Hacking by Solis Tech: How to Hack Computers, Basic Security and Penetration Testing (2014)
Chapter 8: Hacking Skills: Learn Programming
Skills in hacking are just as important as attitude. A toolkit of basic hacking skills can pave the way to becoming a real hacker. Skills required continually evolve as technology advances. Hacking skills that were effective in the last century are different from the skills of hackers in recent years. However, the right foundation can help one in successfully evolving with the changes of time.
Learning programming skills
Software evolves as the needs and technological breakthroughs change to match the changing needs of the world. But whatever changes may occur, one thing is at the core: programming skills. Anyone who wants to learn how to hack must first learn how to program. If not, then one cannot be able to keep up with the rapid software development. Programming skills is at the core of all hacking skills.
A person who has no experience or any basic knowledge on programming may start learning Python. This is a widely used programming language that’s easy to understand. Beginners will find Python kind, with its well-documented and very clean design.
Python is a great first programming language to learn. However, it’s not to be taken lightly. Despite it being easy to learn, it is a very powerful language. It is very flexible and can be very effective for large projects.
Java is another good programming language to start learning programming skills. However, some hackers do not recommend this as a starting point for learning how to program. As a hacker, one must know exactly what each section does. Learning Java won’t provide this vital lesson. Some explain that learning Java as a first programming language is like learning how to be a plumber by taking a trip to the hardware store. A hacker must know and understand what the components of the language actually do in order to find solutions and find ways to work with or around them.
Learning the C programming language is learning on an advanced level. This is the core language for many other software programs and applications such as Unix. C++ is another advanced language that, when learned, can be a very helpful skill to use. C program is a very efficient language and does not require too much from a computer’s resources. However, it requires doing a lot of things and most if it at low-level resource management activities and manually. Low-level code management is bug-prone, especially when beginners work on it. It is also very complex, which may be too much for a beginner at software programming. Debugging will also take up too much time and may not even yield high success rates, even for those who are already quite familiar with the language. With today’s technology, it is more efficient to work with programming languages that uses less time and require less from the machine’s resources but should also use up less of the user’s or programmer’s time.
Tip to learning programming skills:
There are so many programming languages that do lots of things. The best tip in choosing which one to use to start learning is determining what it can ultimately do. For instance, a program that can handle critical processes may not be easy to learn. But when one becomes highly proficient in using such a program, it can be a valuable skill. It also takes dedication and determination to learn a programming language. Also, do not stop with learning just one programming language. Continuous learning is the key to be able to understand and keep up with the developments in the technological world.
Other programming languages that are of great use to hackers include LISP and Perl. These are more advanced and complex than Python but is very helpful. These languages are widely used in systems administration and in active web pages. This means learning to read Perl is enough. There is no necessity to actually learn how to write and use it. One of the reasons is that Perl is widely used because takes up less of the programmer’s time. Knowledge and understanding of Perl will open up a huge selection of places to hack on the web.
There is a whole new other reason for learning LISP. This would provide a profound enlightening experience and will greatly improve one’s programming skills. Even though LISP won’t be used as frequently as the other programming languages, understanding it can help make hacking so much easier and more effective because of its many applications.
The best way to be a great hacker is to learn all five programming languages. These are Python, C and/or C++, Java, Lisp and Perl. These languages are the most important ones to be familiar with in the hacking world. These are representative programming languages for the different approaches commonly used across several types of programs and applications. Each of these languages will provide valuable lessons and knowledge that can greatly improve hacking skills.
On Learning Programming Languages
However, despite learning all these languages, it won’t be enough to achieve a high skill level in hacking. One should be able to approach a problem-solving method. Also, learning programming languages is pretty much the same as learning any other language—it needs time for lots of reading and writing.