Back around the first of this year I sketched myself a learning plan. I committed myself to 2 scheduled learning events this year by paying for them up front. I’m already a natural planner, but when you’re fronting the cash for a class yourself – you take your planning seriously. I’m motivated to be better and I’m driven not to waste time, money, or chances to help get there.
My first milestone event is in April; the next course in my pursuit of a SANS certificate in Core Cybersecurity Engineering. Months ago I researched the course prerequisites and syllabus to brush up on or at least introduce myself to the topics that will be covered. These courses are boot camp style, nearly 50 hours of lessons in 6 days, so I’ve got zero time to lose to being lost.
So I took a crack at experiencing packet analysis, watched through some targeted Hak5 playlists on YouTube, re-read my No Starch Press book covering The Practice of Network Security, tried out some open source IDS exercises online from Bro, and listened to some topical presentations from security cons recorded and posted on IronGeek.
Let me be honest, I am not amazing at any of these things.
But I would love to be and I believe that I can get there with practice and guidance. That’s the point of learning with live, in-person classes. You have access to an expert. The better informed I am, the more meaningful and specific questions I can ask of the instructor.
I allowed myself to wander from the plan.
I’m only human, I took a few sidebars that ate into the prep time I had laid out. I spent time blogging on my website. I took advantage of temporary free access to an online Digital Forensics e-learning course trial that was offered by (ISC)2, (helpful to gain some free CPEs to keep my CISSP active). I started watching a course on Lynda about Neo4j graph databases so I could play with some visualizations. I even sat on the couch to binge watch 2 entire seasons of This Is Us when I should have been on the computer.
I feel decent about my progress, bring on more of the hard stuff.