Career Change & Coding Newbie

Hi all,

Im 41 yrs old and looking to shift into cyber security. I am a complete newbie. Do you have some advice where to start? My goal is in the pentesting direction but am not sure if I need to be able to code in order to gain those certifications? I realise its better to know code but I want to figure out the fastest path to career realisation. Much appreciated for all advise.

It is discussed here. So yeah, it appears that for a good career path some coding would be good. Even on a basic level, I would assume that you would need to do some scripting, at least for pentesting.

I gather that Python is the most important thing to learn for what you want to do. You’ll perhaps notice that FCC has some course in Python, starting here. It might be good to pick up some basic Bash too, but you might pick that up as you learn anyway.

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There is also a discussion here.


Pentesting covers a lot of different areas. I guess the fastest path is to find whatever speaks to you the most. If you want to get your hands dirty working with the digital part you can’t avoid learning code. As suggested, Python is a good language to learn and I would suggest JS as well.

I’m sure that there are more administrative roles that deal with security at a higher level (specs, standards, and law compliance) you can work with without knowing much about code, but that isn’t really pentesting (it can be part of the overall assessment done).

Here is one of the many lists you can find on Github. It’s just a curated list of resources (scroll down to the bottom to see more of the lists on GitHub under the awesome banner).

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