hackNY as a “non-hacker”

There have been a ton of posts recently about applying to hackNY and I was dying to contribute to it. But I wanted to say something new. It’s no secret I love hackNY at this point, so I really wanted to say something that would express my love for it in a nuanced way.

My Thunderclap message for hackNY applications.
My gratuitous live tweeting.

At the hackathon, I half-jokingly but very sincerely threw to the fellows panel the question of “what if I don’t consider myself a hacker?”. For me, this was a legitimate reason I was reluctant to apply to such a program as hackNY. Up to this point I hadn’t really considered myself much of a “hacker” in the sense that all of my developer experience came in the form of research projects at the MIT Media Lab, as opposed to attending hackathon after hackathon, working on side project after side project. While there’s debate on whether that makes a real hacker or not, at the time of applying that’s the definition that was impressed in my mind.

After going through hackNY, I realized the definition of a hacker is much more complex than that. Really, anyone could be a hacker if they wanted to be called one. Anyone could, and more importantly should, be able to identify as a hacker, and hackNY really helped me refine that identity for myself, resolving a college-long crisis of mine.

I guess my point here is that if you code and you like software in whatever capacity—be it hackathons, side projects, research, or whatever, really—hackNY could be the home for you.

Remember, the first deadline for applications is due November 15th! Apply now.


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