May the hustle be with you
December 27, 2010
I was busy working on my web app tonight and came to a brutal realization. I suck as a hacker. As I have been cramming to get this application built so I can move on to the mashtunbeer.com site, I have had to put aside some of my engineering tendencies. I haven’t been into anything that falls under the hacker umbrella for at least a decade. I studied engineering, and I was a bad student because I put all of my time and energy into understanding how everything worked.
Now, as I sit here with a looming self-imposed deadline, I keep finding myself wandering out into the documentation to find out why some little thing works the way it does. That is engineering, not hacking. I shouldn’t care why it works, because it already works. I should move on and try to understand something that isn’t working already. So I guess hacking is something I will have to work at. If I don’t want to suck, I am going to have to learn to operate differently.
This should be an important lesson someday when I am trying to work with, find, or hire either a hacker or an engineer. If I want someone that will just build it, but won’t be able to tell me much about why it works or dissect the finer points of different options, hacker all the way. If I want someone that understands every piece of code, moving or static, then that is an engineer.
So, does some complementary spectrum exist in the realm of hustlers? Thankfully, I am much more naturally a hustler, but I still bring some of my engineering baggage with me. I don’t typically want to jump into something and start getting busy without some sort of plan or vision for what I am trying to accomplish. It doesn’t have to be very complicated. Hell, most of the time it is just back of the napkin. That leads me to two points. First, I realize how valuable hustling is to me. So in 2011, the year of years, I hope the hustle is with you as it has been with me. If you want to accomplish something, start hustling. Use your brain, but get busy. If you are smart about it, you will find yourself making progress towards your goals. Second, what do you think about the comparison? If hacker is to engineer, hustler is to what?