Best Programming Languages to Start Learning & General Advice
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  1. #1
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    Best Programming Languages to Start Learning & General Advice

    I quickly realized that database administration would not be my forte. I like thinking out of the box, and puzzles. Database administration did not seem to offer that to me, so I am going to try to emphasize my degree towards security.

    There seems to be a lot of information on the Internet, but I would like you are experienced perspective on some information on how to start studying and preparing while taking classes with Kaplan University online.
    ----------------------
    1. What primary programming language, do I need to start with?

    2. if I want to practice what I learned, how is a safe and ethical way to practice cracking into a computer causing no harm. By this I mean, do you try setting up a dummy computer, and then trying to bypass all the security programs? Would this let you test yourself against programs that you are familiar with? and would this even be helpful in gaining experience on how to defend yourself against it approaches?

    3. Any links or general information on starting this route would be greatly appreciated. I understand that some say it is necessary to start off as a network administrator, before you can move into security as a specialty.

    4. Lastly, I am a musician and a creative type. However, I don't think that website design would pay enough, or long term be as interesting. The database side seemed a little droll to me, do you think the security side constantly challenges you and makes you think in creative ways? I want to know if this would be a field that would align myself with my personality. Namely, I am the type that in college algebra worked my problems backwards and forwards without the solution guide, just to prove that I knew exactly how it worked and knew in the back of my head.
    -----------
    Thank you, each for your time, and I look forward to learning more from you. I am very new to this, and quite the newbie.

    Sincerely,
    Wannabee
    Last edited by specterunseen; May 19th, 2008 at 01:42 AM.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    I quickly realized that database administration would not be my forte.
    That probably means that you are working at the wrong sort of outfit, and basically are a database "janitor" If you work for a medium sized outfit and get into data analysis, database design and data mining, you would find it far more challenging. At that level you are taking on business analysis, systems architecture and management reporting, which broadens your scope considerably.

    If you have already embarked on a DBA course, then the first language to look at is SQL of some form or another, as that is generally how you get anything useful out of a database.

    Then bone up on Crystal reports, MS Access and MS Excel (I just know that I will get a hammering for this ). I know that sounds weird, but it means that you can actually communicate with users without appearing to have come from the planet Tharg on the last shuttle.

    I guess that if you are going along the MS route then Visual Basic would be a useful language.

    Just remember that there are no glamorous roles in IT
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  3. #3
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    No. I have not started. I'm a freshman with basic courses right now. I'm trying to setup my next classes.

    I'm PLANNING, not in dataadmin yet.

    I'm not expecting glorious excitment. But I do want a challenge, something to continually push me, ability for high pay, and a oppurtunity once I become well accomplished to work some consulting or telecommute.

    I just don't think managing a database or programming databases would fit my personality. What do you think of the security side? What kind of "personality profile" would fit for this?


    thanks for your valuable time.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    OK, so you are going through the "academic phase" of your career right now. It is important to remember that and to bear in mind that as you progress in your career development phase you will be looking for professional certification.

    My recommendation for the academic phase is to get some well recognised generic principles type courses/modules behind you. Quite a few young people are tempted to over specialise or specialise too early. This should come in your certification and professional accreditation phase in my humble opinion.

    You will be using that degree for the rest of your life, so please make it a good one! certification keeps having to be renewed as the specifics change over time. Also consider that for a "professional" certification or accreditation to be accepted by an employer it needs to be gained in a hands on working environment.

    Basically, your academic qualification is proof to your employer that you are worth investing in by way of further training

    What do you think of the security side?
    I would forget it. The reason I say that is that the people that I know who work in that field all started out life doing something else......... usually systems, database, or network administration. It is not a field you can jump straight into from academia.

    Another thing to consider is that as an undergraduate you have another three years or so to spend studying. Do you think that security issues now will be the same in three years time?......... well, the ones you might have any impact on?

    You want to earn big bucks? well that means that you need to be one of:

    1. A drug dealer
    2. A pimp
    3. A professional assassin/mercenary
    4. A corrupt politician
    5. A manager (CEO, CIO, CFO et cetera)

    #5 is the one you are interested in, so you should see if there is a financial management and/or budgetary control module available. You will need that to be recognised as managerial material as you will have to prepare, manage, and report finance as a line manager.

    Ultimately I would recommend an MBA as a second degree, given that that qualification has Worldwide acceptance.

    Sorry to drone on for so long
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  5. #5
    Senior Member isildur's Avatar
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    1) As to a programming language, you might consider C. There are a lot of open source projects out there that you could then get involved in to practice your skills. When I was in college I learned Pascal and Lisp. You don't see much buzz about Pascal any more but Lisp might still be useful.

    2) If you have some buddies you might try setting up boxes to attempt to crack. There used to be some public sites that people would put up on the net with an open invitation to try to crack. Not sure if they still do that now but you might look around for them. Setting up your own box... not sure how useful that would be. It is kind of like trying to out think yourself. The legal environment is quite a bit different than it used to be for all of this sort of thing.

    3) I agree with Nihil, this is a tough field to get involved in. There are some crackers that make the transition over but I am not sure it is worth the jail time you might get first.

    4) .... no comment.
    Only trust Pipe-smoking Penguins.

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    Ok. Then since computer security seems to be hard to specifically get into, what about cybercrime with the police force or something along those lines?

    Kaplan online has a "computer crime" degree. Perhaps getting computer forensics would be interesting, since it would seem this would be a challenge?....

    Comments?


    --ps: i hate that most areas I get interested tend to be the "hard to get into" fields.... Why can't i find something interesting that is "easy" to get into!?!?! I guess because then there would be no great challege to becoming good at it!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by nihil
    OK, so you are going through the "academic phase" of your career right now. It is important to remember that and to bear in mind that as you progress in your career development phase you will be looking for professional certification.

    My recommendation for the academic phase is to get some well recognised generic principles type courses/modules behind you. Quite a few young people are tempted to over specialise or specialise too early. This should come in your certification and professional accreditation phase in my humble opinion.

    You will be using that degree for the rest of your life, so please make it a good one! certification keeps having to be renewed as the specifics change over time. Also consider that for a "professional" certification or accreditation to be accepted by an employer it needs to be gained in a hands on working environment.

    Basically, your academic qualification is proof to your employer that you are worth investing in by way of further training



    I would forget it. The reason I say that is that the people that I know who work in that field all started out life doing something else......... usually systems, database, or network administration. It is not a field you can jump straight into from academia.

    Another thing to consider is that as an undergraduate you have another three years or so to spend studying. Do you think that security issues now will be the same in three years time?......... well, the ones you might have any impact on?

    You want to earn big bucks? well that means that you need to be one of:

    1. A drug dealer
    2. A pimp
    3. A professional assassin/mercenary
    4. A corrupt politician
    5. A manager (CEO, CIO, CFO et cetera)

    #5 is the one you are interested in, so you should see if there is a financial management and/or budgetary control module available. You will need that to be recognised as managerial material as you will have to prepare, manage, and report finance as a line manager.

    Ultimately I would recommend an MBA as a second degree, given that that qualification has Worldwide acceptance.

    Sorry to drone on for so long
    Your input is greatly valued.. At this point management has a foul taste in my mouth though.... dang it. I appreciate your help and input!

  8. #8
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    At this point management has a foul taste in my mouth though.... dang it.
    Sure, but that is where the bucks are?

    Look to the future?.... in the next 10 years these self-glorifying "pen testers" will be as obsolete as dinosaurs...... right now they are little better than script kiddies............

    Ask them what they have designed and written themselves.........?

    Take some advice from an old fart?...... only bad management leaves a foul taste?

    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by nihil
    Sure, but that is where the bucks are?

    Look to the future?.... in the next 10 years these self-glorifying "pen testers" will be as obsolete as dinosaurs...... right now they are little better than script kiddies............

    Ask them what they have designed and written themselves.........?

    Take some advice from an old fart?...... only bad management leaves a foul taste?
    I meant, I tried managment (albeit with one of the most nightmarish HR situations, insubordination I wasn't allowed to address, and team of poorly performing employees that eventually got fired...)... and I didn't like it. I don't deal well with repetitive stupid questions, people not coming in... Etc. ... I think I could like management in a more professional atmosphere and more experince on my side... I work in collections right now , and it seems anything goes. I miss some of the professional atmospheres I've been in.


    So in reference to the Forensics, you're telling me they are "script kiddies"? Crime and computers I thought would be a growing field, highly in demand. The pay for your knowledge can be high, $150 to UP to $450 an hour is what one article said.... this however is the premium for a highly renowned expert.

    I want to do something challenging, and the cybercrime/forensic side seems like a foothold into computer security, that I could work and still make pretty good money. Am I completely wrong here? Help me out, remember you guys are the experined ones, thats why I came to you. I like the idea of a computers and crime (fighting crime that is )

    Thanks!

  10. #10
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    I meant, I tried managment (albeit with one of the most nightmarish HR situations, insubordination I wasn't allowed to address, and team of poorly performing employees that eventually got fired...)... and I didn't like it.
    You were not a manager. A true manager has hire/fire and policy making rights. Anything less and you are just a supervisor.

    So in reference to the Forensics, you're telling me they are "script kiddies"? Crime and computers I thought would be a growing field
    Please do not confuse "security" and "forensics", they are actually quite different fields. I would personally predict that forensics will be a growth industry but unfortunately lacking in funding and commitment right now.

    I still feel that you need qualifications in one of the basic IT fields before you can specialise.
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

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