|The Unix and Internet Fundamentals HOWTO, by Eric Raymond|
|How To Become A Hacker||Search for a title, author or keyword|
How To Become A Hacker
by Eric Steven Raymond. Attitude is no substitute for competence, and there's a certain basic toolkit of skills which you have to have before any hacker will dream of calling you one. First: Learn how to program. This, of course, is the fundamental hacking skill. If you don't know any computer languages, I recommend starting with Python: it is very powerful and flexible and well suited for large projects. If you get into serious programming, you will have to learn C, the core language of Unix. C++ is very closely related to C; if you know one, learning the other will not be difficult. Neither language is a good one to try learning as your first, however. And, actually, the more you can avoid programming in C the more productive you will be. C is very efficient, and very sparing of your machine's resources. Unfortunately, C gets that efficiency by requiring you to do a lot of low-level management of resources (like memory) by hand. All that low-level code is complex and bug-prone, and will soak up huge amounts of your time on debugging. With today's machines as powerful as they are, this is usually a bad tradeoff — it's smarter to use a language that uses the machine's time less efficiently, but your time much more efficiently. Thus, Python.
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