COVID-19 Survival Strategies for Hackers

And how to make normality better than it was before the lockdown.

Like me you’ve probably been stuck at home for at least a week. These can be trying times but they can also be a lot of fun. We as a community have been trying to entertain ourselves and our friends more than ever by gaming more, chatting on IRC and Discord more, basically being on Twitter 24 hours a day, and churning out content. This is all awesome and will help us feel less lonely, and kinda productive. Some of you guys reading this might be feeling stuck or bored if you’re used to going to the office every day and seeing your colleagues in real life, so here’s some things that you could do to occupy yourself:

  • Pick a topic you’ve never had the time to study and get on YouTube and find somebody talking about it. Great examples include hardware hacking videos by @cybergibbons and bug bounties (mostly web and mobile AppSec) by @nahamsec
  • Learn a language like Chinese. YoYoChinese has some of the best content and learning some rudimentary Chinese and knowing how to type with PinYin will open up new avenues in your career in the future IMO.
  • Blog about your life, things you’ve done at work, wee things you know how to do that most people might not. Use WordPress and set up a site like mine.
  • If you’re working from home (WFH) and your employer or client doesn’t mind too much, stream what you’re doing on your screen via Twitch. You might only get a couple viewers but show them what you’re doing, talk through it, and you might get a bit of satisfaction knowing you’ve taught somebody something.
  • Read that book (or use Audible) that you’ve always wanted to. I’ve been learning about the Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn by watching Jordan Peterson talking about it, I’m hopefully gonna get around to reading it too.
  • Take up photography. I recently bought a used Canon EOS 500D and a new 50mm lens. It makes for some beautiful photos, much better than anything I can do with my iPhone.

Any of the above will help you stave off boredom and, especially the learning points, will help you improve yourself a little bit during the lockdown.

If you’re ever bored reach out to me on FreeNode, my nick is Jabo, or on my Twitter @Jabo_SCO. I’m always up for a chat.

Stay safe, James xx