Saturday, December 24, 2011

Alerntate Paths: via Eric Raymond

Eric Raymond won infinite geek points with his essay The Cathedral and the Bazaar.  It at once cataloged the Open Source dynamic and gave it direction.  Slightly less known is his document How To Become A Hacker.  It is worth reading in full, but one interesting bit is the ordering of his road map for "Basic Hacking Skills:"

1. Learn how to program.
2. Get one of the open-source Unixes and learn to use and run it.
3. Learn how to use the World Wide Web and write HTML.
4. If you don't have functional English, learn it.

That's a bit different than the order I suggest in my sidebar. I'm basically saying (using his numbers) do 2, then 3, then 1. Perhaps that's because I expect that people coming to my site have some small experience to programming and are committed to a long-term effort.

If you aren't sure, and are testing the waters, then I'm with Eric. Dabble with programming first, and then attack a software stack (like LAMP).

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