Programming Languages

There are plenty of people out there who say you can be good at computers and cyber security without knowing how to program. Those people are wrong. I don't mind being a jerk about it because it ain't gatekeeping if I'm pointing you at the door.

If you can't program, you are going to spend a horrible amount of time clicking things and manually doing things that should be automated. Of course, there are exceptions for people with very specific jobs, but for everyone else, a working knowledge of programming and the ability to script anything will carry you as far as you need to go. You will always be learning and forgetting basic parts of the languages you work with, but it becomes easier to get back into an old language or learn a new one every time. But before you can start writing your own malware and machine learning pipelines, it's time to learn the basics of programming, Git, HTML, and get proficient with Python.

Programming Languages

This is important. Try to really understand the breadth of what programming languages are.

  1. In your own words, describe what a program is.
  2. In your own words describe what a programming language is.

I like to think of it as anything that you can put text down and create something else that does a thing. Do graphical programming languages count? I don't know, but you can use them to make very impressive programs, so... count it!

Are HTML and CSS Programming Languages?

There is a common gatekeepy thing where people say that "front end" or "UI" developers aren't real programmers if they only work with HTML and CSS. It's pretty messed up, and it is very often driven by sexism. So let's get something out of the way... writing HTML and CSS is ridiculously hard and I have the utmost respect for anyone who can make a website not look terrible (like my website... it looks so bad). With that said, HTML and CSS are not programming languages according to the exact definition of the word. Anyone who uses them is a coder and a developer, and yes, a programmer, but the languages themselves really don't fit the definition.

As a general rule, if you see someone saying that HTML and CSS aren't programming languages, they might be technically correct, but most of the time they are trying to provoke a fight. Those people are not worth your time. Alright, with that out of the way, time to learn how to program in HTML and CSS!

Teach Yourself Programming in 10 Years

I will write some more about this, but I think it is an excellent read. This is an expert programmer's article on what it takes to learn how to program, with a good discussion of a lot of the ideas that I lean into throughout this course.