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Should I learn to code for a career in Infosec?

December 5, 2023
Written by
Anushika Babu

Don't make the same mistake!

Many in the InfoSec community are hesitant, often dismissing coding as a skill exclusive to programmers. According to the Cybersecurity Skills Gap Report 2022 by (ISC)², 72% of organizations have difficulty finding qualified cybersecurity professionals with the skills they need. The report also found that programming skills are in high demand, with 63% of organizations saying that they need more employees with advanced technical skills.

The term coding has long been associated with software development and programming, leading many security professionals to believe that it may not be directly relevant to their roles. However, this perception couldn't be further from the truth. Coding in the information security industry involves more than just writing software; it encompasses a range of skills that can profoundly impact an individual's career trajectory within the security domain.

The Significance of Coding in Different InfoSec Domains

In various InfoSec domains, coding assumes an indispensable role, serving as a dynamic tool that enhances the effectiveness of security professionals across diverse spectrums.

Coding proficiency does not limit itself to specific domains in InfoSec but permeates every facet of the industry. From designing secure systems to implementing encryption protocols and from analyzing network traffic for anomalous behavior to building secure applications, coding expertise is the cornerstone of modern cybersecurity practices.

GRC Career and Coding

While coding may not seem immediately obvious when ensuring that an organization is adhering to regulatory requirements, its application is transforming GRC practices and opening new avenues for efficiency and accuracy. Coding in GRC can empower professionals in various ways. For instance, automating compliance monitoring processes using code can significantly reduce manual efforts, minimize human errors, and enhance the overall effectiveness of compliance initiatives. 

Offensive Security Career and Coding

Understanding the role of coding in offensive security is essential for ethical hackers to excel in their craft. With the ability to code, they can craft sophisticated exploits, automate repetitive tasks, and conduct comprehensive vulnerability assessments with precision. By taking advantage of coding to create custom tools, offensive security professionals can stay one step ahead of potential threats, effectively testing the resilience of their clients' systems and enhancing the overall security posture.

Security Engineering, SecOps, and Coding

Security engineers, responsible for designing and implementing robust security architectures, find coding to be a vital tool in their arsenal. Coding allows security engineers to develop custom security solutions tailored to the unique needs of their organizations. They can create security modules, implement encryption protocols, and develop secure APIs, all of which form the bedrock of a comprehensive security posture.

Overcoming Challenges in Learning to Code for InfoSec Professionals

Many security professionals face challenges when attempting to acquire this valuable skill. However, with determination and the right approach, these obstacles can be overcome, paving the way for enhanced career prospects and increased effectiveness in the cybersecurity domain.

  • Misconceptions and Perceptions. Belief that coding is only for programmers, deterring some InfoSec professionals.
  • Time Constraints. Struggling to balance learning coding with busy InfoSec careers.
  • Imposter Syndrome. Feeling inadequate or intimidated by more experienced coders.
  • Lack of Prior Experience. Limited background in computer science or programming.
  • Finding Suitable Resources. Difficulty in identifying coding courses tailored to InfoSec.
  • Maintaining Motivation. Staying inspired throughout the learning process.
  • Balancing Practical Application. Translating coding skills to InfoSec scenarios.
  • Limited Peer Support. Lack of a supportive coding community.
  • Competing with Work Responsibilities. Finding time to practice coding amidst work tasks.
  • Consistency in Learning. Struggling to maintain a regular learning schedule.

Here are strategies to overcome the challenges faced by InfoSec professionals when learning to code:

  • Embrace a growth mindset and acknowledge that coding is a learnable skill for anyone.
  • Dedicate consistent time each week to practice coding and prioritize learning alongside work commitments.
  • Celebrate small victories, seek mentorship or peer support, and remember that everyone starts as a beginner in coding.
  • Start with beginner-friendly coding languages and resources, focusing on building foundational knowledge.
  • Research and explore coding courses tailored for InfoSec professionals and seek recommendations from peers and online communities.
  • Set clear goals, join coding communities for support, and engage in practical projects to see the real-world impact of coding.
  • Work on hands-on projects that apply coding skills to InfoSec scenarios, such as creating security tools or participating in Capture The Flag competitions.
  • Seek like-minded peers or create study groups for mutual support, feedback, and encouragement.
  • Prioritize learning by creating a schedule that includes dedicated time for coding practice.
  • Establish a routine and stick to it, setting aside time regularly to reinforce coding skills and maintain progress.

The Best Programming Languages to Learn for InfoSec Professionals

When venturing into the world of coding for InfoSec, choosing the right programming languages can make a significant difference in one's effectiveness and versatility. Here, we highlight some of the best programming languages that hold immense value for InfoSec professionals, equipping them with the tools they need to navigate the dynamic cybersecurity landscape.


Python is a top choice for InfoSec professionals because of its readability and versatility. Its extensive library support and ease of use make it ideal for tasks like penetration testing, automating security operations, and developing security tools.


Highly favored for its flexibility and expressiveness, Ruby is a powerful language for developing web applications and automating security tasks. It is widely used in Metasploit, a popular penetration testing framework.


These languages provide low-level access to computer memory, making them valuable for vulnerability discovery, exploit development, and reverse engineering.


Native to Windows systems, PowerShell is essential for Windows-focused InfoSec tasks, such as incident response, system administration, and Active Directory security.


JavaScript is vital for web application security because it is used to identify and address client-side vulnerabilities and perform security assessments on web assets.

Go (Golang)

Go is emerging as a preferred language for developing secure network services and tools. It's recognized for its efficiency and concurrency support.


While not a general-purpose programming language, SQL is critical for database security and handling queries securely.

Bash Scripting

Bash scripting is an indispensable skill for automating tasks on Unix-based systems that aid in security monitoring and log analysis.

AppSecEngineer—Revolutionizing InfoSec Training with Hands-On Secure Coding

While challenges may arise when learning to code, embracing a growth mindset, dedicating consistent time, and seeking peer support are crucial steps to overcome these obstacles. 

AppSecEngineer caters to the training needs of InfoSec professionals. We’re a full-stack application security training platform offering an invaluable feature called Playgrounds. Playgrounds allow developers to engage in hands-on secure coding exercises within minutes that empower them to hone their skills in a practical and immersive environment. 

Whether it's for Security Champions, DevOps, Pentesters, or more, AppSecEngineer provides a powerful platform for individuals to acquire essential coding skills and stay at the forefront of the information security domain.

Take the first step towards becoming an InfoSec expert! Get in touch with us to get started.

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Anushika Babu

Anushika Babu

Marketer, Designer and Mom. Her coffee is never hot enough.

Anushika Babu


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