This is a large topic which I have plenty of notes on which will eventually find themselves here.
Not to be mistaken for Hackers - (1995 movie)
A broad concept applied to a person who has the hobbyist spirit to tinker.
- A "hacker-type" is an individual who displays characteristics of or is in the early stages of being a "Real Hacker" (see Capitalization).
Rough description ∞
An ethical person who is adept in the art of hacking, usually in the realm of computer programming. It is a concept describing high-expertise, similar to the term "gear-head" for cars.
The term has been widely misused and mutated by recent generations. Of note, the media widely publicised the term Hacker and has mislabelled it as a Bad Guy. The Truly-Computer-Literate world has taken great offence to this and often deflects the media use of "Hacker" to instead be "Cracker". Also, the term "Real Hacker" has come to be used to distinguish a Hacker away from the popular media use.
Another method to differentiate between malicious and benevolent is that of "White Hat" and "Black Hat". White Hat Hackers will find a hole in a remote system and inform the system administrator and take no action to harm the remote system. Black Hat Hackers do as they please. Some articles have referenced a [http://www.infosecnews.com/opinion/2002/12/11_01.htm Grey Hat] for those that represent a middle ground.
Everyday people who can't be expected to be in the know often misname people "hacker" or "wizard" or the like as simple praise, without understanding the Weight of those titles.
- How To Become A Hacker
- The Hacker FAQ
From "programmer" to "hacker" ∞
"Becoming a hacker" is an unreasonable goal, but understanding how great programmers think and learning their habits can help one on one's own journey. At the very least, it's important to learn from the mistakes of others.