The New Hacker

The longer I work in technology the more I realize that the hackers of tomorrow simply do not look like the hackers of today.

In other words, I’m getting old.

When I first started my career in software it was really nerdy to be a software programmer and there wasn’t any “bonus” points that you’d get for spending your time putting together and taking a part my computer to overclock GPUs so that you could play games that out-distanced your native components capabilities.

But now there’s an entire cultural shift and it is, quite simply, a beautiful thing. My oldest daughter, for instance, is what I would consider a hacker through and through as she’s always trying to find the fastest and most effective way to solve a problem, whether that’s relational, technical, or just trying to eat her meal in the fastest way possible.

She’s not like me, though, as she’s hip and cool and I can only imagine that she’ll dress pretty cool too. The new hackers are like this as well – they care more about a lot of those “other” things besides just the software problems that they’re trying to solve.

I feel, given my age, that I’m in this interesting in-between stage. I’ve been around before the internet was a “thing” and yet I’m not old enough quite yet to rock out the New Balance shoes and “dad pants”:


… or maybe I should… I don’t know.

The point is that the types of people getting into software programming and finding a neat spot as a career hacker is not the type of people I grew up with and around.

The most exciting thing about all this is that they will have been born into this type of environment, where digital is all they know which means that they will breathe in the possibility of technological innovation unlike anything we’ve seen before.

And thankfully, I’m young enough to actually experience their future work too, which should be really, really fun. I hope I get to live for a long time and get to see some really cool stuff become a reality.

The new hacker is going to kick some serious ass.