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First post of the New Year

Greetings internet friend!

It has been a while since I posted, and that is because things have been really busy. In this post I want to discuss a few things that have changed for me, in a sort-of yearly wrapup post. I want to share a few things professional that have changed, as well as some of what I’ve been up to. Without any further adieu, let’s get started.

Last year marked a big change for me professionally. I left the MSP where I had been helping them build a security program for my first remote (work from home) job. This was a tremendous learning experience where my skills really had a chance to blossom. Unfortunately, that company had some structural problems but fortunately for me I was able to find a better suited position working for a huge firm where I’ve learned a tremendous amount. This year I also started in my first management role as a consultant for a major financial institution. While it isn’t the type of technical work I was expecting, it’s a great career opportunity and I am looking forward to learning new things. Overall I love working from home and totally understand how people who start working from home would struggle to go back to an office. I could see myself doing both, and hopefully future employers will be open to a flexible working arrangement like I have now. Overall I’ve been pleased with my new firm and all the career opportunities it has provided.

Last year was also really big in terms of speaking opportunities. I spoke at my first hacker conference, Sparklecon, as well as for the Orange County and University of San Diego chapters of the Association for Computing Machinery. Additionally, I got a chance to speak at a graduate symposium at a local university and wrote a few guest blog posts for my friend InfoSecJon, which he posted on his website. Finally, I was given the opportunity to speak at a private engagement at DefCON, which also meant that I got to attend DefCON for the first time! It’s something I’d been dreaming about for ten years and it was even better than I could have imagined because I spent most of my time with one of my best friends, who was also in town for his first DC. My talk was rejected last year but I have an ever better talk idea lined up for this year, and my fingers are crossed it’ll be accepted! Now that I am nearly finished with the updates to my blog I’ll have more time for other projects.

2019 was a tremendous year for my professional technical development. In addition to getting a chance to do more internal penetration testing, I also expanded my knowledge to include mobile application assessments for Android, web application penetration testing, VPN testing, API assessments, and PCI segmentation testing. After I finish this engagement I’m hoping to have the opportunity to conduct even more web application assessments. 2020 will mark my third year working in offensive security and my eighth year working in IT generally. It’s been interesting to see how “The Cloud” went from being something that was just a passing fad to a multi-billion dollar a year industry. This reminds me of my favorite Phillip J. Fry quote, “time makes fools of us all.”

Last year I also spent substantial time learning programming, as I’ve done for the last two years since getting that advice from someone I look up to. I continued the process of waking up at 5 AM every weekday to write code and pound my head against the keyboard. I spent a few months try to learn Java but I realized today a few important things. First is that I hate Java. Learning it has been a pain in the neck. Second, I don’t like looking at Java and writing code has been a real nightmare. Programming is hard enough, and if I have to spend all this time fighting the language, it seems like this is a really poor use of my time. So instead I’m going to shift my focus to learning Go. I preordered a copy of Black Hat Go, a new book offered by No Starch Press, and once I finish getting this blog up and running I will go back to working on Black Hat Go. While I waited for the book to arrive I went through “A tour of Go” from Google to try and get up to speed.

So in this coming year I have made a few goals for myself. My New Year resolution is to try more new things. Generally I was thinking about food, but I’m also going to make an effort to blog much more often as well. Ideally I would like to write a post a week, but that may not be realistic. I’m just going to set a general goal of writing more often, as well as getting more exercise, and trying to be an even better husband and Dad. I work really hard on those two jobs, but in 2020 I really want to be an even better husband and father.

With all that having been said, I am going to end this post here. I hope you’ve enjoyed it, and be sure to check back in the future.

Postnote - I wrote this blog post back in January and I originally wrote I was considering migrating the blog to a different platform. For the last few weeks I’ve been doing just that, moving from Jekyll to Hugo. I’ve also moved back to the domain and I’ve moved all the blog posts over from and this is where all future updates will be found, so adjust your bookmarks accordingly

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