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OK, so I have spent the last 3 months learning cryptography through the Coursera-Stanford crypto course. I also learnt Python thoroughly.

Now I am eager to use this new-found knowledge. But neither is my work related to these nor do I have enough practical knowledge to implement anything on my own.

My question is: What do I do next?

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What do you want to do? Do you want to break crypto algorithms? Do you want understand how it is used in real life? Do you want to start using crypto in real life? –  mikeazo Jul 2 '12 at 18:49
    
I want to understand how they are used in code form and probably use too. –  ritratt Jul 2 '12 at 19:24
    
Learnt? Seriously? –  AaronJAnderson Jul 3 '12 at 18:59
    
I'm going to close this for now as I think, all-in-all, this is just not something we can really answer for you. However, don't let that stop you asking any questions you have on crypto :) –  Ninefingers Jul 4 '12 at 7:40
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closed as not a real question by mikeazo, Ninefingers Jul 4 '12 at 7:38

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

2 Answers

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You have a few options. Some combination of the following will help.

  1. Get a new job that will require you to use crypto. Could be hard w/o experience though.
  2. Find a need for crypto at your current job, propose it to your boss and hope he/she likes it.
  3. Find an open source project that uses crypto and find a way to contribute. This could make #1 easier in the future.
  4. Go back to school. I don't know what degree(s) you have, but I learned a lot about crypto in college.
  5. Read. There are lots of books on crypto. Buy them, get them from the library (especially easy if you have access to a university library), borrow them.
  6. See if there is a crypto/security group in your local community/university.
  7. Ask lots of questions (especially on here, but read the FAQ first, and at least try to find the answer before you ask)
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Also, another way to practice both would be to start with classical cryptology and write python programs to solve them. If not auto solvers, at least tools to do the mechanical stuff. I would suggest looking into the American Cryptogram Association - cryptogram.org –  B. Ezonme Jan 17 at 1:38
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Not that this is the best place to go to, but: http://calccrypto.wikidot.com/crypto . ignore the .8xp files, unless you want to run them on a ti83/84. links to python files are in the algorithm pages themselves

I learned crypto originally through programming python as well. maybe you can look through my code and learn stuff? a lot of my programs output the internal data of the algorithms, so you can see what happens to data as it is encrypted/decrypted (in a separate file)

Sorry for not commenting my code too much. Most of those files were written in my early days of programming.

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