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NIT (Ninja in Training) looking for guidance.
From: dninja at gmail.com (Robin Wood)
Date: Wed, 13 May 2009 10:17:29 +0100
A similar question was recently asked on the security focus pentest
list, have a look at the archives for
Elizabeth Tolson <elizabethtolson at gmail.com>
date 17 April 2009 15:11
She is starting at a different level to you but there are some answers
that may help.
My suggestion is find an area you are interested in and start digging
in it. Either get involved with a tool, modifying/improving it if you
can or just using it and giving feedback, maybe write a tutorial for
it, or find an area that you don't think isn't currently explained
well for beginners and have a go at documenting it yourself. The more
you put yourself out there and get involved the more and quicker
you'll learn things. Don't worry if things you put out seem too easy,
remember, if you struggled before you learnt the skill then others
will also be struggling.
2009/5/13 Dancing Dan <d4ncingd4n at gmail.com>:
I was in your shoes at one time. I changed careers without a degree at a
when I was the sole support of my stay-at-home wife and small children. Here
are my suggestions:
1. Believe in yourself. You will face setbacks along the way but, you must
give up. Part of the reward of the accomplishment is the difficulty of the
Your task will take time and much effort but, it can be accomplished.
2. Learn to understand business principles and not strictly technical
You will need the ability to communicate your ideas to the business people.
you can speak "non-tech" as well as "tech" you will demonstrate your value.
3. Learn to deal with people, even difficult people. Enemies can harm
your career, allies will build your career. Listen to other people. Realize
that you can learn something from everyone. Do not fall into the
trap that can limit your career.
4. Be prepared to do more than is expected. Be willing to help others. See
5. Network. Look at the ISSA, Infraguard, etc. Put a profile on LinkedIn.
for charities or non-profits. Build a reputation as someone that is
dependable, enthusiastic, and pleasant. If you are incredibly talented and
unknown, you are limiting your options.
6. Be patient for the right opportunity. Realize that some companies will
hire you without a degree regardless of your skills. Be prepared to "pay
for a period of time in a demanding position with little reward. Remember
salary is only part of the equation. After a certain point, opportunities
training/advancement can out-weigh salary.
7. Pursue free training as much as possible, obtain certifications as
your experience and skill level permits. Always reach a little higher than
where you are now.
Invest in yourself.
8. Don't lose sight of why you are working. Make time for your family. Your
children will grow up way too fast before you realize what happened. Make
you put away some money for retirement and your children's education.
9. Learn a broad variety of skills. I recommend working as a Sys Admin for a
to gain skills and experience.
Hey we all got to start somewhere. the best advice i can give is from
my own experience. Earlier in life i was almost done with med school
when i realized computers wouldn't sue me for making a mistake :) I
started out as a lineman for the local cable company, quickly moving
into cablemodem installs, then up to a tech support role in the call
center. from there i took a couple of certs got a+, mcsa, security+. i
completely relate to the money situation, when i was doing this i had
2 in diapers, wife stayed at home. What i found out is investing in
yourself will pay off. a year later i got mcse + security and ccna,
within 3 months i was able to double my salary. 8 years and several
certs later i hold a director level position for a large BPO firm.
Keep in mind these things are not going to happen overnight. Take a
chance and invest in yourself and it will pay off in the long run.
Good luck!! start off with the fundamentals.... get some network /
system admin time under your belt. in due time youre security chi will
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NIT (Ninja in Training) looking for guidance. Stephen Reese (May 13)