Past Attendee Spotlight: Kelsey Esposito

IMG-20180512-WA0010Meet Kelsey Esposito! She is a rising sophomore studying data science at Northeastern University. Kelsey was a first time hacker who attended HackBeanpot 2018.

“Going in I was a little overwhelmed because I had only had a semester of computer science. I was kind of nervous that I didn’t have the skills I would need going in. But the staff and other college students who were helping run it all helped us along the way. I had only had experience coding in Java and Dr. Racket, and they helped us use Flask, Python, and Indico APIs. Although our final project wasn’t this huge, spectacular complex thing, it was fun and I’m glad I had the experience to try out different things I would not have when I was on my own. “

At Hackbeanpot, Kelsey met a group of freshman girls who also go to Northeastern. Together they made Zodihacks, a website that will guess your zodiac sign based on the text you write about how you felt about your day. Their project used an Indico API that takes text and associates it with a Myers-Briggs type, which they used to tell the person’s zodiac sign.


“At first we had a little room where we were brainstorming and throwing out ideas. We really didn’t know what we wanted to do at first, but then someone was like let’s do something with zodiac signs and let’s be a little silly. And so we just took that and we were like okay let’s try the API, because we knew Indico had a special award for using their API. We had some mentors come in and show us how to use Flask and Python because not many of us had even seen that before.”


“It was definitely a learning experience and we had a lot of help from other people, but we divided up parts of the project. One girl worked on Flask, other people worked on matching the Myers-Briggs type with the API, others worked on what the website was going to show when you had a certain zodiac type. One girl knew how to use Photoshop so she made graphics to go along with it, other people wrote up the text to talk about your zodiac sign. We worked very collaboratively and it worked out really well for us.”

As a data science major, Kelsey felt she learned skills about programming that she could not necessarily learn in her classes. One of Kelsey’s favorite parts of HackBeanpot was getting to know the people on her team – people she is still friends with today! She enjoyed collaborating with them and was excited to meet other women who are also in computer science. Her team’s goal was see what kind of project they could come up with in the given timeframe, create something fun, and get a better idea of the kind of skills they could learn in the future.

“I had a really awesome time and I recommend anyone who’s interested in going to a hackathon to go to HackBeanpot. It was definitely a creative environment and even if you didn’t know much you could learn so much from the people there.”

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