Conference for Black coders and programmers in Detroit begins Friday

The Hacking with the Homies virtual conference is coming to Detroit Friday and Saturday for the third year in a row, gathering Black coders, programmers, developers, and techies for two days of networking and learning new technical concepts — this year, about NFTs. 

The conference is organized by Mack Hendricks and Jeseekia Vaughn, software engineers and computer scientists from Detroit who also co-founded the nonprofit hosting the conference, Detroit Black Tech (DBT). 

The Hacking with the Homies was in person in early 2020.

One of the primary reasons the conference exists is to help “future-proof” the careers of Detroit’s Black tech community. Vaughn said she watched her colleagues advance their skillsets, but wasn’t seeing the same progress among the Black community. 

“It felt like there was certain topics … newer, fresher, technical concepts that we felt like everyone wasn’t getting exposed to — especially people in the Black community,” Vaughn said. 

This year’s fresh technical concept is non-fungible tokens (NFTs), the interesting — and confusing — topic that advocates claim to make it possible to point to the singular owner of digital files, art, or audio. As NFTs combine the audio and visual worlds with technology, businesses are trying to cash in on the trend.

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