did for the one on my own," she said.
This solo project was Twivo, an ingenious plug-in for Twitter that allows you to block news about your favorite shows to avoid having the episodes ruined before you've gotten the chance to watch them.
She came up with the idea for because she was just sick and tired of seeing spoilers all over her Twitter timeline.
"I tried to come up with a solution to the problem, rather than avoiding Twitter," she explained.
The idea came to her in a flash, and became reality nearly as quickly.
"I came up with the idea the night before, and then worked for about 12 hours and was able to come up with a demo version," she said.
Jennie was the only female to present a project at the hackathon. She was also the only person to work alone, besides her father, who also created a project of his own.
"It was pretty cool to be the only girl to go up and present in front of the panel," she said. "In general, there aren't that many girls in computer science, so its not too surprising, but it is sad to see such a low ratio of girls in technology."
Jennie was not just the only female presenting a project, but one of the youngest people at the hackathon as well.
"I think that there aren't a lot of young people in general at hackathons, because they can be kind of intimidating, but I personally find them a good way to learn," Jennie said.
Her creation won her not just "Best use of Sync-to-Broadcast", but also the "Best In Show" award for the best app developed at the hackathon.
"Even the day of, I was not expecting to win at all," Jennie said. "It was so amazing to be able to win as a high schooler!"
Now, Twivo is fully built out and Jennie gets to hear from the people who actually use the service and are benefitting from it.
"Its pretty awesome," she said. "Its cool to see something I built being used by all different people."
Twivo also attracted the interest of Twitter, who offered Jennie the opportunity to intern with them over the summer. She jumped at the chance.
"It was so much fun!" she said. "I got to learn a lot, but it was such a fun summer and I got to work with such a great group."
She will return to Twitter next summer as an intern to learn even more!
Jennie is currently studying software engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology. As she continues her education, she hopes to see more and more girls represented at hackathons and other tech events.
She encouraged more girls to take part in the scientific fields.
"I would say to not be too afraid to get involved in any any field of technology," Jennie said. "Hackathons are a great way to learn a lot in a little bit of time and everyone is very friendly."
To check out Twivo for yourself, try out the latest version of Twivo here!
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