Twisted Pristine Avenue

It began several years back. The obsession started by suggestion.

I've forever had the idea of programming or engineering or something containing a technical skill set that would emerge from within spawn hours and days and months of similarly obsessive studying and blossom into a fruitful and concise and measured plan of action for the foreseeable future.

My experience has been anything but measured. For long periods I've wavered into apathy putting aside the entire idea. For long seasons I've wandered the internets seeking out the ONE PATH. The avenue to which all other paths and futures bow down. The journey which by undertaking will affirm success and by traversing will constantly renew my spirit and resolve.

I embarked upon the grand highway back in 2012. I wrote with fervor and possibility.

I'm now at another beginning though I've been here for a couple years already.

Python HTML CSS Javascript Java C C++ Ruby. These I've dabbled in and around through Codecademy through edX through Lynda through freeCodeCamp through community college courses.

But I've gone further to expand my interest to broaden the highway to enlarge the scope of my indecision.

Calculus I-IV Physics I-II Chemistry I-II Diff/Eq Linear Algebra Engineering Mechanics I-II. Having obtained a taste of the scope of possibility I broke down the door leading to a perpetual interstate of overlapping ideas frameworks and options.

I stuck myself on an eternal cloverleaf. I've been very busy but not very purposeful.

I'd insert a resolution here but it is as yet unformed and if previous precedent can be trusted it would only serve as bedrock to a tangled version of the original idea.

Fret not though. I do know the pang of regret birthed from a lack of goals. I'll say this. My latest investigations have brought me to the doorsteps of a C++ Developer series at Lynda. They've brought me to the gates of the EE and MSBA programs at UTK.

Full time schooling is hard to imagine on top of work and family (the order of importance of which is in complete reverse). Time being a finite devil I hope that more is revealed and that within the revealing comes the clarity and/or purpose that has eluded me.

Two truths war within me.


I strive to pick more purposefully to dwell more carefully and to live more fully.

Missions, Visions and the Force

As time goes by, brevity seems more important. As such, I'll try and be as concise as possible here.

I'd like to learn how to hack stuff.

That's as simple as I can break it down. After meeting with an IT security professional, I've began taking steps toward this end. Today is actually day nine in my current endeavor, though I've only just begun ye ol' Blogger.

I figure there are others like myself who know next to nothing about breaking into the computer tech security field, but who are also like myself intrigued by it. Well, I'm starting from scratch and documenting the journey--however far it takes me.

We discussed some short and long term goals last week:

  1. Security + certification from CompTIA...this is great book knowledge type stuff that will help down the road on a resume as far as actually landing a job. I've yet to get the Security + book, but this needs to happen soon as this is something that I can begin immediately.
  2. CISSP...this one is a must have according to my friend, and in order to even get it, you've got to have something like 5 years of experience. Apparently "experience" in this case is a somewhat flexible term that many things can count toward. More shall be revealed; this too is a little ways down the road, though a definite must have for career purposes.
  3. OSCP Security...I'm perhaps most excited about when I'm ready to tackle this bad boy. This is a very hands on security certification that cost about $1100 for the online class and 90 days of the lab. At the end of it, you are tested by hacking into a network over a period of 24 hours. The deeper you get, the better you score. Very cool. 
  4. Programming...I've always wanted to learn a computer language, and if I'm going to pursue this security stuff, now is the time to go ahead and do that. He suggested Ruby on Rails or Python.
  5. MOOC...this stands for Massive Open Online Courses. In essence, they are totally free university courses from big time names like MIT, Harvard, Berkeley and Stanford hosted on sites such as and Can't believe I'd never heard of this until now actually. As fate would have it, MIT has an introductory programming course via on the Python language that started Oct 3rd and an introductory Computer Science course that starts on the 15th. I've enrolled in these and a few others, but for the sake of completion, I am committed to these two for now.
  6. Tons of specialized GIAC training from SANS. This stuff is incredibly costly, though there are some ways to help out at conferences for a discounted rate. After getting my feet wet, I'll consider delving further into these options.
  7. Formal Schooling...we talked a bit about Masters Programs for security. There are significant scholarships available for this through the government that are bound to agreements to work for the government for x amount of time upon graduation. Pretty good deal. Norwich and James Madison Universities both have online Masters programs.

Quite the handful of items to consider. Thus far, the EDX Python course has proved to be pretty cool. The EDX site is extremely well put together. Very minimalist layout that works well. I'll be producing an accompanying podcast to this blog on a weekly basis. Both of which will serve simply to follow me, a noob to InfoSec, on my journey into the unknown.

May the force be with you,