Hacking Society
What Is It
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What is it?

The goal of the Hacking Society is to foster geek community-building through the shared experience of hacking. Of course, by "hacking", I mean the more historic meaning of working on interesting projects (Jargon File "hack" entry, sense 6). Not the "script kiddies trying to compromise boxes" meaning which has become what most people think of in relation to the term. The WikiPedia also has a good definition of the word Hacker.

It's meant to be a sacred place full of positive hacking energy, if you will. Hacking by osmosis -- where your progress helps drive others progress, and so on...

If you'd like like to set up a local chapter, see the Hacking Society web-site for information on doing so.

Of course, those are just the things that seem to work for us so far. You may or may not find that another structure works better in your environment.

We have had some "group projects", but none of them were really planned. For example, at the first one, a group of three were working on a new release of the HP-PA Debian distribution. At a few others, two of us have worked on getting the local LUG web-site checked into CVS. I continue to work on trying to get the hackingsociety.org web-site up to speed as well as other projects...

Evelyn has suggested the idea of organizing a "Knuth Study Group", but that has not yet happened. I would think that a meeting at the University would be relatively easy to put together such a study group or other group activity. Perhaps, take some of those "programming contests" and each week everyone works on one of the problems and then discusses the answers they came up with.

The Hacking Society Effect

  • The feel of Hacking Society is well represented in an interview with Paul Everitt about the "Zope Sprints" (where the development team gets together and works on the 3.0 release:

    "Sprinting is intense and exhilarating. Everybody bounces questions and ideas off of each other while sitting in front of real, evolving code. You learn about coding practices such as unit tests and factoring interface descriptions, as well as real Zope 3 component architecture code. But far more interesting is the human interaction."

  • Joel wrote an article called Fire and Motion which talks about how sometimes it's good enough just to do something. Hacking Society is an environment conductive to making progress.