Programmer Vs Hacker Vs Developer

Programmer Vs Hacker Vs Developer

Hey there 👋, welcome to my little world! I was recently watching Track Down (also known as Takedown outside the US) and I kept wondering what was the real difference between a hacker and a developer.

So buckle up, I think I found out the difference and please note that this article is opinionated and was inspired by that movie.

And in today's article, I will take you back in time... so let's do some time travelling...🚀

Takedown is a 2000 American crime thriller film based on the non-fiction book Takedown: The Pursuit and Capture of Kevin Mitnick, America's Most Wanted Computer Outlaw.


It is based on a true story and most sites refer to Kevin as one of the most notorious hackers of all time.

🔹 Computer Etymology

We all know that the first programmer was a woman (Ada Lovelace) and bac then human beings were referred to as computers and women mostly worked these computer roles

image.png 💨 Computer comes from the Latin putare which means both to think and to prune.

💨 Computare (com- means "together") also meant calculate

💨 A Computer used to be a person who did calculations.

dad.jpg So who are these hackers, developers etc...?

🔹 Programmer Vs Hacker Vs Developer

This is going to be a roller coaster and most of you reading my article may want to argue with your modern-day dictionaries but as I said before, these are my thoughts and findings.

🔸 Who is A Programmer 🖥?

In the context of computer science and technology, A programmer is someone who can solve problems by manipulating computer code.

Usually, they write computer-specific programming instructions to achieve the desired goal.


They can have a wide range of skill levels—from just being “ok” with basic scripting to being an absolute sorcerer with any language.

Computer programmers basically design, develop and test software.

🔸 Who is A Hacker 🛠?

A hacker is an individual who uses a computer, networking or other skills to overcome a technical problem.

A Hacker is someone who makes things. In this context, it’s someone who makes things by programming computers.


This is the original, and purest definition of the term, i.e., that you have an idea and you “hack” something together to make it work.

It also applies to people who tinker with things in a way that extends or changes their functionality, or otherwise uses them in ways that weren’t originally intended.

Nowadays, hacking is a catch-all term for any type of misuse of a computer to break the security of another computing system to steal data, corrupt systems or files, commandeer the environment or disrupt data-related activities in any way.


When I was watching even from Takedown manipulate gadgets to use them the way they were not originally intended for, this gives me the real meaning & picture

🔸 Who is A Developer 🗼?

In the IT world, a developer is a software architect, just like a “traditional” architect does with a building, they ensure that the application or web works correctly, is secure, supports the passage of time, is easily modified and adaptable.


A Developer is a basically formally trained programmer. They don’t just solve problems or create things but do so in accordance with a set of design and implementation principles.

These include things like performance, maintainability, scale, robustness, and (ideally) security.

🔸 Similarities

What developers, hackers, and programmers all have in common is that they solve problems using code.

They are all computer specialists, coders and know about programming.


Ideally, one would strive to be all three, i.e., creative enough to be considered a hacker, but with enough formal training and experience to design software rather than simply…well, hacking it together.

🔹 Notes & Resources

The term “Software Engineer” is nearly synonymous with Developer for these purposes.

Go and read more here 👇

📌 BBC News Article
📌 Techopedia Terms
📌 Daniel Miessler Article

Assignment: Now, find out for yourself who is a Computer Scientist?

🔹 My Summary 📑

So from the above narration, we can deduce that all hackers and developers are programmers.


To me, I see the modern-day definition of a hacker as someone who breaks things whereas a developer is someone who builds.

So one of the parties chooses to be opposite of the other and today we have professional hackers , bug bounty hunters, security analysts etc who do pen-testing, bug hunting, system vulnerability checks and

🔹 Conclusion

I will be writing about the different types of hackers anytime from now and so you may want to eep tabs open.

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