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What’s a hacker? Some people think of hackers only as nefarious people who try to steal your identity or break into your computer files. These aren’t hackers, though; they are criminals.
Real Hackers are people who improve the world. They take existing ideas or products and make them better than they are.
Here, at Hack Learning, we create amazing hacks every day. We share them on Twitter, Facebook and in blog posts. Best of all, we put them into books, contained in the Hack Learning Series. Still not sure what makes someone a Hacker? Simple. Great Hackers have PEEP.
4 Qualities of a great Hacker–PEEP
1-Perspective: A Hacker looks at problems objectively, combining experience with a unique view of the problem. In many professions, especially education, shareholders are too invested to maintain objectivity. If I believe reading is the most important thing in school, I want more books at all costs and I’m not going to hear that there isn’t enough money for more books. I’ll just stomp my feed and say, “Dammit, get me the books.” The great education Hacker may love reading as much as anyone, but she will take a step back and see this issue in ways that the English teacher or librarian may not. This objectivity brings a powerful perspective to every problem. The Hacker knows how much teachers want those books, while understanding the fiscal constraints that the administrator is considering. She’ll find a simple solution that satisfies both.
2-Experience: Hackers have experience not only with problem solving but in the field they are hacking. An Education hacker is or has been a teacher, counselor, principal, or thought-leader. I can’t hack education if I’m a politician. Hackers aren’t politicians, and they aren’t opportunists. They have been in the trenches and have a laser-focused understanding of the problem and how it impacts all shareholders.
3-Expertise: Sure, doing something for 20 years gives a person experience, but it doesn’t make them an expert. Hackers not only hone their crafts over decades, they look, listen, read, practice, experiment and lie awake at night thinking of how to do the job better than everyone else. This unique combination leads to expertise.
4-Perseverance: The true Hacker will not stop until the problem is solved. Barriers only embolden hackers. When they hear, “This is how it is and we can’t change it,” hackers become inspired; they view seemingly insurmountable mountains as just one more challenge they can conquer. Hackers breathe problem solving. They won’t be denied.
Great Hackers have PEEP. Without these qualities, you may be an onlooker; you may be a shareholder, but you can’t be a hacker.
What do you think? Do you have PEEP?