I often draw strange looks when I describe myself as a hacker.
Most people imagine the pop-culture view of a hacker, tapping away at a terminal and breaking into computers. While I can’t deny having had my fun with this, it is not why I call myself a hacker.
What about hackathons and personal projects then? It is surely a valid statement to say one is “hacking something together” when they build an app. It’s true that I’ve done my share of projects and hackathons. I even won my first hackathon this last November, so I surely fit this description as well. But it is not why I call myself a hacker.
There are also the lesser known MIT hacks. A hack, as Wikipedia describes, is a public display meant to either show off technical prowess or commemorate a specific event. Some of the better known hacks include the police car on the big dome and tetris on the green building. While maintaining...