A newer trend in the field of “Hacking” is the use of “Hacker Spaces”. Picture a community lab with various hardware/software for you to refine your skills in a controlled and safe environment. While this may not be a way to gain true real-world experience. It does help nuture your skill from a casual or novice hacker to someone who can say “I can do that!”.
Think your ready for the big time now? Then head on over to the Defcon Capture the Flag competition in July/Aug.. I will see you there!