I finally decided to leave public service and go back to the private sector. The decision wasn't easy, because I hate to leave the team. My boss is adjusting, but he's not happy. I am very excited, though, to be going back to what I enjoy - security consulting.
Stories by C.J. Kelly
A time-honored tradition among technical people is to use percussive maintenance: When a piece of equipment isn't working properly, give it a good whack.
I've written before about balancing technical and managerial skills, and it's a question I've thought a lot about over my entire career. Back when I was young, inexperienced and terrible at supervising, with very little in the way of technical skills, my primary goal was to "get technical." I was often told in my personnel evaluations that I had some work to do to earn the respect of the technical people I managed. I took that advice to heart.
The past few weeks -- nay, months -- have been filled with people, process and project issues. I wondered if I would ever get any real work done. Real work to me is security work, not "adminisdribble."
I love disposing of problems. The other day, I was presented with a disposal problem.
The team gathered in the security lab for our weekly meeting. At the top of the agenda was distributed intrusion detection. The junior-level security engineer glanced toward a whiteboard that displayed his work of art -- numerous lines drawn in different colors depicting the complicated layout of our network. The black lines represented copper links, the red lines fiber, the black boxes routers and switches, and the blue boxes network taps and Snort sensors.
When the call came, I wasn't surprised. The voice at the other end of the line said, "Our network security analysis tool has found something we call 'suspicion indicators' on your network. I think you need to look at this right away." I had a sick feeling as my mind raced to the conversations I would soon be having with senior management. I tried to focus on the conversation at hand.