Are you paying attention?
If you are not listening carefully, you will miss things. Important things. I will not pause, I will not repeat myself, and you will not interrupt me.
You think that because you're sitting where you are, and I am sitting where I am, that you are in control of what is about to happen. You're mistaken.
I am in control, because I know things that you do not know.
What I will need from you now is a commitment.
You will listen closely, and you will not judge me until I am finished. If you cannot commit to this, then please leave.
But if you choose to stay, remember you chose to be here. What happens from this moment forward is not my responsibility. It's yours.
What you need to know about me.
I love computers. And have an equal lack of understanding thereof. You know these people who seem to have been born a programmer? Who seemlingly write down the code and 5 minutes later the beauty of the code unfolds itself and you ever wonder how one could have written something more beautifully. -> Not me.
I sit at the computer and the moment I start, everything turns into a battle. The code I wrote 5 minutes ago, the program that just won't work, but you are not organized enough in your brain to figure out what to do to zero in on the problem.
But I do have something going for me. I am willing to learn and to work hard. I'm not expecting everyone to help along the way, but I do appreciate a nudge in the right direction from time to time. I do want to be able to write elegant code. To be able to hack. And I will be.
And that's what this is about.
I will hack my way into hacking, in the hopes of teaching you how to get there yourself. As good as only a noobie can.
I will not waste your time, but I expect the same from you.
Hacking is an art and an expression of creativity. An art form that doesn't judge.
Learning the technical side of hacking is just one part to it. For me, it's inseparable from the personal development, the interpersonal skills, the openness you have to develop in order to become hacker.
I prefer to have my eyes wide open...
instead of closed.
I hate scratching on the surface.
It's for the lazy. Why stagnate if you can go deep?
Curiousity is my biggest crime.
Why does it work? Why doesn't it? What could I have done better? Those are the questions that I ask and answer. Never being quite satisfied with the answer.
I hate injustice.
Focus on the task at hand
This somewhat goes hand in hand with the next point. In order to become good, you need focus and persistence. Focus, focus, focus on the task at hand.
Developing intelligent persistence
Now, we all know the feeling of having spent the last 5 hours trying to solve a problem. And in order to become a hacker, I think exactly a persistence like that is needed.
However, in order to be great, you need to develop a more intelligent persistence. This is the skill I witness time and again with people who are great hackers. They notice exactly the moment that the continued hampering on the problem is not worth it. That's when they take a step back. Focus on what they are trying to solve. And what they have already solved and what not. Pinpointing precisely the problem. And then asking the right question.
Focus on simplicity
If there is a choice between an complicated and simple option, I will always prefer the former. Simplicity reduces the surface for errors and keeps everything well structured.
Help others first
Having received tons and tons of help from people around the community, I believe I need to carry forward that spirit by helping beginners or anyone in need of help with all that I can.
Contribute with all I have
For me this means a lot of things. First of all, it means supporting people who use most of their time to contribute to the community, providing for example free software (while they could have very well made a ton of money out of it).
This means I use my skills and help those individuals. But also support projects that I feel are worth supporting. I believe organizations such as EFF.org do a great job and have a huge impact on the development of our technological side.