InfoSec Introductions

Where I came from, where I am, and where am I going.

I started working in IT roughly 20 years ago. I was a student worker in the IT department of a local community college. While I had started my college career as a mechanical engineering major, I changed my major after speaking to one of the Computer Science professors. (I just so happen to have been assigned the Tech building for my work as a student worker).

Student workers were assigned very repetitive, somewhat menial work. To say the work we performed could have been done via a Shell script is no exaggeration. As the months went on I discovered I had aptitude for this type of work. What started as a problem/solution focused career of mechanical engineering type work changed to IT/Computer/Network problem solving.

I continued down this career path as desktop support at a handful of places of higher education. I watched my more senior coworkers in IT and the work they performed and I decided I wanted to go into the sysadmin networking field. I made that my goal.

I worked on my bachelor's degree (having completed my Associates at the previously mentioned community college) in Computer Science for a few years off and on while working. A life changing event while I was working in Atlanta had me move back home and transfer to the local university. I discovered they had a concentration in information security, and that became my choice. Though I had a hard time breaking into the information security field, when I finally did, I discovered yet again, I had a knack for it. It took me a bit over 3.5 years to finally become FTE in the information security field, and that was as a Cyber Security Engineer.

I have been a security engineer for over 2.5 years now. I enjoy the work, and have found a 'talent' for this type of work. I also realize that I have a lot to learn. This (as is any specialty within IT) requires constant learning and constant skill growth.

When asked by those much younger of what kind of job/career/work they should pursue, I tell them my hypothesis: “You can do what you love and you might learn to hate it; you can do what you hate and try to learn to love it (if it pays well); or you can do what you do well and make a career out of it.”

I chose the latter.