Anyone can get into InfoSec. If I can go from knowing nothing to knowing something in a short time: so can YOU.
I was not always into programming, networks, WiFi hacking, or any sort of network security for that matter. Started off in the military, more specifically because its going to matter: USAF (yes, chair force). However, I was not a sitter of chairs, no no no no.. I wish.
I was Security Forces, police for the installation, defender of bases on deployments, that guy who arrested a young kid for being bad but his daddy was a high ranked officer so he bailed him out, but more known as the “gate guard” on most installations. I’ve done all these things, as any security forces member you ever come to meet will tell you the same. It was a cool gig, not for me though. Did travel around the world, so that was a plus. I became an armorer before I got out. Cleaned and manged inventory of guns. So yes, avid lover of guns.
So that was 4 years of my life. And in that time outside of work I put together computers, played video games, and soon I was getting out. Only problem was that I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to do. Didn’t want to be a cop all my life. I asked one of my best friends, told him I like computers, and he gave me some great advise. “Get into Information Security d0hnuts, and you will be golden”. After a lot of research as to what InfoSec was I became intrigued. I thought “I could do this, I like the unknown of hackers. I want to know how to protect companies. I have defended and protected the last 4 years.. I can do this”.
A long story short, I went through a huge hassle but ended up where I wanted: Canada. My first 2 school years were “Catch up”. I started in January, did that school year up until August, by then the next school year started in September through April. Only then did I get a break. It was intense, especially since I haven’t been in school for nearly 5 years.
It wasn’t pretty, several times I thought I couldn’t do it. I was in a class where there were several kids fresh out of high school- MATHEMATICS still hot in their heads. This career field/program is constant math and coding. I knew neither. My skills of putting together/firing weapon systems, arresting domestic violence abusers, searching for bodies, and fighting drunks were not going to help me. I had to learn how to be disciplined, and know when to ask for help.
Thing is, I already had discipline. I kept telling myself “I can do this, I knew I could back then and I know I can now. I’ve gotten this far”. I had great support from my family and girlfriend. I was determined to get through it. To understand Discrete Mathematics. To grasp the concept of P vs NP problem. To go from knowing no programming to knowing 5 coding languages within a year fluently.
The point of this is that if you are passionate about something, you can get into it. If you want it so bad you will get it. I’m living proof that you can go from something to something else in a short time.
Just my little tid bit 🙂