(via Slashdot) Paul Graham published a new essay on "Great Hackers."

The cartoon strip Dilbert has a lot to say about cubicles, and with good reason. All the hackers I know despise them. The mere prospect of being interrupted is enough to prevent hackers from working on hard problems. If you want to get real work done in an office with cubicles, you have two options: work at home, or come in early or late or on a weekend, when no one else is there. Don't companies realize this is a sign that something is broken? An office environment is supposed to be something you work in, not something you work despite.
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One big company that understands what hackers need is Microsoft. I once saw a recruiting ad for Microsoft with a big picture of a door. Work for us, the premise was, and we'll give you a place to work where you can actually get work done. And you know, Microsoft is remarkable among big companies in that they are able to develop software in house.

ESR wrote another good piece on hacking titled, "How to become a Hacker."

-Chris

Update 29 July 2004
Nice thread on PerlMonks covering Graham's eassy.

Update 5 AUG 2004
Eric Sink opines on Graham's piece. Good points made. I also had a chance to hear Eric speak at Gnomedex 3.0 last year.