Great Hackers

Paul Graham has a great article on Great Hackers . Man I am impressed.

If you are one of the masses in the IT field , and love programming, but somehow find your job quite boring, this article is definitely for you.

Some quotes :

I know a handful of super-hackers, so I sat down and thought about what they have in common. Their defining quality is probably that they really love to program. Ordinary programmers write code to pay the bills.


What do hackers want? Like all craftsmen, hackers like good tools. In fact, that’s an understatement. Good hackers find it unbearable to use bad tools. They’ll simply refuse to work on projects with the wrong infrastructure.


After software, the most important tool to a hacker is probably his office. Big companies think the function of office space is to express rank. But hackers use their offices for more than that: they use their office as a place to think in. And if you’re a technology company, their thoughts are your product. So making hackers work in a noisy, distracting environment is like having a paint factory where the air is full of soot.


But hackers can’t watch themselves at work. So if you ask a great hacker how good he is, he’s almost certain to reply, I don’t know. He’s not just being modest. He really doesn’t know.

To do something well you have to love it. So to the extent you can preserve hacking as something you love, you’re likely to do it well. Try to keep the sense of wonder you had about programming at age 14. If you’re worried that your current job is rotting your brain, it probably is.

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~ by Vibhu on October 19, 2005.

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