Thursday, October 17, 2013

The First 2 Iron Laws of Hacking

Everyone has to code in TheHackerCIO's household.  So my teenage daughter has embarked on studying Python. It's kind of a "shop" class for her.

And there are two iron laws I need her to know immediately. Unfortunately, TheHackerCIO will be like Cassandra -- the daughter of Priam rather than the NoSQL database. That is, he is doomed in advance that he won't be believed, although he will speak the absolute truth.

But that's generally the way between parents and children.

The first iron law is: "You didn't backup enough." Back up early; back up often; back up redundantly. If you just backed-up your code, then back it up again. Unfortunately, the only way to really learn this is through sad experience. After losing a complete day's work you will start to see the importance of this. I'm sure all my coding readers will remember their own backup moments. I love my Macbook Pro Retina for it's separate "time-machine" disk. When I mess up, I just go back in time and pull out what I erroneously deleted or otherwise ruined. I never code without it plugged in.

The other iron law of hacking, is "Always Hack Code." If you have left off writing code, then you have left the world of tech relevance. Practice, practice, practice. Practice makes perfect. All those other cliches. As another blogger says, use ABC: "always be coding." Or as github puts it: "Push code every day." They even have a tracker on their Repo, so you can see how well you've met that standard.

If my daughter can get these down early, she'll be ahead of the game.

I remain,


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