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As editor of the Jargon File I often get email requests from enthusiastic network newbies asking in effect how can I learn to be a wizard hacker Oddly enough there dont seem to be any FAQs or Web documents that address this vital question so heres mine If you are reading a snapshot of this document offline the current version lives at httpwwwtuxedoorgesrfaqshacker-howtohtml The Jargon File contains a bunch of definitions of the term hacker most having to do with technical adeptness and a delight in solving problems and overcoming limits If you want to know how to become a hacker though only two are really relevant There is a community a shared culture of expert programmers and networking wizards that traces its history back through decades to the first time-sharing minicomputers and the earliest ARPAnet experiments The members of this culture originated the term hacker Hackers built the Internet Hackers made the Unix operating system what it is today Hackers run Usenet Hackers make the World Wide Web work If you are part of this culture if you have contributed to it and other people in it know who you are and call you a hacker youre a hacker The hacker mind-set is not confined to this software-hacker culture There are people who apply the hacker attitude to other things like electronics or music -- actually you can find it at the highest levels of any science or art Software hackers recognize these kindred spirits elsewhere and may call them hackers too -- and some claim that the hacker nature is really independent of the particular medium the hacker works in But in the rest of this document we will focus on the skills and attitudes of software hackers and the traditions of the shared culture that originated the term hacker There is another group of people who loudly call themselves hackers but arent These are people mainly adolescent males who get a kick
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