My Python Journey – Blog #1

One of the great things about blogs can be their interesting titles. I had a couple of titles picked out for this blog/series that I am going to be writing.

The one that liked was “40 year old Python Virgin.” This was my feeble attempt to play off the fact that I am new to Python…well, new to any scripting or development as well as my approximate age. I certainly don’t plan on having my chest waxed and don’t feel like oil diving like Steve Carell does in the movie “40 year old virgin.”  I was happy with the title until I actually said it out loud. I was talking to my friends Josh and Matt in a coffee shop. As far as I am concerned, you can get so much done over either coffee or bourbon (drinking some Elijah Craig now)…either one I am fine with. After I said it out loud and saw my friends’ smirks, I realized how poor of a choice that was. At least they got a kick out of it. So, “My Python Journey” it was.

I mentioned in my last blog that one of the things that can help you grow as a security professional was to start writing code. I have tried many times to learn Python as well as other languages. Python made the most sense to me. Well, that and PowerShell. I would go through the lessons or the class and it would make sense at the time but then I would forget most of it after I was finished. I was, quite obviously, going about it all wrong. I need to find a problem that I want to solve or something that I want to improve upon and then try to make that work with Python. Below are a few options of what I may try and do. For one reason or another, they all mean something to me.


Option 1: My kids love YouTube. Frankly, who doesn’t. They have specific YouTubers that they watch. Some I like. Some I don’t. I want to create a small user interface for them to enter in certain criteria and have a playlist created and launched for them. This way I can tell them that they can watch YouTube all they like but have to choose the channels and/or topics that they want to watch through my approved list. There will be other criteria that they can enter such as date and duration of the video as well.

Option 2: I have a YouTube channel. The channel has nothing to do with InfoSec. It is a couple of “Average Joe’s” making cocktails. The channel is One of the things that we struggle with is choosing what drinks to make. If we only made the drinks that we liked, we may not have very many people interested. We want to choose some of the drinks that are “trending.” I want to have a small application that I can input criteria that will show me what is popular and which drinks are being searched for. This will allow us to make intelligent decisions on what we drinks we should make.


Option 3: At work, we have a very large and diverse network. At times, alerts pop up for IP addresses that we are not immediately familiar with. It takes time to hop around the network in order to find the host and also the team that may be responsible for that host (re-image, re-image, re-image…). I want to ingest as much info as I can (usually csv format) and then correlate that information in order to make decisions on the fly a lot faster. To be able to input an IP address, region, state, and/or employee and then find  pertinent information would be very helpful and make us a lot more efficient.

I am sure that there may be products out there that do all of the above. That isn’t entirely the point of going through this exercise. The point is that if I have some vested interest in the problem or improvement needed, I am much more likely to press on and learn how to write Python. In the next post, I will have made my decision on which problem to tackle and take the next step in my journey. Thanks and have a great day.

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