The Hacker Mindset
Hackers are individuals who enjoy intellectual challenge to solve and build things, curious about things others would not care to see, they believe in freedom, sharing information and to assist others to help solve problems using their creativity. To be a Hacker, the right attitude is an absolute must (mentioned below). Becoming the kind of person who believes these things are important for you — for helping you learn, keeping you motivated and also imply that in ones life. It takes lot of time to master the art of hacking and to get there one should start small, work hard on their skills, developing a unique design sense and getting to a stage where one can build on their own in their own original style with the right Hacker Mindset.
There is another group who term themselves as Hackers who indulge in evil practices but they are usually Crackers who break stuff either for profit, for fame or political reasons.
As Eric Steven Raymond mentions, The Hacker attitudes in How to become a Hacker
1. The world is full of fascinating problems waiting to be solved.
Being a hacker is lots of fun, but it's a kind of fun that takes lots of effort. The effort takes motivation. Successful athletes get their motivation from a kind of physical delight in making their bodies perform, in pushing themselves past their own physical limits. Similarly, to be a hacker you have to get a basic thrill from solving problems, sharpening your skills, and exercising your intelligence.
If you aren't the kind of person that feels this way naturally, you'll need to become one in order to make it as a hacker. Otherwise you'll find your hacking energy is sapped by distractions like sex, money, and social approval.
“I find your lack of faith disturbing”. – Darth Vader
(You also have to develop a kind of faith in your own learning capacity — a belief that even though you may not know all
of what you need to solve a problem, if you tackle just a piece of it and learn from that, you'll learn enough to solve
the next piece — and so on, until you're done.)
2. No problem should ever have to be solved twice.
Creative brains are a valuable, limited resource. They shouldn't be wasted on re-inventing the wheel when there are so many fascinating new problems waiting out there.
To behave like a hacker, you have to believe that the thinking time of other hackers is precious — so much so that it's almost a moral duty for you to share information, solve problems and then give the solutions away just so other hackers can solve new problems instead of having to perpetually re-address old ones.
Note, however, that "No problem should ever have to be solved twice." does not imply that you have to consider all existing solutions sacred, or that there is only one right solution to any given problem. Often, we learn a lot about the problem that we didn't know before by studying the first cut at a solution. It's OK, and often necessary, to decide that we can do better. What's not OK is artificial technical, legal, or institutional barriers (like closed-source code) that prevent a good solution from being re-used and force people to re-invent wheels.
(You don't have to believe that you're obligated to give all your creative product away, though the hackers that do are
the ones that get most respect from other hackers. It's consistent with hacker values to sell enough of it to keep
you in food and rent and computers. It's fine to use your hacking skills to support a family or even get rich, as long
as you don't forget your loyalty to your art and your fellow hackers while doing it.)
3. Boredom and drudgery are evil.
Hackers (and creative people in general) should never be bored or have to drudge at stupid repetitive work, because when this happens it means they aren't doing what only they can do — solve new problems. This wastefulness hurts everybody. Therefore boredom and drudgery are not just unpleasant but actually evil.
To behave like a hacker, you have to believe this enough to want to automate away the boring bits as much as possible, not just for yourself but for everybody else (especially other hackers).
(There is one apparent exception to this. Hackers will sometimes do things that may seem repetitive or boring to an
observer as a mind-clearing exercise, or in order to acquire a skill or have some particular kind of experience you
can't have otherwise. But this is by choice — nobody who can think should ever be forced into a situation that bores
4. Freedom is good.
Hackers are naturally anti-authoritarian. Anyone who can give you orders can stop you from solving whatever problem you're being fascinated by — and, given the way authoritarian minds work, will generally find some appallingly stupid reason to do so. So the authoritarian attitude has to be fought wherever you find it, lest it smother you and other hackers.
(This isn't the same as fighting all authority. Children need to be guided and criminals restrained. A hacker may agree to accept some kinds of authority in order to get something he wants more than the time he spends following orders. But that's a limited, conscious bargain; the kind of personal surrender authoritarians want is not on offer.)
Authoritarians thrive on censorship and secrecy. And they distrust voluntary cooperation and information-sharing — they only like "cooperation" that they control. So to behave like a hacker, you have to develop an instinctive hostility to censorship, secrecy, and the use of force or deception to compel responsible adults. And you have to be willing to act on that belief.
“Do. Or do not. There is no try”. – Yoda
5. Attitude is no substitute for competence.
To be a hacker, you have to develop some of these attitudes. But copping an attitude alone won't make you a hacker, any more than it will make you a champion athlete or a rock star. Becoming a hacker will take intelligence, practice, dedication and hard work. (Also, Discipline)
Therefore, you have to learn to distrust attitude and respect competence of every kind. Hackers won't let posers waste their time, but they worship competence — especially competence at hacking, but competence at anything is valued. Competence at demanding skills that few can master is especially good and competence at demanding skills that involve mental acuteness, craft and concentration is best.
If you revere competence, you'll enjoy developing it in yourself — the hard work and dedication will become a kind of intense play rather than drudgery. That attitude is vital to becoming a hacker.