How to be a Happy Hacker

I write on and off on hackers (see http://bit.ly/VWxSvP) and even some poetry on them (http://bit.ly/11RznQl) . During meetups, conferences, online discussions I run into them, I have interviewed them , and I have trained some of them (in analytics). Based on this decade long experience of observing hackers, and two decade long experience of hanging out with them- some thoughts on making you a better hacker, and a happier hacker even if you are a hacker activist or a hacker in enterprise software.

1) Everybody can be a hacker, but you need to know the basic attitude first.  Not every Python or Java coder is a hacker. Coding is not hacking. More details here- https://decisionstats.com/2012/02/12/how-to-learn-to-be-a-hacker-easily/

2) Use tools like Coursera, Udacity, Codeacdemy to learn new languages. Even if you dont have the natural gift for memorizing syntax, some of it helps. (I forget syntax quite often. I google)

3) Learn tools like Metasploit if you want to learn the lucrative and romantic art of exploits hacking (http://www.offensive-security.com/metasploit-unleashed/Main_Page). The demand for information security is going to be huge. hackers with jobs are happy hackers.

4) Develop a serious downtime hobby.

Lets face it- your body was not designed to sit in front of a computer for 8 hours. But being a hacker will mean that commitment and maybe more.

Continue reading “How to be a Happy Hacker”