Wednesday, December 23, 2009

J. Random Hacker

A subset of the Jargon File is the Portrait of "J. Random Hacker". (Hacker here refers to a skilled programmer, rather than a "cracker" who attempts to damage systems). Even though I am just a padawan - I can program only in BASIC, the lowest of the low, on my calculator, I aspire to be an excellent programmer, and I completely recognize myself in the personality traits listed:

  • Appearance: Intelligent, intense, abstracted, thin. That's pretty much me.
  • Dress: T-shirts, jeans, sneakers. Casual and vaguely post-hippie. Likes black, not for the goth look but because it goes with everything, hides dirt, and makes dressing up (when needed) easier.
  • Reading habits: a range that astonishes liberal arts majors, with lots of well-thumbed books on a variety of subjects. Fond of technical maunuals and good sci-fi.
  • Interests: chess, intellectual games, wargames, music, Nethack, linguistics, theater.
  • Sports: likes competitive but not-team and non-contact sports. I like tennis and skiing. Also, other things like climbing, hiking, aviation, and diving.
  • Food: exotic food, often Oriental stuff like Chinese and Japanese. Also stuff like pizzas and microwaved burritos when working. Stir-fried random is good.
  • Personality traits: high intellience, ability to digest and retain large amoutns of information, intellectually broad but focused, control freaks about their work but chaotic and messy elsewhere, attracted by challenges and cool toys. I also possess the rare but hacker-common INTJ (introvert-intuitive-thinker-judger) Myers-Briggs personality type. Possible ADD / Asbergers. Strange sleep patterns.
  • Writing: tends to be better at writing than speaking. Bad handwriting and fond of block-printing. Tends to verb nouns (turning any noun into a verb rather than using a more general verb, which is allowed in pure-positional languages like Chinese, but not English). Tends to put punctuation after parentheses and quotes, which makes more sense than the prevailing method of putting them inside.

1 comment:

@eloh said...

Great post... you hit the nail square on the head in the food section!