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LinuxPower: No money in Hackerdom, Version 1.0

Dec 27, 2000, 15:17 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Erik Levy)

[ Thanks to Erik for this link. ]

"I went to the bookstore and was inspired to write this article based on picking up ESR's book The Cathedral And The Bazaar. This is not a book review and it is not going to repeat ESR's points. Instead, I am going to explore a few of the points he made and make them hopefully clearer for those that think of themselves as Hackers or in most cases, want-to-be Hackers."

"ESR has an article that explains some ways for you to become a Hacker. I'm not going to repeat all the points he has in that article, as you can look at that article for the specifics. I am going to make the argument that Hackers do not generally Hack because they have to for work. Instead, it is their passion, their life, in a dramatic way. Also, I'm going to make the argument that, and this is not how ESR feels, Hackers can be non-contributing authors to the code base of the world. That code base is better known as Open Source or Free Software today."

"There is no hard and fast rule that makes someone a Hacker. Instead, you have to look at how the programmer community generally uses that term and on whom. Generally, the person who is called a Hacker programs because they love to write code or contribute some other form of computer centric work. Thus, a major characteristic you will see is a love of coding for the sake of coding. Also, being able to solve a previously unsolved problem or even realizing that there is a problem in the first place is another characteristic. Moreover, while Hackers generally do or can make large incomes, they do not hack because they want the money. It is not their primary motivation in the morning."

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