Make Hacking Great Again

Stop gate keeping, start helping each other for good! Charles Shirer with an important piece on the current state of the hacking community and how we can improve it.

Make Hacking Great Again

There was a time when being a hacker was really a huge badge of honor among your technical peers. The hacker community - which is now called the InfoSec community - was very close knit. It did not matter where you were from or what you looked like. It was all about you bringing something to the table from a knowledge perspective. Programmers, hardware hackers, or software hackers, everyone were all about learning and sharing knowledge. Like the old saying goes "nothing lasts forever", the landscape of the hacker community has changed a lot since the golden days.

Why the hacker community has a problem

Right now, we are living in a very dark and scary time on the internet. The hacker community is almost unrecognizable. It has really become a cesspool of negativity. There are so many of us that are spending an increasing amount of time arguing online about politics, opinions of others, and tearing down anyone who is trying to make something positive happen within the community. There is no humility - everyone seems to be out for themselves with an elitist (1337) attitude. This is nothing new, this elitist attitude existed back in the early days as well. They were just called the gate keepers. If the cesspool of negativity continues at this rate, the hacker community as we know will die.

Making the hacker community welcoming and supportive for everyone

We can start off by not fighting with one another online. Everyone is going to have an opinion on something and arguments are going to occur which is a great thing. They will open the door to more opinions which can eventually lead to a solid solution, iron sharpens iron. Arguing without an open mind to hearing another person's opinion is only counterproductive and kills creativity.

Also, we need to get back into the spirit of helping one another by sharing knowledge and teaching those who are interested in learning. This can be accomplished by writing more articles, whitepapers and putting on more conferences that touch on not only hacking but security as a whole. There are so many topics (projects) out there, that are being left for dead because of a lack of active research.

Lets also get back into finding bugs in hardware and software and help fixing them, which can be done by volunteering to help at testing and provide some positive feedback to the makers and programmers. This helps everyone involved to learn something new about not only the project but also about each other, which in turn will help in making the community great again.

On top of that, we as a community have to get rid of this gate keeper attitude. Attempting to hoard information to keep others out is just plain flat-out wrong. This type of behavior needs to be pointed out and removed from our community. The internet is huge and there is enough room for everyone to get involved. Nobody should be able to dictate who has access.
In closing, by creating, sharing and showing love again, we can make hacking a great thing for everyone.

The awesome image used to head this article is called Real Time Collaboration and was created by Zazuly Aziz.