Winners are recognized for their outstanding contributions to the tech ecosystem and STEM education.
Sarah Fluck, 25, stood out from the other candidates for entering the hackathon scene as a self-taught programmer.
As the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted daily routines, Sarah used the extra time to learn HTML and CSS using online resources such as W3Schools and Sololearn.
During this course, Fluck spent much of his time learning C, which gave him a solid foundation for building C++ projects.
Sarah said: “When I started experimenting with software ideas I had outside of the tutorials, I really started to fall in love with programming and the excitement of getting something working after hours of debugging. .
“I’ve found that a good way for a beginner to get involved in the programming community is to contribute to open source projects.”
Sarah quickly stumbled upon the MLH scholarship, and despite not being a STEM student or understanding what a hackathon was, she applied and was accepted into the program.
During her first hackathon, Sarah and her team developed Owlhub, an application specifically designed to allow other coders to share their code. As part of the MLH Fellowship, she contributed to Hermes, an open-source engine optimized for React Native, further developing her C++ skills.
Sarah continues, “Doing the MLH Fellowship was more than just an opportunity to write code. Being part of the hacker community, I was able to meet many people who are as passionate about technology and learning as I am.
“This combination of work experience and focus on soft skills during the fellowship is what ultimately led me to land my first job as a software engineer in London.
“It’s a great honor to be chosen as an MLH Top 50 recipient, as each is selected from a group of over 150,000 active community members, including one in three new programmers in the US (and still more abroad.)”