When we hear the term “hacker,” the first thing that comes to our mind is a notorious person with his/her fair share of negativity. However, in real life, it elicits more than that. In an online business, hackers encompass a broad range of duties and functions. So, when you start a new tech business, you must know exactly the kind of hacker you’re hiring, which is sometimes difficult to figure out.
However, there is someone who has taken this responsibility upon him, thanks to Eric Raymond, co-founder and former president of the Open Source Initiative. He, with the help of his friend Susan Sons, has categorized the hackers into some archetypes. Aptly called the hacker archetypes, these categories will help you know the hacker before you’re going to decide whom to hire.
These are kinds of people you’ll never want to put in charge. Albeit they are extremely good at algorithms and have the highest tolerance for complexity, they come with poor social skills and their superfluous cleverness often makes them fail to manage the team. So, if you hire this hacker, make sure to put him/her away from large, group decisions. They will shine on their own.
They are adept to reverse-engineering, detail-oriented and have good ideas in practical engineering. They are pretty expert at making the crossover between software and hardware. However, like any other detail-oriented people, they are prone to lose sight of their target at hand by getting too close to the problem. But, they could make terrific whole-systems engineer when you make them pull their heads out of the details.
Known as the kings of the productive refactor, these hackers are clutch when it comes to design patterns. They have the profound drive to simplify and partition and non-giving up a tendency towards elegance. However, they usually have great communication skills, but will be a great leader if they have.
Considered the contraposition of Architect, these hackers are detail-obsessive and have “a bottom-up view of code and like rifle-shooting bugs more than almost anything else.” When paired, they can be excellent skilled players but not good as managers.
Jack of All Trades
The name itself explains a lot. These hackers are the people who can manage a bit of everything with their adaptability, mental flexibility, and fast uptake of new ideas. However, like any jack of all trades, they are master of none. They try to everything by themselves, which leads them to failure. However, they could make a good team leader if they are willing to delegate by knowing their deficiency.
They incline to infosec and test engineering but are great at smashing systems and overpowering them for unexpected and hilarious uses. Comparing to other hacker types, a really good prankster can social-engineer people more effectively and ruthlessly.
A control freak who knows inside and out. This hacker focuses on what he is responsible for, which gives him power. He can memorize, automate, and churn out the information like it’s actually his job, and believe me, it is.
They are least likely to self-identify as hackers but can act as bridges between human and machine. They are highly social but less technical. If you need a hacker for documentation, requirements analysis, policy and supply chain management, UI/UX development, you can hire this hacker. If they leave their hard decisions on someone capable considering their technical limitations, translators can be good project managers.
As Raymond states, never consider a hacker only one of these. Most of them are a mixture of a dominant archetype and a secondary archetype. So, would you like to find out which of the hacker archetypes you’ve already hired?