NOTE: This post was originally made on the same date in 2005, not 2006.
Over the past year or so, many things have been happening in the DDP. Some of us have had to unplug. Some unplugged permanently, some unplug temporarily, and some are mysteriously silent about the whole thing. This does not mean that the DDP is not still alive and kicking.
I am proud to announce 3 new members of the DDP: Dr^ZigMan, droops, and LogosX. Many of you who have been around us for a while are already very familiar with all of these people. But what qualifies making the leap into the DDP?
First of all, the DDP doesn't actively "recruit" members. We do not have certain tests or challenges that we require for membership. That is just silly to me. Testing someone's technical ability only shows you one small aspect of their personality and abilities. I think about it much differently than that.
I have known some extremely intelligent and technical people in my years. I hate to be blunt, but they aren't scarce. But a select few rise to the top and those are the ones that catch my eye. You see, I have been around for a long time. I can tell who knows what they are talking about and who is just fronting. I don't need a test or initiation to some quantify someone's technical ability. To me that is a given. Everyone in DDP has some sort of technical expertise and can certainly represent us on a technical level right along with the best. Instead of some sort of meaningless evaluation, I look for something else entirely.
Technical proficiency is a given in DDP. But what else do I do to determine a good fit for the DDP? There are two things that sound really simple but are amazingly in short supply in the hacker community these days. Technical ability without both productivity, and a good attitude, is wasted.
What do I mean by productivity? Well, you may know a particular programming language inside and out, but what have you done with it? And no, acting superior to everyone in IRC does not count. If you have the skills, why aren't you using them for something productive? Look at any member of DDP and look at what they have accomplished in the hacking community. There are bunches of links here and on binrev.com to DDP projects and member sites. We apply the knowledge that we have not only through personal projects, but through public projects that we share with the rest of the hacking community. You can be sitting there with all of the technical ability in the world, but if you aren't doing anything with it, you are wasting your talent. You will not get anyone attention by complaining, whining, and acting "holier than thou". This leads me to the second thing that all DDP members have.
A positive attitude sounds like some sort of motivational speaker buzzword, but it isn't that cliche. It has become very rare for people in the hacking community to have a positive, helpful, and friendly attitude in general. Everyone thinks that to earn the respect of your peers in the hacking world is to attack each other and perpetuate elitism, which I despise more than anything in the world. I take pride in the fact that every member of the DDP has alwyas been a good person first and foremost. They are always helpful and approachable. They answer questions whenever they can and we, as a group, are trying to change the world of hacking by teaching people that hacking isn't about trying to gain fame by trampling over others. It is about working together so that we all benefit as a community.
All 3 of our new members fit perfectly in this criteria. Take a moment to meet them and you will see what I see. Good hackers, yes, but more importantly, good people. Hacking is supposed to be fun and we intend to keep it that way.