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Can hackers be created? :: Based on our suggested required attributes

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  • YenTheFirst
    replied
    Re: Can hackers be created? :: Based on our suggested required attributes

    I agree with what's said above, but with an exception:
    The hacker 'spirit' is necessary, or the effort and drive will never be there. That said, the spirit can be cultivated, especially in young children that the world hasn't beat down yet.
    Why do you think education of children is such a big deal in school, church, boy/girl scouts, and other related groups? They're more 'moldable' or something.

    The other problem - computers are too complex. When I was 12-ish, my dad bought me a 'teach yourself c++' book. It was interesting, but I could only get through the first few chapters. At the same time, however, I got a TI-83 calculator for a math class, and plinked around with the BASIC on that. The calculator got me into programming much more than "Microsoft Visual c++ Version 6" ever did, because it was accessible, and I could easily make a program on par with other programs available.

    so, from my anecdotal experience, I would recommend extremely simple, integrated, development systems (like the TI-83) as part of a hacker's education.

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  • afterburn188
    replied
    Re: Can hackers be created? :: Based on our suggested required attributes

    Originally posted by mouseling View Post
    Given my observations, I would say no, the hacker spirit, the hacker drive cannot be created, but it can (I would argue), must be nurtured.

    I have observed that no matter how good a teacher may be, if the student doesn't have that innate hacker spirit, that student will never understand the joy we find in this, or the need that drives us.

    For an example, look at l0sT. He's a brilliant teacher, (who is saddled w/ teaching an unbelievable 8 classes a semester) yet he can only find 4 or 5 students a year who share his love for exploring the boundaries.

    My experiences at UPenn are the same. So, what should we do? Find these few and nurture them.
    I could not agree more with what you said. My experiences at UDel are quite the same as described above. I don't know how you can "create" hackers from scratch but I do how you can accelerate the process for those who already have the spark. You can offer the ones a path of lower resistance, and if they want to take it, they will. I've experienced this myself and continue to see it occur to this day. Possibly a new look into education is due. It's not like this is a new hot topic. I remember hearing Blankenship discuss this during his reading of "The Conscience of a Hacker" at H2K2 and it has been stuck in my mind ever since.

    I think there is a group who exists who have the potential but are beaten into submission by the education system. They are taught to stop learning, to stop thinking, and to instead just memorize and regurgitate formulas. It is only those who take their education into their own hands who seem to escape this downward spiral. How can this be solved? We continue to search for that even to this day. What I do know however, is that it takes more than just a text book with some formulas to do it. Practical application, hands on experience, "fun stuff" - that is what I've seen to fuel the fire. Maybe one day the education system can serve a higher purpose to those who wish and hunger for more. Or maybe the education system is not the way to go. The jury is still out on that one. I just do not see why it can't be.
    Last edited by afterburn188; March 1, 2009, 10:40. Reason: quote tags messed up

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  • xor
    replied
    Re: Can hackers be created? :: Based on our suggested required attributes

    Originally posted by mouseling View Post
    My experiences at UPenn are the same. So, what should we do? Find these few and nurture them.
    We should start our own organ donor program and assemble hackers out of spare body parts. We could always try selective breeding as well though I think there would be more donors than errr hosts. Well at least until men can start having babies.

    xor
    Last edited by xor; March 1, 2009, 09:24.

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  • mouseling
    replied
    Re: Can hackers be created? :: Based on our suggested required attributes

    [QUOTE=TheCotMan;102970]Based on our discussion of suggested required attributes for people to have in order to become hackers, is it possible for hackers to be created? Are there cases where a middle-ground of people that are not (yet) hackers can become hackers, and if so, how many people could become hackers? Is it possible with sufficient education for anyone to become a hacker?

    Given my observations, I would say no, the hacker spirit, the hacker drive cannot be created, but it can (I would argue), must be nurtured.

    I have observed that no matter how good a teacher may be, if the student doesn't have that innate hacker spirit, that student will never understand the joy we find in this, or the need that drives us.

    For an example, look at l0sT. He's a brilliant teacher, (who is saddled w/ teaching an unbelievable 8 classes a semester) yet he can only find 4 or 5 students a year who share his love for exploring the boundaries.

    My experiences at UPenn are the same. So, what should we do? Find these few and nurture them.

    Leave a comment:


  • Can hackers be created? :: Based on our suggested required attributes

    Based on our discussion of suggested required attributes for people to have in order to become hackers, is it possible for hackers to be created? Are there cases where a middle-ground of people that are not (yet) hackers can become hackers, and if so, how many people could become hackers? Is it possible with sufficient education for anyone to become a hacker?

    Here is the list of qualities and attributes we've suggested as necessary or maybe sufficient for people to have in order to become hackers:

    Curiosity" with a willingness/ability/yearning to break convention or think/work outside of normal constraints ... and rejection of the status quo ... value of being self-taught ... attempting to before you ask others for help

    hackers aren't curious. They *have* to know. ... exploration never stops.

    patience

    Summary I read: Partly determined by environment such as how our parents, and grandparents choose to solve problems in front of us.

    Summary I read: trying, and applying the scientific method when learning about something new. (Problem, hypothesis, experiment, compare, evaluate, revise/learn, cycle again.) Unafraid to try.

    Passion ... fearlessness ... Not afraid to make "mistakes?"

    Summary I read: Entrepreneurial spirit. Find an opportunity to make something better and exploit it to advantage.

    Summary I read: Curiosity and thirst for knowledge unmitigated by fear of consequences.

    Summary I read: Not accepting statements claimed as fact because they are called facts, desire to test, "facts," before accepting them. Observation of weaknesses in design during examination and thoughts of exploitation, or improvement.

    Summary I read: indifference to labels

    Summary I read: [added: Mar 1, 2009 @ 10:08 Pacific Time] Drive/Ambition + curiosity

    Is it possible to take someone that has none of these above attributes and qualities and instill these into a person, and then make a person who is not a hacker, into a hacker? Is there a point during development where such a change is impossible?

    Can hackers be manufactured? ]:>

    (No. I am not talking about how humans manufacture other humans through birth. Nice try. ;-)
    Last edited by TheCotMan; March 1, 2009, 22:09.
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