Hackers and Painters
Paul Graham

Recent essay by the designer of Arc language, x-president of Viaweb, and author of books "On Lisp" and "ANSI Common Lisp".

Though the essay operates with the hackers' concepts of "beautiful software" and uses the example of Leonardo to illustrate how a hacker's artistic career can eventually evolve, it is extremely interesting in a way it describes the common patterns of "computer science" and models of hacking (working).

Graham analyzes hacking (designing beautiful software) in comparison to science (expected in academic world) and engineering (demanded in commercial world), and claims that good hacking does not fit into any of these fields. Graham elaborates on different methods of work of a hacker, and claims it is closer to work of a painter: learning by practicing, collaborating, having day-job and own projects, etc.

Precise critisim combined with clear suggestions of alternatives already tried out and succesful makes this essay very interesting.

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project homepage: http://www.paulgraham.com/hp.html
keywords: open_source-friendly-community-hackerly-criticism
category: text - software art related/cultural critique of software
uploaded by o, 03 Jun 2003

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