The League of Hackers


A friend once described to me this phenomenon:

In biology, we are taught that the human race is likely to be beaten by bacteria. In history, we are taught that humans will continue to wage war on their neighbors, and in philosophy, we are asked to question the very purpose of existence. Then, in computer science, we are tasked with solving problems not just with any solution, but with the most efficient solution. In open source, the problems we solve for ourselves, we solve for the rest of the developer community. Hackers are superheroes to one another.

This is so empowering, even outside the scope of tech. What could I do to give this optimism to others, to get people hacking?

I taught an introductory coding class at school, but that wasn’t really the solution I was looking for. I wanted a way to celebrate hackers. When code is pushed, it ships without a face. If I wanted to get people excited about hacking, I had to bring back those faces.

Hackers of NY

Hackers of NY was launched in Feb 2014. Today, it has spread all over the world, to Silicon Valley, London, Los Angeles and Chicago, sprouted by hackers that wanted to celebrate the innovators in their own communities. I couldn’t be more excited about the growth of the League of Hackers.

Steven Chan in New York, Terri Burns in LA, Tosin Afolabi in London and Niraj Pant in Chicago. They are the hackers behind the hackers.

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Hackers of the Internet

These are comments written about women hackers on the Hackers Of blogs.

Tess Rinearson — you may have started a trend. Following your post about this screenshot from the Hackathon Hackers group on Facebook:

I wanted to share my own screenshots taken from Hackers Of comments.

The hacker community is so welcoming, and some social changes just take time. It’s actually precisely the hacker ethic that strives to create solutions to injustices that makes me so hopeful about the community as a whole.

However, the hacker community is large, and like any group, has weaker links. It just takes one person, one comment to damage how a woman sees herself in tech.

With awareness, we can actively watch what we say. We can collectively strive to make the hacker community safe.

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