You know when you learn a new word and then you start seeing it everywhere? Well, I love “hacking” everyday a bit more.
Most of the people associate the word “hacker” to a programmer who breaks into a security code (which real hackers actually call crackers), but there’s actually much more to it.
“A hacker is someone who loves to program or who enjoys playful cleverness, or a combination of the two. The act of engaging in activities (such as programming or other media) in a spirit of playfulness and exploration is termed hacking. However the defining characteristic of a hacker is not the activities performed themselves (e.g. programming), but the manner in which it is done: Hacking entails some form of excellence, for example exploring the limits of what is possible, thereby doing something exciting and meaningful. “
Hacking was never (just) about geeks and computers, it’s about questioning and doing things differently. It’s about what if’s and why not’s.
It’s about using knowledge and creativity to push the limits of a field of knowledge. And it has to be something you love doing, something you would do just for fun, something you would play with.
“What they had in common was mainly love of excellence and programming. They wanted to make their programs that they used be as good as they could. They also wanted to make them do neat things. They wanted to be able to do something in a more exciting way than anyone believed possible and show “Look how wonderful this is. I bet you didn’t believe this could be done.” *
This is such a great mindset, not just for our work but for everything we do. Love for excellence, being curious and creative, believing the impossible can be done.
The term might have been coined in the 50’s, but hackers have been making history for a while, and they’re the ones having all the fun. Today, when our systems are begging for change, and we are redefining paradigms in every possible aspect, hacking is more current than ever.