Confessions to a Retired Hacker.

Made you blink, didn’t I?

Yes, it’s true. I have now been trained as a professional (although now “former”) hacker. I used to invest my days with huge computer systems, using ninja-like tools to fix the absolute most complex of problems.

So what is a hacker, really? Well, the truth is the true definition of a hacker is person who takes delight in solving problems and overcoming limits.


In the event that you thought hackers were the crooks, think again. Hackers now have a code a set of rules they live by to accomplish their work. Oahu is the “crackers” (like safe-cracker) that you’ve to watch out for.
If you’re an innovative, smart and big picture thinker, you’re probably a hacker too. Welcome to the club – I’d like to generally share the Hacker code with you. It’s simple, and it only has 5 rules:

Hackers solve problems and build things, and they rely on freedom and voluntary mutual help. (Sound familiar?) To be accepted as a hacker, you’ve to behave like you’ve this type of attitude yourself. And to behave like you’ve the attitude, you’ve to essentially believe the attitude.

Still wish to join the club? Okay, listed below are the rules:
1. The world is high in fascinating problems waiting to be solved.

Being fully a hacker is lots of fun, but it’s a type of fun that takes lots of effort. The time and effort takes motivation. Successful athletes get their motivation from a type of physical delight to make their bodies perform, in pushing themselves past their particular physical limits. Similarly, to be always a hacker you’ve to acquire a basic thrill from solving problems, sharpening your skills, and exercising your intelligence.

(You also need to develop a type of faith in your learning capacity – a belief that even though may very well not know most of what you need to fix a problem rent a hacker, if you tackle just a bit of it and study from that, you’ll learn enough to fix the next piece – and so on, until you’re done.)

2. No problem should ever have to be solved twice.

Creative brains are an invaluable, limited resource. They shouldn’t be wasted on re-inventing the wheel when you can find so many fascinating new problems waiting out there.

To behave such as for instance a hacker, you’ve to trust that the thinking time of other hackers is precious – so much to ensure that it’s almost a moral duty for you really to share information, solve problems and then provide the solutions away just so other hackers can solve new problems instead of having to perpetually re-address old ones.

(You don’t have to trust that you’re obligated to provide your entire creative product away, although hackers that do are those that get most respect from other hackers. It’s in keeping with hacker values to offer enough of it to stop you in food and rent and computers. It’s fine to utilize your hacking skills to support a family group or even get rich, so long as that you do not forget your loyalty to your art and your fellow hackers while doing it.)

3. Boredom and drudgery are evil.

Hackers (and creative people in general) shouldn’t be bored or have to drudge at stupid repetitive work, because when this happens it means they aren’t doing what only they can do – solve new problems. This wastefulness hurts everybody. Therefore boredom and drudgery are not just unpleasant but actually evil.

To behave such as for instance a hacker, you’ve to trust this enough to wish to automate away the boring bits as much as possible, not merely on your own but for all of us else (especially other hackers).

(There is one apparent exception to this. Hackers will sometimes do things that may seem repetitive or boring to an observer as a mind-clearing exercise, or to be able to acquire a skill or involve some particular kind of experience you can’t have otherwise. But this is by choice – nobody who are able to think should ever be forced into a situation that bores them.)

4. Freedom is good.

Hackers are naturally anti-authoritarian. Anyone who are able to give you orders can prevent you from solving whatever problem you’re being fascinated with – and, given just how authoritarian minds work, will generally find some appallingly stupid reason to accomplish so. And so the authoritarian attitude must be fought wherever you will find it, lest it smother you and other hackers.

5. Attitude is not any replacement competence.

To become a hacker, you’ve to develop many of these attitudes. But copping an attitude alone won’t make you a hacker, any longer than it could make you a champion athlete or a rock star. Learning to be a hacker will require intelligence, practice, dedication, and hard work.

Therefore, you’ve to understand to distrust attitude and respect competence of each and every kind. Hackers won’t let posers waste their time, nevertheless they worship competence – especially competence at hacking, but competence at anything is good. Competence at demanding skills that few can master is especially good, and competence at demanding skills that involve mental acuteness, craft, and concentration is best.

In the event that you revere competence, you’ll enjoy developing it in yourself – the hard work and dedication can be a type of intense play rather than drudgery. That attitude is crucial to being a hacker.

If this is practical for your requirements, you simply might be described as a hacker too! Live it, like it and let it grow.

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