Great Hackers

July 30, 2004

I just stumbled upon an essay today that completely blew me away: “Great Hackers”: by “Paul Graham”: Here are two parts that I could totally relate to:

bq. _After software, the most important tool to a hacker is probably his office. Big companies think the function of office space is to express rank. But hackers use their offices for more than that: they use their office as a place to think in. And if you’re a technology company, their thoughts are your product. So making hackers work in a noisy, distracting environment is like having a paint factory where the air is full of soot._

_This could explain the disconnect over cubicles. Maybe the people in charge of facilities, not having any concentration to shatter, have no idea that working in a cubicle feels to a hacker like having one’s brain in a blender. (Whereas Bill, if the rumors of autism are true, knows all too well.)_

But hey, “go read the essay yourself”: and then send the link to your boss. For the completely clueless manager you may need to buy the book: “Hackers and Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age(Buy from”: