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Hi Daniweb,
My name is Rob, I'm a grad student at Northwestern University's journalism school. I am working on a story about hacking and boredom, and was hoping to get your responses to a few questions.

1) When and why did you begin doing computer programming?
2) What role did boredom have in setting you on a computer developer path?
3) What factors do you think influence people to become malicious hackers? Where is the tipping point for this?

Additionally, if anyone is interested in speaking at length with me about this more in-depth, please email me at [snipped]. Thanks very much!

Edited by Ezzaral: Snipped email. Please keep it on site.

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Last Post by TheNNS
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1) When and why did you begin doing computer programming?
Grade 10, because I was curious and my other courses were too easy and boring and it was a Grade 11 course that didn't need prerequisites, how could I resist

2) What role did boredom have in setting you on a computer developer path?
Moderate, I was planning to be a biology major is college but many of the bio courses were very boring just memorizing stuff, I wanted to actually DO stuff and MAKE stuff....

3) What factors do you think influence people to become malicious hackers? Where is the tipping point for this?
Depends what you mean my malicious, Groups like LolzSec are just frustrated with the world and are trying to turn it into a big joke. Others do it for money. Others do it for the challenge.
I think a lot has to do with "the world doesn't care about me so why should I care about the world?" attitude add in a dose of greed or rebellion or psychopathy et voila. Programmers are not appreciated/respected like other professions, although this is getting better. Note: subsitute gov't/international Companies/etc... for the world.

Edited by Agilemind: n/a

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1) In 7th grade. When I was 11 years old.

2) Programming is not boring at all!! I consider it much more fun that many other activities, so I do it not because of boredom, but because it is so fun. I guess it kinda pushes other hobbies (and life) out of the way, BECAUSE it is so fun (not boring), but you have to try to balance it with other activities.

3) Hacking IS mostly boring. Most of the hackers are younger then programmers and much less skilled, and I think they are hackers only because there socials values and morals are not yet formed. Most of them just try to look cool, but they will grow out of it.

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1) When and why did you begin doing computer programming?

10th grade. I was 15 and took a "computer programming class at my high school. Actually 8th grade if you count html as a programming language.
I wanted to do something with computers and this was the only interesting elective my high school offered.

2) What role did boredom have in setting you on a computer developer path?

Boredom had very little with me beginning programming, but now when I get bored I add more functionality to my website with PHP.

3) What factors do you think influence people to become malicious hackers? Where is the tipping point for this?

In my opinion, people become hackers for various reasons. As we've seen with the attacks from anonymous and lulzsec, they're extreme activists trying to get attention. If we look at GeoHot, who jailbroke the PS3 and iphone, he just wanted a challenge. Now he works for facebook.
And then you have the hackers that steal people's credit card information. All of these motives are very different, and I doubt they were motivated by boredom. Hacking is extremely slow and would bore some one to death.

Edited by TheNNS: n/a

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