Not really a technical post, but more of a documentation of where I feel life is leading me.
As Some of my readers may already know. I have been pursuing a certificate based course for “IT security professional”. Lately this course has been starting to feel like it has been getting in my way. Let me explain.
For the first section in my course, I have been learning about, and practicing hands on networking technologies through a combination of cloud based virtual machines, and written text material. This course for me so far has been mostly remedial, and as time has progressed, starting to feel less than complete. As stated in the syllabus, this course is suppose to prepare me for the CompTIA Network+. At this moment, I am one exam away from completing this section( capstone ), and I find it to be lacking in a few different ways.
First, so far the course is incomplete. At least in regards to being able to pass the CompTIA Network+ certification exam. Reviewing the course, and comparing to Professor Messers’ material. It is missing *ALOT*.
Second, I find the testing to be inaccurate. Answering a question about binary numbers as such 1111<space> 0100 versus 11110100 was marked as incorrect. This, is a matter of style, and the former is often used by programmers to show where a nibble is in relation to the whole byte( or series of bytes ). Either way, the answer was marked as incorrect, when it should not have been. Additionally, a question pertaining to Remote Desktop. Stating something to the effect of: “Using nmap, name a port which could be used for Remote Desktop to connect to a remote system”. The output did not show port 3389, but did show port 135. For those of you who may not know. port 135 is designated a “msrpc” service, and this port while perhaps a serious security risk, and seemingly a jack of all trades port, is not a port specifically for Remote Desktop. So, I answered the question with “none”. Which was of course marked as incorrect.
I did manage to get a few other questions wrong as well. One concerning setting up a DMZ, using a diagram to depict where to place firewalls. I marked before, and after the router facing the internet. Which I honestly felt was the correct answer, but it was marked incorrect. My knowledge in this area is somewhat lacking, so perhaps my answer was truly incorrect. However, based on the information given to me during my coursework, which explained that this was how a DMZ was created? The correct answer given to me after the fact did however seem logical.
Anyway, all of the above was just icing on top of the preverbal cake. I had been finding myself, self training on subjects such as GO, REACT, Docker, and basic CI/CD concepts. In my spare time once I had gotten a couple weeks ahead of the course. Meaning, I had lost interest in the course, or I never truly had interest in the course to begin with. Not exactly a good thing. As anyone in any IT / technical discipline should be very enthusiastic with that which they hope to do as a profession.
So, for the last week or so, I have been taking a good long hard look at what it is, that truly interests me. As no big surprise( after the fact ), I keep finding myself back to software development, and/or “DevOps” in general. Mostly in respect to DevOps, the idea of creating, or standing up a development system that makes my own life much easier as a developer. But I do have a keen interest in both software development, and at least some aspects of DevOps.
As for Linux . . . I believe that Linux is the ideal platform for software development, and will always be there. Keep in mind, this is coming from a person who started off writing code on Windows, but who looks back, and honestly does not care to repeat that process again. However, that does not mean I will not / do not use MS Windows. MS operating systems are often frowned upon by Linux devs, but I use Windows, and Linux on a daily basis. Windows being my desktop experience, while Linux handles my server, and development environment. In fact, I use both in “concert” when developing software. With that said, the resultant binaries I write for, typically only run on Linux. Maybe that is why I’ve been leaning into web development heavily lately. Web apps being OS agnostic, and do not require a lame runtime such as JRE, or perhaps .NET.
Where do I go from here ? I’m not entirely sure. I have been looking into my options in earnest. One such option, would be to pursue an AAS degree from Purdue University, in software development. However, that’s a two year degree, where my 10+ years hands on / self taught experience would eclipse that degree. By a long shot. But, it is formal training. Which I currently lack.
Additionally, I have been approached for a few different recruiters, on Linkedin, to send in a resume, so more recruiters can look it over, and approach me with an offer. One such company trains on the job, and looks for college students, or individual who are self taught already. Offering a job in the meantime, which is underpaid for the first year, still underpaid for the second year, but a raise given. At which point the “training contract” is concluded. Pay wise, in both cases, it would be better than what I am currently making working full time, elsewhere. What remains to be seen, is if I can do this job remotely. Or not.
For me, work culture is absolute paramount, followed by remote, after which I am willing to negotiate pay. My current job while perhaps a thankless low paying job, at least has an excellent work culture, and would, if I so chose, pay for my AAS from Purdue University. Which . . . is quite the conundrum. Work now, make more money, and in a couple years have the freedom, and experience to move on to bigger better jobs. Or stick with a low paying job, for two years while gaining an AAS degree in software development to achieve the same end goal . . .
That’s it for now, we’ll just have to see where I land.