Confessions of the Previous Hacker.

Made you blink, didn’t I?

Yes, it’s true. I have already been trained as an expert (although now “former”) hacker. I used to pay my days with huge computer systems, using ninja-like tools to solve the most complex of problems.

So what is a hacker, really? Well, the reality is the actual definition of a hacker is one who takes delight in solving problems and overcoming limits.

Huh?

If you thought hackers were the criminals, think again. Hackers already have a signal some rules they live by to complete their work. It’s the “crackers” (like safe-cracker) that you have to view out for.
If you’re a creative, smart and big picture thinker, you’re probably a hacker too. Welcome to the club – I’d like to talk about the Hacker code with you. It’s simple, and it only has 5 rules:

Hackers solve problems and build things, and they believe in freedom and voluntary mutual help. (Sound familiar?) To be accepted as a hacker, you have to behave as though you have this kind of attitude yourself rent a hacker. And to behave as though you have the attitude, you have to essentially believe the attitude.

Still wish to join the club? Okay, here are the guidelines:
1. The planet is saturated in fascinating problems waiting to be solved.

Being fully a hacker is plenty of fun, but it’s a kind of fun that takes plenty of effort. Your time and effort takes motivation. Successful athletes get their motivation from a kind of physical delight to make their health perform, in pushing themselves past their very own physical limits. Similarly, to be always a hacker you have to acquire a basic thrill from solving problems, sharpening your skills, and exercising your intelligence.

(You also have to develop a kind of faith in your own learning capacity – a belief that even though you might not know most of the thing you need to solve an issue, in the event that you tackle just an item of it and learn from that, you’ll learn enough to solve the following piece – and so on, until you’re done.)

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

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

To behave like a hacker, you have to believe that the thinking time of other hackers is precious – so much in order that it’s almost a moral duty for you yourself to share information, solve problems and then supply the solutions away just so other hackers can solve new problems instead of experiencing to perpetually re-address old ones.

(You don’t have to believe that you’re obligated to provide all your creative product away, though the hackers that do are those that get most respect from other hackers. It’s consistent with hacker values to market enough of it to stop you in food and rent and computers. It’s fine to make use of your hacking skills to guide a family as well as get rich, so long as you never 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) should not be bored or need to drudge at stupid repetitive work, because at these times 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 usually evil.

To behave like a hacker, you have to believe this enough to wish to automate away the boring bits as much as possible, not merely for yourself but for everybody else (especially other hackers).

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

4. Freedom is good.

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

5. Attitude isn’t any substitute for competence.

To become a hacker, you have to produce a few of these attitudes. But copping an attitude alone won’t allow you to a hacker, any longer than it can make you a champion athlete or perhaps a rock star. Learning to be a hacker can take intelligence, practice, dedication, and hard work.

Therefore, you have to master 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.

If you revere competence, you’ll enjoy developing it in yourself – the hard work and dedication can become a kind of intense play as opposed to drudgery. That attitude is vital to learning to be a hacker.

If this is practical to you, you only might be described as a hacker too! Live it, like it and allow it grow.