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Proposal | reboot10

hacking something different today

How to free yourself from beeing stuck in a loop

As a web developer, all my hacking activities usually revolve around pushing bits and bytes over http-connections. Beeing stuck in this paradigm keeps me from finding original and innovative solutions. Thats why I usually keep on doing 2 or 3 non-web projects in my spare time that hopefully make me a better hacker. This session will be about the beforementioned motivation, about the fields I chose for my experiments and will show some of the results.

What makes a great (good/excellent/über-) hacker?

Knowledge, of course. Creativity, sure. Experience, definitely.

But all these skills or values are too easily buried below your day-to-day work life. You may be an excellent web developer, but if all you have is a web framework, all problems start to look like they are fixed by a web app (to paraphrase the saying with the nail and the hammer).

Luckily, this is easily fixed. Take some time to do something different every now and then. I am not talking about different hobbies, such as photography, music, reading etc. because the benefit of such activity should be pretty obvious. What I talk about is to take some time to code something different. Something that's totally different from what you are doing in your day-to-day business. Like, hacking games for a change. Programming a different device (be it a console, a microcontroller, you roomba, whatever). Coding in a different language.

Doing so will give you plenty of insight in any form. You will learn new paragidms. You will learn to embrace different constraints. You might even learn how to spell "paradigms".

I personally have a few areas I am exploring over and over again in different contexts: Music, Graphics and Games. I will show you a few examples on what I have done in my side projects, what I'm working on right now, why so little of my projects have real, sustainable output and why I stopped worrying about that a long time ago.



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