The term “hacker” derives from the seventeenth-century word of a “lusty laborer” who harvested fields by dogged and rough swings of his hoe. Although the thought of “hacking” has existed a long time before the term “hacker”-with the most known exemplory case of Lightning Ellsworth, it had been not really a word that the first programmers used to spell it out themselves. In fact, most of the first programmers had been from engineering or physics backgrounds.
“But from about 1945 onward (and especially through the creation of the 1st ENIAC computer) some programmers realized that their expertise in software applications and technology had evolved not only right into a profession, but right into a passion” (46).
There was an evergrowing awareness of a method of programming not the same as the cut and dried methods employed initially, but it had not been before 1960s that the word hackers began to be utilized to spell it out proficient computer programmers. Consequently, the essential characteristic that links all who identify themselves as hackers are ones who enjoy “…the intellectual challenge of creatively overcoming and circumventing limitations of programming systems and who tries to increase their capabilities” (47). With this definition at heart, it could be clear where in fact the negative implications of the term “hacker” and the subculture of “hackers” originated from.
Some typically common nicknames among this culture include “crackers” who are unskilled thieves who mainly depend on luck. Others consist of “phreak”-which refers to a kind of skilled crackers and “warez d00dz”-which is some sort of cracker that acquires reproductions of copyrighted software. Within all hackers are tiers of hackers like the “samurai” who are hackers that hire themselves out for legal electronic locksmith work. Furthermore, there are other hackers who are hired to check security, they are called “pentesters” or “tiger teams”.
Before communications between computers and computer users were as networked because they are now, there have been multiple independent and parallel hacker subcultures, often unaware or only partially alert to each other’s existence. Most of these had particular important traits in keeping:
- Creating software and sharing it with one another
- Placing a higher value on freedom of inquiry
- Hostility to secrecy
- Information-sharing as both a perfect and a practical strategy
- Upholding the proper to fork
- Emphasis on rationality
- Distaste for authority
- Playful cleverness, taking the serious humorously and humor seriously
These kinds of subcultures were commonly bought at academic settings such as for example college campuses. The MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, the University of California, Berkeley and Carnegie Mellon University had been particularly well-known hotbeds of early hacker culture. They evolved in parallel, and largely unconsciously, before Internet, in which a legendary PDP-10 machine at MIT, called AI, that was running ITS, provided an early on meeting stage of the hacker community. This and other developments like the rise of the free software movement and community drew together a critically large population and encouraged the spread of a conscious, common, and systematic ethos. Symptomatic of the evolution were a growing adoption of common slang and a shared view of history, like the manner in which other occupational groups possess professionalized themselves but without the formal credentialing process characteristic of all professional groups.
As time passes, the academic hacker subculture has tended to be more conscious, even more cohesive, and better organized. The most crucial consciousness-raising occasions have included the composition of the first Jargon File in 1973, the promulgation of the GNU Manifesto in 1985, and the publication of Eric Raymond’s The Cathedral and the Bazaar in 1997. Correlated with it has been the gradual recognition of a couple of shared culture heroes, including: Bill Joy, Donald Knuth, Dennis Ritchie, Alan Kay, Ken Thompson, Richard M. Stallman, Linus Torvalds, Larry Wall, and Guido van Rossum.
The concentration of academic hacker subculture has paralleled and partly been driven by the commoditization of computer and networking technology, and has, subsequently, accelerated that process. In 1975, hackerdom was scattered across a number of different families of os’s and disparate networks; today it really is largely an Unix and TCP/IP phenomenon, and is targeted around various os’s predicated on free software and open-source software development.