inspiration · women who reign

Women Who Reign: Dani Grant

“What does it mean to live in a world where problems can be coded away?” — Lawrence Lessig
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Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
I’m a product manager at CloudFlare focused on DNS, malware scanning and the CloudFlare dashboard. Before that, I was writing about hackers in NY and SF and interned at BuzzFeed on their ad product team. I live in a house called Mission Control with twelve other people, and in my free time, I take photographs and practice Chinese.

What # would define your life journey?
What number? Phone numbers. It’s wild that in 2016 to contact someone, you need to know all ten digits of their device’s address and store it locally in your device. That will change in our life time.

Favorite website / app:
The hardest part of using PGP to encrypt your email and other communication is maintaining lists of your contacts’ public keys. Keybase is centralizing PGP key management and making that process more accessible, therefore making encryption easier for anyone. Keep a look out for them, they’ll change the world.

Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted (if any):
Recently, my roommate Dave taught me an interesting way to look at actions in life. He says there are two ways to make any choice: you can be deliberate and you can not be deliberate. I think about that often.

Song that makes you want to dance:
All songs. I love to dance.

Technical challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it:
Every time you visit a website or use an app, your computer first needs to know where to reach the website or app’s server. This lookup process for the IP address of the server is done through a protocol called DNS. DNS is the backbone of the usable internet, but it was written in 1983 when it was still just professors online, and it’s insecure. I work on a team at CloudFlare tasked with deploying a solution to DNS’s vulnerabilities with a protocol called DNSSEC. If DNS is the phone book of the Internet, then DNSSEC is the unspoofable caller ID. It uses cryptography to provide verification that the DNS answer received hasn’t been tampered with in transit. You can read more about DNSSEC here.

Ideal Job:
I love being a product manager, I love working in Internet security. I’m lucky. I currently have both in one job.

What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
There’s not a lot of stress, there’s a lot of intensity.

That’s what my dad always tells me.

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