Hacking with the Homies Developer Conference 2023 Comes to Downtown Detroit 

Detroit Black Tech founder Mack Hendricks


By: Lynzee Mychael, Digital Content Creator

The Hacking with the Homies Developer (HWTH) Conference 2023 is back live in Detroit this month. The conference, which falls under the Detroit Black Tech umbrella, has tickets for both virtual and in-person attendees with an action-packed agenda perfect for any level of tech experience.

Detroit Black Tech founder Mack Hendricks is excited to bring Black tech professionals together for learning, discussions and partnership. The three-day event running February 23-February 25 will cover a wide variety of topics from application program interface (API) development and security, no code/low code development tools and collaboration tools.

The HWTH conference is a direct extension of Detroit Black Tech, a nonprofit founded in 2019, with a mission to provide visibility and networking opportunities for Black tech professionals, with a focus on those in the Detroit area.


“All the pictures I saw of all the companies moving down to Detroit and starting up in Detroit, I didn’t see any Black software developers,”

Hendricks explains. Understanding personally what it is like to be Black in the tech industry, he set out to create a safe place for asking questions, solving problems and being social with like-minded individuals.

HWTH was originally a weekly meet up which allowed Black tech professionals to come together and assist with development questions and problems.

Hendricks realized that they needed something bigger and the HWTH Developer Conference debuted in February 2020.

“Sometimes there are one or two African Americans working in a tech company so you need to be a part of a larger network where you can ask questions without judgment.”


Hendricks, who has 20 plus years in software development with a focus on building software in the telephony space, says his interest in development started at the age of 10 when his father brought a computer home. Hendrix learned the computer front and back and recalls the first project he tackled.

“I hated math. The first thing I did was figure out how to automate all my math equations and homework assignments.” After successfully programing the computer, Hendricks enjoyed being able to tell the machine what to do and see the results. He has built an impressive resume solving telecommunication problems while developing programs and teaching others about the tech industry.

After noticing the spike in the startup ecosystem of Detroit, Hendricks wanted to bring notoriety to Black developers like himself. He organized a photoshoot at the Charles H. Wright Museum in Detroit to showcase the different faces of the Detroit Black Tech community, and things took off from there.

Currently Detroit Black Tech has around 2000 members and counting. Individuals interested in joining can sign up on the website at www.detroitBlacktech.org to be added to the community. The network includes a large variety of tech topics and with an increase of members outside of Detroit, more expertise and networking has been added to the mix.

Hendrick’s co-founder Jeseekia Vaughn not only helped found Detroit Black Tech, but she is also an influential piece of the Hacking with the Homies conference as well. Vaughn is a software developer with experience across the Detroit tech industry and is doing great work with Girl Develop It Detroit.

Although this is the fourth year of the annual conference, this will only be the second time the event will be in person. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, HWTH 2021 and 2022 were only online. Hendricks is excited about the lineup and what people will gain from this event.

Guest includes HashiCorp which will cover API security, ngork VP Michael Latouf will talk about the value of the ngork development community and keynote speaker Sydney Davis, founder of Nix Code, will be present about how she built a no code development solutions company. Hendricks is most excited for the no code/low code track due to the spikes he sees in Detroit for this need.

“There are a lot of startups and they don’t have the time or money to build applications from scratch to prove out their idea,” Hendricks explains. “We need more people who can build applications using these no code/low code applications. The startup eco system in Detroit is strong and it’s just going to get stronger. We see a gap in not having folks that know these tools.”

Hendricks wants to use his platform to promote these new trends in the tech ecosystem and encourage those interested in tech to take the time to learn about development and what this industry means in 2023.

“You no longer have to be a coder to be able to start building and writing software. That’s a major shift that we are seeing in the industry in general. I would love to see more people jumping to being founders elevating beyond someone who builds software for another company. I would like to see more Black people, in Detroit in particular, start building their own companies and join the startup ecosystem.”

Hacking with the Homies opening day, Feb. 23, will be at Wayne State University Industry Innovation Center starting at 10:00 a.m. The remainder of the conference will be located at Bamboo Detroit starting at 10 a.m. as well. For tickets and more information visit www.hackingwiththehomies.org.









About Post Author

From the Web

Skip to content