Having a solid foundation in Computer Science is important to become a successful Pentester or Software Engineer. This guide is a suggested path for university students to develop their technical skills academically and non-academically through self paced hands-on learning. You may use this guide to determine courses to take, but please make sure you are taking courses required for your major in order to graduate. The online resources provided in this guide are not meant to replace courses available at your university. However, they may help supplement your learnings or provide an introduction to a topic.
Recommendations for Academic Learnings
- Introduction to CS Course. Take Introduction to Computer Science courses that provide basic instructions on coding.
- Code in at least one object oriented programming language: C++, Java, or Python.
Intermediate Online Resources: Udacity’s Design of Computer Programs, Coursera – Learn to Program: Crafting Quality Code, Coursera – Programming Languages, Brown University – Introduction to Programming Languages
- Test Your Code. Notes: Learn how to catch bugs, create tests, and break your software
- Develop logical reasoning and knowledge of discrete math
- Develop strong understanding of Algorithms and Data Structures. Notes: Learn about fundamental data types (stack, queues, and bags), sorting algorithms (quicksort, mergesort, heapsort), data structures (binary search trees, red-black trees, hash tables), and Big O.
- Develop a strong knowledge of operating systems
- Learn UX Design
- Learn Artificial Intelligence
- Learn how to build compilers
- Learn cryptography
- Learn Parallel Programming
- Work on project outside of the classroom. Notes: Create and maintain a website, build your own server, or build a robot.
- Work on a small piece of a large system (codebase), read and understand existing code, track down documentation, and debug things. Notes: GitHub is a great way to read other people’s code or contribute to a project.
- Work on project with other programmers. Notes: This will help you improve your ability to work well in a team and enable you to learn from others.
- Practice your algorithmic knowledge and coding skills. Notes: Practice your algorithmic knowledge through coding competitions like CodeJam or ACM’s International Collegiate Programming Contest.