Timeline: Transitioning From Programmer To Pentester

4 min readFeb 23


Making a career transition from an IT job in programming to a pentesting job can seem like a daunting task. However, with the right steps and resources, it is possible to make this transition successfully. This article will provide a step-by-step guide on how to make the transition, including the necessary skills to acquire, the certifications to obtain, and the job opportunities to pursue. We will also provide a timeline for the different steps to help you stay on track.

Step 1

Learn the Fundamentals of Pentesting To transition from an IT job in programming to a pentesting job, it’s important to learn the fundamentals of pentesting. This includes understanding the different types of attacks, how they work, and how to defend against them. There are many resources available to help you learn these fundamentals, including online courses, books, and blogs.

Some popular online courses to learn the fundamentals of pentesting include:

  • Udemy’s “Learn Ethical Hacking From Scratch”
  • Cybrary’s “Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking”
  • Pluralsight’s “Ethical Hacking: Penetration Testing for Beginners”

You can also check out books such as “The Basics of Hacking and Penetration Testing” by Patrick Engebretson and “Penetration Testing: A Hands-On Introduction to Hacking” by Georgia Weidman.

Step 2

Obtain Pentesting Certifications To be a successful pentester, it’s important to obtain relevant certifications that validate your skills and knowledge. Some popular pentesting certifications include:

  • Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) by EC-Council
  • Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP) by Offensive Security
  • Certified Penetration Testing Engineer (CPTE) by Mile2
  • Practical Network Penetration Tester (PNPT) By TCM
  • Certified Network & Website Pentesting Profesional (CNWPP) By Thexssrat

You can check out the respective certification providers’ websites to learn more about the requirements, exam format, and preparation resources for each…


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