Paul Graham on Hackers and Painters

I’ve always tended to equate, or at least compare, programming and

poetry. Paul Graham does it too, using painters for comparison. It’s a

great read.

“I think hackers just have to resign themselves to having a large

random component in their reputations.”

“You need a good sense of design to judge good design. And there is no

correlation, except possibly a negative one, between people’s ability

to recognize good design and their confidence that they can.”

“t seems surprising to me that any employer would be reluctant to let

hackers work on open-source projects. At Viaweb, we would have been

reluctant to hire anyone who didn’t. When we interviewed programmers,

the main thing we cared about was what kind of software they wrote in

their spare time. You can’t do anything really well unless you love it,

and if you love to hack you’ll inevitably be working on projects of your