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Welcome to - Here’s a little info about me!

Howdy and welcome to the second iteration of this blog. My name is Dave Collins and I started this website over three years ago as a web comic (but I will come back to that story later). I have been working in information security for the last few years. May of 2019 was the first iteration of this website as a blog, created during a week off before starting my first full time remote job with the intention of gaining experience with both Jekyll and Github and for two additional reasons. First, I had been telling people that the most secure way to have a website is with a static site, but I had no idea how to set one up. Second, I wanted to learn more about how websites work to aid in the process of learning how to attack web applications and sites. By starting with the most secure system I could think of, I wanted to work my way through how even that could be defeated.

Then, as Phillip J. Fry famously said on Futurama, “time makes fools of us all.” I got really busy with work and neglected writing new posts - at least here on this blog. I have been growing increasingly frustrated with Github continuing to do business with ICE, and also looking at different static website generators as well as getting more interested in Go. This lead to the perfect storm of this website, built with Hugo.

I’ll be sharing all types of stuff on this blog. Some technical, some not so much. In addition to holding a graduate degree in history, I also hold BA degrees in history and philosophy. In addition to posting weekly updates of my personal and professional life, this website will also include articles I’ve written on some of my different philosophical positions. I very quietly earned my philosophy degree while in graduate school, since I was only two classes away from the degree and I had an assistantship that meant my tuition was waived. In a class to earn that degree my professor taught us that the word “philosophy” comes from the Greek words “philo”, which means “lover of” and “sophia”, which means wisdom. Thus anyone who was a lover of wisdom was a philosophy by definition. I since I love wisdom, I suppose that means I am also a philosopher. This blog is an outlet for me to share and write, which I find to be a form of catharsis. Plus my wife encouraged me to write more, so I’m going to be using this blog as the place to do that. I hope you like the content, and if you want to follow me on Twitter there are links to do that in the footer of all the posts.

About me professionally, I’ve been working in IT for nearly a decade and I made the shift to offensive security on May Day, 2017. I started my career at the help desk then worked my way up to media technician and then network administrator. Then I got burned out and earned the degrees mentioned above from Eastern Washington University. After finishing graduate school I started a web comic (the original and a few months later got married. When I was just a single dude and a starving artist, not making very much money wasn’t a big deal. Being married changed the equation, and in May of 2017 my wife and I started JSP Infosec. We ran that consultancy off and on for the next few years, during which I expanded my knowledge beyond network penetration testing to include vulnerability research and web application penetration testing. One of the things I’m most proud of is that JSP Infosec used 100% Free and Open Source Software. I had been using Linux for around a decade before switching to FreeBSD in August of 2020. I am still a passionate advocate for FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) - I’ve even got a Tux tattoo! Once the pandemic is over I am planning to get a tattoo of the FreeBSD mascot as well. I have since expanded my knowledge and technical skills to include android application testing, threat modeling, architecture analysis, web application penetration testing, VPN and PCI segmentation testing, and AWS configuration reviews. I am most excited about the future of cloud security and investing substantial time and research in that space going forward. You can look forward to future articles and posts that discuss cloud security once I have more experience and knowledge in that arena.

About me personally, I am a husband, a dad, a worker, and a revolutionary Christian. I don’t like to be preachy and tell people how to live their lives, I prefer to try my best to follow the example Christ taught us and to just love everyone. It’s not my place to judge anyone, instead I want to show the transformative power of Christianity through example and not through lecturing and finger-wagging. I’ve been relucant to share my faith over the years because I do not like what most Christians in America stand for. I believe that Jesus Christ was an example of love and how to live your life without judgement. Some Christians spend their time on social media telling people that, “God hates X.” That’s not the Christianity that I believe in! My experiences in the Church (with a capital C) most recently have been looks of scorn and judgement, the people in the pews not knowing I grew up in the Church and went on a mission trip at a young age that changed my life and the way I look at the world. As such, we only attend Church on Christmas and Easter because I find it hurts my faith more to be around people who claim to be followers of Christ yet look at my family with hate in their eyes. Two of my biggest inspirations are Dorothy Day and Cornel West, who show there is no inconsistency between faith and intellectualism, or that you can be both a follower of Christ as well as a scholar and intellectual.

My goal for this blog is to share a mix of technical and life lessons. I also plan to share failures, successes, book reviews, and philosophical essays on a variety of subjects. I use my philosophy degree every single day of my life, and I am looking forward to sharing more of the essays that I have been writing with you! If you dig different types of content, this is the blog for you.

Thanks for dropping by! Come back again and see whats new.

I hope you have a nice day, and if you enjoy the content, you can repay me by performing a single act of kindness to anyone. Every single act of kindness makes the world a better place, and it would be great if you could pass that along to someone else!