Someone in this industry who does no personal hacking, c.f. has
no code of his/her own to show could be a good hacker but... the odds
against are high. I think 80% of my skillset came from working on my
own projects. At work there just isn't always time or chances to learn
and explore and it's rare to get into a good mentorship where you're
learing from a significantly superior hacker. (80% of my good
practices came from hanging around the monastery, incidentally.)
Now for the anecdote. Couple years ago I had a contract that was
making me insane when a job that was exactly what I wanted
appeared on the boards. I wrote and CPAN'd a module related to the
position as my cover letter. I got the job and with the highest salary
I'd ever had by a lot.
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