When I was a kid, with my first programming experiences, I wanted more than anything to be a Hacker. The feeling of being amazing and smart appealed to me, it made me feel invincible. There is nothing wrong with feeling amazing about yourself. At the time, I wasn’t successful and most people didn’t have high hopes for my future.
Admittedly, saying you’re a Hacker isn’t great PR. But I don’t actually mean Hacker in the malicious sense it’s sometimes used in. I mean Hacker as in, computer extraordinaire. Reframing the word in this way is useful and fun. It allows me to get in touch with that child who will still roaming the halls of my mind. I can reach out a say, hey, I didn’t let you down kid. In fact, we have surpassed your expectations and dreams. Remember when you thought learning C would be the tits? Guess what? We did that and much more. Remember when algorithms seems unreachable, out yeah, we did that too. I’m here to tell you kid, you’ve got the stuff and we made it!
With my Hacker hat on (which says Occupy Mars), I’m allowed to redefine what I do each day. I don’t write boring business code. I’m an expert. It takes enormous skill, experience, and insight to do what I do each day. It’s a great feeling to be excellent at something. I don’t do it alone either. I work with an amazing team of highly skilled hackers and on a global scale. We plot and plan our strategies, we execute our plans with wisdom and tact. We are the secret sauce developing our technology.
Business isn’t an evil enterprise, it’s just a way for us to take care of ourselves, provide for those we love, and give back. Making money isn’t evil. Some people complain about Medium charging it’s readership but to me that’s silly. People are working hard and should be rewarded. Sure, there’ll come a day when our jobs are no longer necessary and humanity will need to figure out new ways of deriving meaning other than making money but I suspect being excellent will outlast making money. Being excellent is more enjoyable anyway.
Every endeavor is tedious at times. The majority of our work is slow, painful, and grinding on our willpower yet that is why we thrive because we are strong. Our minds suffer from information overload as we stay current with technology trends, new languages, new techniques, maths, security, design, and a host of problems that my younger self would never have imagined yet we get stronger as we persevere.
So, we hack on our side-projects. We crush it at work. We love our kids and play with them like an Olympian. We work at our relationships. Our skills have skills who make skills. You feel me? Why? Because. We. Can. Don’t tell a kid what he can’t do because he may just prove you wrong.
I love being a Hacker. Wouldn’t you?