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.
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 of 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 not the right experience. I was able to get into a mentorship program as a veteran. They told me to build a well-rounded resume in different parts of IT.
A little bit of this, a little bit of that
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, and system engineering. 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 helped me get my CISSP, and now I’ve moved on to studying penetration testing in my free time. I consider myself to be a jack-of-all-trades, master of none. The more I learn about the world of cybersecurity, the more I understand that there is so much more to learn.
Everyone has very busy lives, and I am not unique. I ran into problems managing time for family, work, and studies. My solution to this problem is not unique but may be unknown to new people in the industry. I will highlight podcasts, youtube channels, and other blogs that I find useful and efficient for other people who want to learn but might not have the time. My favorite time ‘hack’ is to listen to podcasts during my commute.
My blogging inspiration
I decided last year that I wanted to give back to the community. I tried to join the mentorship program that helped me out but was unable to. This website started out as simply my hacking journal to help me learn and record progress. I also wrote about the mistakes I made and the solutions to fix them. I eventually started answering peoples questions on social media and started turning those replies into small articles here. I enjoy writing articles that help people, explain the world of cybersecurity in easy to digest terms, and provide some basic free technical information.
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.