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#1 guren  Icon User is offline

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My programming path

Posted 25 March 2013 - 12:19 PM

Hey guys
I'm new to the forum it seems very active and full of good advice! So I want to ask a question about what should I do to achieve my goal.

Right now I finished my A+ exam and got my license, I'm studying for my N+ license, and planing on getting the S+ license. On my own I'm studying python, I'm halfway through the book 'http://learnpythonthehardway.org/', my goal is to become a security programmer, I love the idea of hacking a security system learning it's weakness and improving it(legally).
I just wanted help from anyone who could lead me in the right direction, like what are good python books, what topics should I master, when to start learning other languages, what should be my focus be as a beginner, really anything that can help me achieve my goal, since I dont have any mentors or go to college, I have been on my own trying to figure out what are my options.

All help is greatly appreciated!!

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Replies To: My programming path

#2 macosxnerd101  Icon User is online

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Re: My programming path

Posted 25 March 2013 - 12:32 PM

You might consider paying a visit to our Python forum. There are helpful threads like this one, which should get you going in the right direction. Best of luck! :)
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#3 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: My programming path

Posted 25 March 2013 - 12:32 PM

The best single reference that I know of for Python is Beazley's Complete Reference. The book is very densely packed, and has not just reference but also explanations. This book has replaced the O'Reilly volumes on my bookshelf.

You would do well to walk through the MIT Open Courseware python course - in fact, there are two versions, and it wouldn't be too crazy to just do it twice, or at least do the first one and then do the assignments from the second. (and watch the lectures if you feel you need to)

For security programming, you'll want to do a lot of math. Cryptography is basically applied number theory, so you'll want that. The only really good course on coursera of the half-dozen or so I've seen has been Dan Boneh's Cryptography. Try that - if you find yourself getting stuck, you'll know where you need to study. The course is run periodically throughout the year, but since it's always up, you can do it any time you like. (you won't get credit for doing it out of turn, but the credit doesn't mean anything, so don't worry about it).

Those are a couple of ideas. For the most part, much of the usual advice about becoming a programmer applies: do lots of practice problems (try the Euler Project problems - great practice especially if you want to hack mathy stuff like security) and study algorithms (you want to understand time complexity if you're looking to crack cryptographic protocols, or to understand how they can be cracked) and write lots and lots of code.
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#4 guren  Icon User is offline

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Re: My programming path

Posted 25 March 2013 - 12:45 PM

View Postmacosxnerd101, on 25 March 2013 - 12:32 PM, said:

You might consider paying a visit to our Python forum. There are helpful threads like this one, which should get you going in the right direction. Best of luck! :)/>



Thank you for your help, great blog and looking forward to learning from the python forum!!

View Postjon.kiparsky, on 25 March 2013 - 12:32 PM, said:

The best single reference that I know of for Python is Beazley's Complete Reference. The book is very densely packed, and has not just reference but also explanations. This book has replaced the O'Reilly volumes on my bookshelf.

You would do well to walk through the MIT Open Courseware python course - in fact, there are two versions, and it wouldn't be too crazy to just do it twice, or at least do the first one and then do the assignments from the second. (and watch the lectures if you feel you need to)

For security programming, you'll want to do a lot of math. Cryptography is basically applied number theory, so you'll want that. The only really good course on coursera of the half-dozen or so I've seen has been Dan Boneh's Cryptography. Try that - if you find yourself getting stuck, you'll know where you need to study. The course is run periodically throughout the year, but since it's always up, you can do it any time you like. (you won't get credit for doing it out of turn, but the credit doesn't mean anything, so don't worry about it).

Those are a couple of ideas. For the most part, much of the usual advice about becoming a programmer applies: do lots of practice problems (try the Euler Project problems - great practice especially if you want to hack mathy stuff like security) and study algorithms (you want to understand time complexity if you're looking to crack cryptographic protocols, or to understand how they can be cracked) and write lots and lots of code.


Great advice you are the second person to mention euler poject as a good place to practice, and I recently saw the stanford cryptography 1 class so I'm going to check it out. Thanks for help !!!
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