Origins as Code ‘n’ Splode

Code ‘n’ Splode was founded by Gabrielle Roth and Selena Deckelmann in late Summer 2007.

The idea for Code-n-Splode grew out of the Women in Open Source Birds-of-a-Feather (BOF) session at OSCON. Many attendees of that meeting were frustrated at what seemed like a lot of discussion but very little action around the lack of women’s participation in open source. Many in the group observed that of the tech women they knew, so few of them knew each other. Perhaps, then, creating a space for women in tech to gather and get to know each other, and provide a support structure for one another would go a long way towards increasing women’s participation in tech and open source.

The name is a riff on “Stitch & Bitch”.

Code ‘n’ Splode held its first meeting on August 29, 2007 at CubeSpace. It held regular meetings there until CubeSpace closed. After that it hosted meetings wherever it could find space: FreeGeek, at company offices including Kavi, FlightStats, and ShopIgniter. The group has always met on the 4th Tuesday of the month. In its first year or so, the group experimented with a variety of audience guidelines in order to find the right mix of inclusion of allies and support for women, the group’s primary audience. Ultimately we settled on the guidelines that are in place today: men may come as the guests of a woman (cis & trans*) or genderqueer attendees.

Creation of Women Who Hack

In the Fall of 2011, Christie Koehler, now main organizer of Code ‘n’ Splode was visiting the Bay Area and attended a meeting of Women Who Code at Hacker Dojo in Mountain View. Christie found the combination of open ended time to work on whatever projects interested you — as well as the women-only audience created a compelling experience. She wanted to bring this experience to Portland.

The first meeting of Women Who Hack was on January 18, 2012 at Collective Agency. Christie chose the name “Women Who Hack,” specifically using “hack” instead of “code” to be welcoming to non-coders interested in technology and making.

Women Who Hack and Code ‘n’ Splode merge

After several years running Women Who Hack and Code ‘n’ Splode as similar but separate groups, they were merged and the Code ‘n’ Splode name officially retired on June 30, 2015. The Tuesday evening meetings formerly called “Code ‘n’ Splode” are now “Women Who Hack Presentation Nights.”

Code ‘n’ Splode / Women Who Hack Leadership

  • Selena Deckelmann: August 2007-July 2008-ish
  • Gabrielle Roth: August 2007-May 2009
  • Christie Koehler: May 2009 – Present
  • Audrey Eschright: May 2015? – Present
  • Thursday Bram: May 2015? – Present