[hackerspaces] The Hacker Way

Will Bradley bradley.will at gmail.com
Thu Feb 2 17:06:52 CET 2012

There's not much of the hacker ethic there though, if hackers are supposed
to be for freedom of information.
On Feb 2, 2012 8:59 AM, "Jordan Miller" <jrdnmlr at gmail.com> wrote:

> from Zuckerberg's open letter to investors about the impending Facebook
> IPO...
> jordan
> The Hacker Way
> As part of building a strong company, we work hard at making Facebook
> the best place for great people to have a big impact on the world and
> learn from other great people. We have cultivated a unique culture and
> management approach that we call the Hacker Way.
> The word "hacker" has an unfairly negative connotation from being
> portrayed in the media as people who break into computers. In reality,
> hacking just means building something quickly or testing the
> boundaries of what can be done. Like most things, it can be used for
> good or bad, but the vast majority of hackers I've met tend to be
> idealistic people who want to have a positive impact on the world.
> The Hacker Way is an approach to building that involves continuous
> improvement and iteration. Hackers believe that something can always
> be better, and that nothing is ever complete. They just have to go fix
> it - often in the face of people who say it's impossible or are
> content with the status quo.
> Hackers try to build the best services over the long term by quickly
> releasing and learning from smaller iterations rather than trying to
> get everything right all at once. To support this, we have built a
> testing framework that at any given time can try out thousands of
> versions of Facebook. We have the words "Done is better than perfect"
> painted on our walls to remind ourselves to always keep shipping.
> Hacking is also an inherently hands-on and active discipline. Instead
> of debating for days whether a new idea is possible or what the best
> way to build something is, hackers would rather just prototype
> something and see what works. There's a hacker mantra that you'll hear
> a lot around Facebook offices: "Code wins arguments."
> Hacker culture is also extremely open and meritocratic. Hackers
> believe that the best idea and implementation should always win - not
> the person who is best at lobbying for an idea or the person who
> manages the most people.
> To encourage this approach, every few months we have a hackathon,
> where everyone builds prototypes for new ideas they have. At the end,
> the whole team gets together and looks at everything that has been
> built. Many of our most successful products came out of hackathons,
> including Timeline, chat, video, our mobile development framework and
> some of our most important infrastructure like the HipHop compiler.
> To make sure all our engineers share this approach, we require all new
> engineers - even managers whose primary job will not be to write code
> - to go through a program called Bootcamp where they learn our
> codebase, our tools and our approach. There are a lot of folks in the
> industry who manage engineers and don't want to code themselves, but
> the type of hands-on people we're looking for are willing and able to
> go through Bootcamp.
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