What I Wish I Would Have Known

Bre Schumacher//

Many of you were probably asked as a young child what you wanted to be when you grew up. Maybe you had an idea of something that sounded fun to you, like being an astronaut or the mayor. Perhaps you hadn’t decided. Maybe you still haven’t decided! Either way, I’m guessing as a child the thought never crossed your mind that you’d be working in information security someday.

Or maybe it did?

For those of you just starting out in this field, I thought I’d ask a few of our Black Hills Information Security testers what they wish they would have known when they were in your shoes. They say hindsight is 20/20 and people can truly be some of your greatest resources, so hopefully you’ll take some of this to heart.

Here’s what they had to say:

“I wish I would have known how valuable development skills would be in this line of work. I would have worked harder to maintain my coding chops.” Sally

“I wish I would have realized how important it was to speak at conferences, share my research and give back to the community. I always felt like I didn’t have anything ‘share-worthy’ but that kind of thinking was a result of me comparing myself to those who I looked up to instead of realizing I do belong and can help others.” Mike

“Personally, I wish that I understood some of the fundamental concepts of coding when I started. Networking and infrastructure background is a very important piece of the information security puzzle, but…understanding system operations from Assembly, C, C++, Java, and on upward through the coding/system stack to Python sure would have been nice. I started with Python and am working my way down the stack, which has been fun but is very challenging.” Jordan

And finally, one more important thing to consider:

“I wish I had known that you could take it in small pieces – really, that there’s no other way to do it. It’s taken me years to accept that there will always be a ton of things I don’t know and that the best way to grow is to build on what I *do* know. There’s never time to build that perfect lab, but I can always make time to try a new thing when an opportunity comes up.”
BB King

For those of you who are a few years in, feel free to join in on Twitter and share what you wish you had known, too. We’d love to hear what other bits of advice you have!

If you’d like to chat with us in person, check out our events page to see what conferences we’ll be at (including Wild West Hackin’ Fest)!

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