Although hacker has many definitions, we believe most people asking this question are interested in malicious coding. Computer Hope does not teach or condone cracking, stealing, breaking, or otherwise illegal cyber activity. However, a hacker may also be defined as someone with an advanced understanding of computers and programming. If you want to learn more about this side of hacker, see the suggestions below.
Learn more about computers
Computer basics - Having a good understanding of a computer, its components, and how it works is essential for anyone, not just hackers.
Books - Make it a goal to read computer books that cover your interests. Visiting popular online bookstores, such as Amazon, and browse through the top 100 books on your subject is a great place to start. Audible has an enormous selection of e-books, if you prefer that method of reading.
Online news - Visit the Computer News pages at least a few times weekly to keep up with all the latest computer news. Visit our computer news links for a list of great news sites.
Participate in forums - The Internet is full of online forums, where thousands of other users participate with each other in answering questions or talking about what they love to do. Participating in these forums will not only allow you to test your understanding of the subject, but also learn from others. A great example of an online forum would be theComputer help forums.
Build a computer - If you want to learn more about the hardware aspect of a computer, there is nothing more educational than putting one together. Not only will this help broaden your knowledge of computer hardware, but can help with diagnosing hardware problems, and teach you more about how computers work. There are plenty of websites with instructions on how to build your own machine.
Pick up a programming language
Learning how software works by studying a programming language is an invaluable tool. It teaches you how to create your own programs, and how to debug them. It also gives you a better understanding of how programs work. Our programming language definition lists many of the more popular programming languages.
Also, learning scripting languages such as Perl and PHP and even the basics of HTML web design, are advantageous for anyone interested in setting up and tweaking websites.
If you need more experience with programming, creating your own open source project or helping with another open project can be a helpful learning experience. Creating your own website can also be another great learning experience as it shows the details behind website design and setup.
Learn alternative operating system
Many people today run some version of Microsoft Windows, which is fine for home and office use, but it is also a good idea to learn alternative operating systems such as Linux. Learning a Linux distro not only helps broaden your experience, but is a necessity when wanting to navigate Linux based servers running websites and other web services.
Tip: If you have access to a server that is hosting your website, you may have access to SSH, which allows you to connect to a server and is another good way to learn the Linux command line.
If you are new to Linux, Ubuntu is a good distro for new users to try. This distro of Linux can also be run by booting it off of a CD. However, if you want a full experience, it is better to install Ubuntu or another distro on the computer.