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Hackers solve problems and build things, and they believe in freedom and voluntary mutual help. To be accepted as a hacker, you have to behave as though you have this kind of attitude yourself. And to behave as though you have the attitude, you have to really believe the attitude.

But if you think of cultivating hacker attitudes as just a way to gain acceptance in the culture, you'll miss the point. Becoming the kind of person who believes these things is important for you — for helping you learn and keeping you motivated. As with all creative arts, the most effective way to become a master is to imitate the mind-set of masters — not just intellectually but emotionally as well.

Or, as the following modern Zen poem has it:

  1. look to the master
  2. follow the master
  3. walk with the master
  4. see through the master
  5. become the master

So, if you want to be a hacker, repeat the following things until you believe them:

The world is full of fascinating problems waiting to be solved. 保持兴趣

Being a hacker is lots of fun, but it's a kind of fun that takes lots of effort. The effort takes motivation. Successful athletes get their motivation from a kind of physical delight in making their bodies perform, in pushing themselves past their own physical limits. Similarly, to be a hacker you have to get a basic thrill from solving problems, sharpening your skills, and exercising your intelligence.

如果想成为 hacker, 如果想突破瓶颈,首先得对所专注的领域保持兴趣。需要培养敏感,保持好奇的眼睛,不断去探寻和尝试解决新问题。一时的兴趣容易,难的是 10 年甚至一辈子对某领域的兴趣。要努力尝试管理欲望。倘若做不到这一点,同时又很想成为 hacker, 那么必须得做出改变。否则你的 hacker 生涯只会被性欲、金钱及现有社会的既定价值观所消耗,一点一滴地消耗掉。

If you aren't the kind of person that feels this way naturally, you'll need to become one in order to make it as a hacker. Otherwise you'll find your hacking energy is sapped by distractions like sex, money, and social approval.

努力是自发的,但欲望是可管理的。想成为 hacker, 需要有强烈的信念,相信纵使暂不能解决整个问题,但只要能解决其中一部份,就能从中学习,解决另外的一部份 —— 直至解决整个问题。

(You also have to develop a kind of faith in your own learning capacity — a belief that even though you may not know all of what you need to solve a problem, if you tackle just a piece of it and learn from that, you'll learn enough to solve the next piece — and so on, until you're done.)

No problem should ever have to be solved twice 避免重复

Creative brains are a valuable, limited resource. They shouldn't be wasted on re-inventing the wheel when there are so many fascinating new problems waiting out there.

To behave like a hacker, you have to believe that the thinking time of other hackers is precious — so much so that it's almost a moral duty for you to share information, solve problems and then give the solutions away just so other hackers can solve new problems instead of having to perpetually re-address old ones.

Note, however, that "No problem should ever have to be solved twice." does not imply that you have to consider all existing solutions sacred, or that there is only one right solution to any given problem. Often, we learn a lot about the problem that we didn't know before by studying the first cut at a solution. It's OK, and often necessary, to decide that we can do better. What's not OK is artificial technical, legal, or institutional barriers (like closed-source code) that prevent a good solution from being re-used and force people to re-invent wheels.

(You don't have to believe that you're obligated to give all your creative product away, though the hackers that do are the ones that get most respect from other hackers. It's consistent with hacker values to sell enough of it to keep you in food and rent and computers. It's fine to use your hacking skills to support a family or even get rich, as long as you don't forget your loyalty to your art and your fellow hackers while doing it.)

这是一条看起来容易做起来非常难的“信条”。解决问题之后,要学会总结、记录和分享。作为一名 hacker, 时间非常宝贵。懂得记录和分享,能够减少重复解决同类问题的时间,亦能帮助其他 hacker 快速获取有价值的信息。要懂得,你在帮助他人,他人也在帮助你。Google 是 hackers 之间最好的聊天工具。

任何问题都不应该被解决两次,任何代码也得尽量避免重复,任何会议要争取当堂有结论,任何交流要力求及时有效。这是 hacker 的生活态度。

Boredom and drudgery are evil 去除单调

Hackers (and creative people in general) should never be bored or have to drudge at stupid repetitive work, because when this happens it means they aren't doing what only they can do — solve new problems. This wastefulness hurts everybody. Therefore boredom and drudgery are not just unpleasant but actually evil.

To behave like a hacker, you have to believe this enough to want to automate away the boring bits as much as possible, not just for yourself but for everybody else (especially other hackers).

(There is one apparent exception to this. Hackers will sometimes do things that may seem repetitive or boring to an observer as a mind-clearing exercise, or in order to acquire a skill or have some particular kind of experience you can't have otherwise. But this is by choice — nobody who can think should ever be forced into a situation that bores them.)

这一点是对第 2 点的补充和强调。当有些问题不得不重复去做去解决时,得想尽办法“自动化”。

当然,hacker 有时也做一些在他人看来是重复性或枯燥的工作以进行“脑力休息”,或是为了获得某种技能,或是获得一些除此以外无法获得的特别经验。但这是自愿的 —— 有脑子的人不应该被迫做无聊的活儿。

Freedom is good 追求自由

Hackers are naturally anti-authoritarian. Anyone who can give you orders can stop you from solving whatever problem you're being fascinated by — and, given the way authoritarian minds work, will generally find some appallingly stupid reason to do so. So the authoritarian attitude has to be fought wherever you find it, lest it smother you and other hackers.

(This isn't the same as fighting all authority. Children need to be guided and criminals restrained. A hacker may agree to accept some kinds of authority in order to get something he wants more than the time he spends following orders. But that's a limited, conscious bargain; the kind of personal surrender authoritarians want is not on offer.)

Authoritarians thrive on censorship and secrecy. And they distrust voluntary cooperation and information-sharing — they only like ‘cooperation’ that they control. So to behave like a hacker, you have to develop an instinctive hostility to censorship, secrecy, and the use of force or deception to compel responsible adults. And you have to be willing to act on that belief.

在成为 hacker 的过程中,我们不得不面对一些“不自由”,不得不要去做一些“分配”下来的任务,不得不像被洗脑过的士兵一样“高效执行”。但这一切只是过程,是成长的代价。如果想成为 hacker, 一定不要放弃对自由的追求。

在所有公司都有一个不成文的黄金定律:当你达到一定水平后,你做什么,已经不是你的上级能决定,也不是公司总裁能决定的。你只要做你认为对公司有利的事情。当然,你得说服团队同意你的观点,投入时间和资源去做。倘若发现道不同志不合,作为 hacker, 你可以自由选择公司选择职位,而不是公司选择你。

Attitude is no substitute for competence 获取能力

To be a hacker, you have to develop some of these attitudes. But copping an attitude alone won't make you a hacker, any more than it will make you a champion athlete or a rock star. Becoming a hacker will take intelligence, practice, dedication, and hard work.

Therefore, you have to learn to distrust attitude and respect competence of every kind. Hackers won't let posers waste their time, but they worship competence — especially competence at hacking, but competence at anything is valued. Competence at demanding skills that few can master is especially good, and competence at demanding skills that involve mental acuteness, craft, and concentration is best.

If you revere competence, you'll enjoy developing it in yourself — the hard work and dedication will become a kind of intense play rather than drudgery. That attitude is vital to becoming a hacker.

很多洗脑型励志书籍,喜欢大谈态度的重要性。但态度再好,没有能力就是没有能力,是成为不了 hacker 的。有爱迪生锲而不舍不断尝试灯丝材料的这种态度的人不少,但有爱迪生一样在不断尝试中总结规律和做出改进的这种能力的人很少很少。

态度很重要,但能力才是决定你能否真正成为 hacker 的关键。成为 hacker 需要天赋,需要辛苦。态度是万里长征第一步,态度很重要,但不要拿态度说事。要去做,去实践,努力去获取能力。

如果你能做到上面 5 点,一切发展“瓶颈”问题,都不是问题。30 岁将是一个起点,而不是编程生涯的终结。





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