About the word 黑客/骇客
For people who knows the hacker culture, they tend to just use the word 黑客 or 骇客 without any evil connotation. This is because these people knows the original meaning of the English word "hacker" and consider 黑客/骇客 as merely the transliteration of "hacker". However, this is not the case for ordinary people, who does not know the original English word.
For most of the people that does not know much of the hacker culture, 黑客 are the ones participate in harmful activities by internet technologies, such as creating malware or attacking/spying other's devices through internet. Actually 黑 is often related to harmful things such as 幕后黑手 and 黑帮. In other regions 黑客 is written as 骇客. 骇 means to scare, so 骇客 is also a negative expression.
Other variations mentioned on Wikipedia such as 白帽 are not wildly used outside the circle. When mentioning anyone as X帽黑客 or X客, it is usually related to cracking something whether or not a harmful result is caused by the action. However, this is different from the your description:
Hacker /ˈhækər/ (noun)
- One who likes to program.
- One who utilizes technology to go beyond the limits inherent to the design of an application.
where the focus is not cracking but making use of technology. As a result, I don't think 黑客/骇客 is the word you are looking for.
There is a loanword from Japanese: 技术宅.
- 宅：spend lots of time at home
So this word is used to describe people who spend a lot time at home to explore some kind of technology, and enjoy doing so.
The good point of this word is, usually the technology that is explored at home is IT related. So usually 技术宅s are good at programming.
This translation is not perfect, because 1, it is not limited to programming; 2, sometimes people focus on the 宅 part of the word to mention these people are not good at social. But I think these problem are solved if you put it into a context.
This answer is based on my experience on PRC forums and video platforms. It might not be true for other regions