About Me – from network security degree to infosec job

Whoami

I’ve been tinkering with computers since I was little, had the opportunity to take apart old 486 machines, look at the components like the cpu, memory, and hard drive. I loved to try to find working parts and cobble machines back together. As a teenager I worked in IT sales and joined the military as an electrical engineer. After the military, I spent time working with burglar and fire alarms until I realized my passion really was information technology. I got a network security degree, kicked around the IT field and finally broke into infosec.

How I started

Initially I went to school just for an associates degree in information technology. Being new to the industry, I didn’t know what field would catch my interest. After I took my first security class, I was hooked and switched to a network security degree. I had a wonderful opportunity to start out working on a help desk during the day my senior year and finished my degree program at night school. I was able to take my Security+ easily while studying security classes.

Finding a home

Right after I graduated I lost my job when the company I worked for lost the contract. I figured that I could move right into an information security job. I had the certification, the degree and a year of experience but all the entry level jobs ‘required’ more than a year. Some wonderful people within the industry spoke with me back then and they advised me that the best way to get in was to have a well-rounded background of knowledge, establish a solid foundation in system administration, networking and basic security. I moved around from contract to contract, 6-12 months at a time, to learn everything I could. My experience covers system administration, network administration, system engineering, and senior system administration. Along the way I learned about linux/unix, server management, networking and how to be professional. I accumulated certifications in vmware and microsoft as requirements for some of the jobs and to validate my knowledge.

Struggle finally paid off

Finally after 4 years I took a new position as a security consultant with a major player. They were attracted to my system administration experience, my degree and my soft skills because we work at customer sites with daily interaction. The company made me get my CISSP, and now I’ve moved on to studying penetration testing in my free time. I’m also 2 classes away from finishing a Masters degree in digital forensics.

Keeping busy

I have a lot of responsibilities, between spouse, children, and pets. These things are all more important to me than hobby’s. It was hard to find resources that were quick and easy to read starting out. I created this site to inspire other people with little time to learn. I also want to make easy to read articles for beginners. It makes me feel good to be able to answer peoples questions and help them out with technical, professional or career advice. My goal is to be approachable and help as many people as I can to pay back to the community for the help I received starting out.

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Should go without saying (but we say it anyway) that any and all opinions on this domain written by me are my own and not representative of anyone that I work for.