I started working the first year I left school when one of my best friends gave me an opportunity to work for him. Being a computer geek at the time I couldn’t say no, so I took it with arms wide open. He introduced me to a wonderful thing called Unix. At the time I had no idea what the hell that was. Coming from only knowing windows this was challenging! When I say challenging, I mean the kids of today actually have it easy! We now have Google and a lot more resources and guides to help us. Back then we only had the operating system manual pages, the README files and books that you had to go buy!
Over the years I started to love open source software because it was free and you could do with it whatever you wanted! Those that knew Unix back then, most of the things you did was in the console unlike windows that you had a point and click interface.
I never did any qualifications, courses or anything. Everything I learnt was from hands on experience, friends, search engines, books, etc. I’ve never needed to study anything as I have been lucky enough to have been in companies that just saw my experience as enough. Over the years I have been a jack-of-all-trades in the sense that I never specialized in one aspect of I.T and am able to do most things, from setting up servers, be it web-servers, databases, DNS, etc, to creating websites, to writing some code, to creating networks, firewalls, storage servers and the list goes on. I’ve loved getting my hands dirty on every aspect I could! The past 2 years it has dawned on me that I want to get some sort of certificate or something that I want to do. Nothing out there really grabs my eye that is like WOW, I must do it! I mean Linux LPI, that’s so YAWN. Red Hat certification, you are limited to RedHat and maybe CentOS. I have considered maybe the Cisco route, but I realize I don’t like networking that much. I mean I love it, but it’s ok.
The past year or so I have been chatting to a friend who is big into I.T Security. He may not know, but I have always looked up to him as a mentor. I’ve loved the security side of I.T be it firewalls, securing a system, installing an IDS and analysing it and finding holes in systems and patching them up. Anyhoo, it got me thinking about studying. There is one certification I would love to get but it is pretty challenging and I have been scared shitless about it. CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional). This is not an easy one to get as the requirements are daunting. I have forgotten what it is like to study! This is one reason why I am so scared! It’s not a month or two thing, this is a year or two thing depending how much I put into studying! Now, you can understand why! If I do this, I need to push myself!
Another certification I have been pondering about is the Puppet Professional Certification. Puppet is an automation software that helps manage infrastructure throughout its lifecycle, from provisioning and configuration to orchestration and reporting. I am not going to explain this in detail of course, but anyone in I.T would tell you that if you want to rather automate things in your environment rather than manual configuring things they would all tell you AUTOMATE! I know this is far different from the security aspect, but for me this also excites me.
So there you have it. I need a schedule and some motivation. If you have any tips for me please let me know!