You can’t watch from the sidelines forever…
One of the reasons I’m such a fan of continuous learning is for the perspective it brings. For me, going through a capture the flag (CTF) exercise or packet capture lab is a humbling experience.
Even if you’re confident in your grasp of the concepts, implementing them is a totally different experience. It reminds you to value people who have skills you don’t. It reminds you that doing something is harder than saying something. It reminds you to teach or show anytime you can to pay back so the help you ask of others. It reminds you that no one does it alone. It reminds you to celebrate small victories.
Last week I wanted to setup a clean Linux distribution virtual machine to enable practicing packet capture and analysis with an operating system different than my host machine. Again, the concepts are understandable, implementing in an environment you’re comfortable with is a challenge, and trying in a less comfortable environment is like writing with your not dominant hand: ugly unless you do it repeatedly.
When you can’t complete your original plan, recalibrate and regroup!
Short story long, I ran into hiccups with my Linux vm install, had to start over twice, and ended up putting hours into what should have been as easy as ‘start program’. Packets practice was an after thought to establishing a solid virtual environment. And I’m left feeling again like I’m learning to tie my shoes with boxing gloves on my hands.
To those who can do the things in my learning list; I commend you for your mastery of trades and topics that don’t come easy to most. I also would like to take you out for a coffee sometime and pick your brain. And when you need a tip about Excel, Process Flow Diagrams, or Buffy the Vampire Slayer, text me.