Gallatin senior Dani Grant (BA ’14), along with Steven Chan (CAS ’14) and Terri Burns (CAS ’16) are the trio behind the tech-focused Tumblr blog Hackers of NY. Grant, who has developed concentration in computer programming at Gallatin, originated the idea for the popular blog. While there are negative implications of the term “hacker,” the site enlarges the term to include technological innovators and creative problem solvers. Says Grant, “I think that we can only experience what we have the vocabulary for. If the term hacker gives the community a way to recognize technical innovators, it’s important that we reclaim it.”
Following the model of the celebrated Humans of New York, Hackers of NY offers a photo profile and a brief section of descriptive text about a local hacker who is making a noteworthy contribution to tech—from a programmer working on an app or a digital creation platform to a product designer.
In less than a year, the Hackers of NY blog has created a network of local hackers who could work together to solve problems and to get people excited about hacking. After the February 2014 launch, more than a dozen spin-off sites have emerged across the globe, in obvious tech hot spots like Silicon Valley and other, less obvious locales, like Nairobi and Santo Domingo. “The most incredible part of this project has been the opportunity to connect with hackers from around the world and talk to them about their experiences,” says Grant. To find out more about the League of Hackers, see Grant’s article which she wrote for the blog Medium.