Hacker Way Principles

The creative engineering hacking spirit of the Hacker Way is also known as the Hacker Ethic. Its popularity is attributed to the 1984 book by Steven Levy, called Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution.

Iconic image of Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak

Levy summarized the principles of the Hacker Ethic in the Preface as:

(1) Sharing,

(2) Openness,

(3) Decentralization,

(4) Free access to computers, and (5) World Improvement (foremost, upholding democracy and the fundamental laws we all live by, as a society).

Image by Losey and Midjourney

In Chapter Two of Hackers, the Hacker Ethics or as I now like to call it, Hacker Way, is further described in six points:

Access to computers—and anything which might teach you something about the way the world works—should be unlimited and total. Always yield to the Hands-On Imperative!”

All information should be free.”

Mistrust authority—promote decentralization,

Hackers should be judged by their hacking, not bogus criteria such as degrees, age, race, sex, or position.

You can create art and beauty on a computer.

Computers can change your life for the better.

Image by Losey and Midjourney

Also see Eric S. Raymond online text, How to Become a Hacker, where the hacker attitude is defined in 5 principles:

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

No problem should ever have to be solved twice.

Boredom and drudgery are evil.

Freedom is good.

Attitude is no substitute for competence.

Image by Losey and Midjourney