These hackers meet to share, not destroy

The stereotype paints geeks as solitary, socially maladroit tech-heads who are more comfortable with their computers than with human companions. But the Providence Geeks beg to differ.

Recently named Innovation Champions at the 2007 Rhode Island Innovation Awards sponsored by the Providence Business News and the R.I. Economic Development Corporation, this informal group meets monthly to network, talk about projects, share ideas, and have some fun. In so doing, they have become a very effective viral organization that helps the state’s information technology sector mature, grow, and take advantage of opportunities.

And apparently success breeds success. A new group known as DC 401 has formed following the Geeks’ lead. But this confederation is specifically for hackers – computer security experts – who have started to gather at Providence’s AS220 to share ideas, create a social network, etc.

These are positive signs for the still-nascent geek culture in Providence – and by extension for the regional economy as a whole. May the force be with them. •

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