If you’ve ever used a system in a way that it wasn’t intended to work, you may be able to consider yourself a novice hacker. Hackers aren’t just the bad guys or FBI agents in the movies trying to get a hold of secure data. A hacker is an idealistic problem solver. They essentially troubleshoot problems until they get the result they wanted. Perseverance and creative thinking is also essential to being a hacker. They have to use errors to fuel their drive. A hacker keeps trying until there are no problems left, meaning that they encounter a lot of issues on the way.
Creative thinking goes hand in hand with problem-solving. In fact, creative problem solving is exactly what hackers do. They think of new ways to iterate their code or programs in an attempt to get what they want. Problem-solving skills are a crucial characteristic for hackers. They don’t have an outline nor a tried and true recipe to follow when developing programs. Usually, the code is made from scratch or the bare bones are borrowed from another program. From there, the hacker has to conceive and implement new ways that the code could work.
Hacking (building and testing) is easier said than done. The movies make it seem like a 60-second or 60-minute activity. In reality, it could take days, weeks, or even months for a hacker to achieve their goal. For example, Facebook hosts a “hackathon” where employees spend time developing and building prototypes for services. The malicious hackers tarnished the name for everyone. Only a small percentage of hackers have insidious motives. Most of them seek to positively impact the world through innovation. If you’re interested in learning how to problem solve like a hacker, Panda Security put together quotes and actionable tips from 10 well-known hackers.