Forum Thread: Learning to Program

Hello all aspiring IT enthusiasts -- here's a quick, heavily important topic relating to a skill every hacker should have some solid knowledge and capabilities of: programming!! But which one(s)?

I don't know how to program, nor would I be able to really recognize which is which. Now, I know in order to become more elite and proficient with my network pen. testing skills, programming would be extremely valuable. It could help automate some redundant tasks in order to prepping for surveying a network/target, writing an insert to be placed inside a PDF document, writing an insert to be placed in an HTML tag of a photo or word document, or simply understanding a exploit or piece of code from a payload, and being able to take that code and add to it or manipulate it as desired. Programming can come in so many different uses, more than I could imagine. And the examples given are not based off of personal experience but of readings and self-imagined scenarios.

So the question comes back -- for someone who doesn't know how to program, yet wants to get his/her feet wet and learn a solid good language for a first timer, which language you everyone here suggest? Java? PHP? SQL(is that a language? lol), C?, C++? Python, which language would you guys suggest for a first timer, completely new to the realm? A language that's.... easiest, yet most useful for pen testing? Any suggestions?


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9 Responses

John John:

VB is pretty easy, but I would recommend starting out with C++. Sure, it's a bit unforgiving but it's very powerful; plus you'll be a better coder by getting your head around C++ instead of VB at first.

But that's just my opinion, others may disagree.


John John:

I won't disagree with Ghost on C++, but most hackers use a scripting language such as PERL, Ruby or Python. I would suggest learning one of those first. I began a series on scripting starting with shell scripting and Powershell scripting and will soon be tackling PERL and Ruby.


Right on, OTW. I did see those threads. I was thinking of starting out with one of those or maybe java. I read through your bash thread and pick up quite a few good hints and helpers. Definitely beneficial! Shell/bash is a scripting language, too, right, OTW? Is Java considered a scripting language?

Master OTW: Your tutorials are all really clear and helpful. Btw could you start on python rather than PERL or Ruby ? Thx


I will be doing all, but I believe that Perl is most important to Linux users and exploits in Metasploit are written in Ruby, so I want to cover it. Python is almost very important and I'll get to it as well.


Hi OTW, may i ask you a question, although i know how to do basic programming, eg, c++, python, i can do loops, conditionals, yada yada, but how can i use it to interact with the environment. compared to vbs ( considering using windows) script and batch script , shell script which seems to interact with the environment more directly. i can't seem to fully understand how they linked up with one another. Could you explain it more in-depth on the interactions ? Thanks !!!

OTW: Ahhh i see... Thanks for the clarification . Anyway do keep up your post. you definitely inspire many of us in this community. Hwaiting !

Plain old C is really good to get your head around programming with, its brutally rigid, and once you can program in C everything else is much much easier to pick up.

This is just a personal view, i don't disagree with Master OTW or Ghost, and both the languages by them are more immediately useful. But i have found that after you can program in C well, everything else is easy

I dont know none of the above but i think if i will start i would go with C++ cos i have seen my friends use it and its a bit understandable than the others but VB is very nice.

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