← Back Published on


Last week I appeared on the Resilient Cyber podcast and talked about some of the work I've done for NIST over the years. That got me thinking about how I've gotten to where I am now, and I thought that sharing my story might be helpful or interesting to some people who feel like I used to.

In 2000 I got my dream job, writing network intrusion detection signatures. I was incredibly happy, but also terrified. I knew I couldn't possibly be qualified for the job, and for months I was constantly afraid I'd be "found out" and fired. In time, I realized I knew what I was doing, and the fear went away.

In 2002, I was ready for a new challenge. I saw a job posting for a computer scientist at NIST, and...I didn't even bother to apply. I knew that was way out of my league.

The next year, someone I respected recruited me for a contractor job supporting NIST. I didn't think I could do it, but *he* did. 20 years later, I'm still supporting NIST. (Thanks, Ron.)

If you're new to security and you're doubting your abilities--ask yourself what you're afraid of, and take the leap. And if you're established in your career--ask yourself who you can help to get over their impostor syndrome. The smallest effort by you could change someone's life.