I have always been a person that loved to learn new things. I can be very obsessive in that way. When I find something that I am interested in, I begin to research and completely invest myself into that interest. Lately though I have been passionate about becoming a better software developer, architect, and security engineer. This means that I have been taking a lot of classes, certifications, and reading everything I can get my hands on. This has led to some interesting byproducts. Namely, being invited to join the SANS Mentor Program.
The SANS Mentor Program has provided me the opportunity to turn around and share what I have learned with others in a structured way. It took the pressure of creating the curriculum off of me, and just let me share. It inspired me, and I took the initiative to create my own short lunch and learn sessions to help share web application security practices that I had learned. It was really after these two events that I discovered I really enjoyed teaching. Not only is it rewarding for me to help others learn the things that I have learned, but it also has the excellent benefit for reinforcing the lessons that I was sharing.
With this new found discovery, I was encouraged to branch out a bit more and started offering to speak at NolaSec. I have received nothing but encouraging words from my peers at these various events. This helped embolden me further, to the point that I submitted a few talks to a few different conferences. I finally had a talked accepted and very much look forward to giving it, which I plan to write up that experience in another post.
In the last few weeks I have also joined up with Operation Spark and are teaching with them. This is super exciting for me, since the audience for this group is at-risk teens. I’m working with an amazing group of guys. And we are teaching a group of kids that are really sharp and are soaking up everything we share with them. So far it’s been a really great experience, and I look forward to seeing this all through.