CEH

Redirecting my efforts toward a CEH cert instead of a CISSP.

CEH is more of what I’m looking for in terms of technical level. It’s a nice complement to my formal education and years in the field.

Learn more in this video

Staying current

I think it goes without saying that any professional should stay current on information and tools in their field of practice. In the field of Information Technology this is difficult, but not impossible. I try to stay current by reading the newsfeeds, learning new tech or methods and communicating with colleagues. This way I can keep my finger on the pulse and adjust my plans accordingly at a macro level. Now, there are a ton of websites and publications for tech. Try to distill the results from the most relevant and legitimate sources you can. Sources like educational institutions, government and well-known, reputable people. Take what you learn and use it to your advantage any place you can. The world moves fast and so should you.

In other news…I’m working on a search function for this site. Should be ready in a few days.

New stack: BCHS

BSD, C, Httpd (Apache), SQLite

So, a few days ago I was introduced to a new (to me) development stack called BCHS (Beaches).

After checking out some documentation on the stack I found it to be interesting and may be a challenge if I ever get around to creating one. Which I probably won’t because there are more efficient options when it comes to devlopment languages, web servers and databases. (ie FEMP)

I do find the parts of the documentation where they mention it’s not for hipsters hilarious. Hipsters dislike memory management. Comical. Just as comical as some would argue using a BCHS stack for real work.

In all seriousness I was first introduced to programming from learning the Apple LOGO commands at age 12. Then from there it was BASIC then HTML then Visual Basic 6 then C then C++ then Java then PHP (and various other scripting platforms)

When I look back at it, I really liked C and C++. I even took the time to write a couple simple programs using them. Mostly C though. C is great, but I think php offers a more rapid development model and a shallow learning curve. C would be used for video/image processing perhaps more intensive instructions. Not to mention it is more scalable than just php alone. I might actually consider it if I had more time on my hands to rewrite my FEMP stack into a FHMC stack (Nginx doesn’t support CGI). We’ll see what I come up with…

What I’ve been working on

In late August of 2016 I was offered a new position with another company and my life has been exponentially better. My wife and I also had our first child, Liam. He’s the only thing I care about anymore. If you are a parent, you know what I mean.

I have been exposed to some new technologies and therefore I am trying to learn as much as I can about their power. So far, I’ve been able to build, from the ground up, FreeNAS, Pfsense, Araknis, and Meraki solutions.

My favorite stack is FEMP (FreeBSD, NGINX, MySQL, PHP). Rock solid 🙂

In other news…my Surface Pro 3 is now running Manjaro Linux (my new favorite distro based on Arch Linux). So far so good. I originally had Fedora 26, but there were some Wifi bugs.

So, that’s pretty much it. I’ll just pick up where I left off on this site and keep on keeping on. Thanks.

Pop Technology

In today’s technology world we have a lot of hardware and software to choose from. The latest and greatest of everything comes at a price, but how much do you really need that new smartphone or software? We must be mindful of the ultimate use case for everything and how it will actually help us get things done. Many of us are overcome with so much joy at the sight of shiny new hardware or software that we actually forget why we need it in the first place. I’m not saying I don’t like the latest and greatest tech, but I also think about whether or not use justifies the cost.

.NET

Looks like I’ll be teaming up to develop feature enhancements into our document management software. Exciting opportunities await….. I’ll keep you posted on any details.

Measuring Performance

Performance reviews are a great tool when used correctly. In theory, performance reviews measure levels of performance in certain areas the company deems appropriate for their company and/or position in the company. When a person doesn’t meet certain goals or performance levels trying to achieve these goals he/she is then denied the reward (if any) had they been performing at higher levels. Performance reviews are always a good tool for both the employee and the employer. Employers should really consider using them to improve performance levels across the organization. Employees should use them to evaluate whether or not they are doing well in their current position. The review will highlight areas where you need to improve and where you stand currently. Knowing this is important to maintain levels of performance in your job function. How can you be sure you are performing to your standards and the standards set by your company? Answer: you can’t unless you understand what areas of performance your company measures. With performance reviews, the employee knows where they stand and can make adjustments to improve or move on. The same goes for the company. Let’s evaluate this in an analogy: Machines.

When NASA launches a rocket they collect all sorts of data from the engine to the environment surrounding the rocket itself. This data is then examined and used to make adjustments to the rocket to increase its performance on the next launch. Like any machine a rocket can be tweeked in order to get maximum performance. In order to accomplish its mission, NASA knows the rocket must meet or exceed certain performance levels in various categories. Once the rocket has been altered it is put to the test again, measured, then tweeked. Measure, tweek, measure. One could do the same thing for people in order to enhance their performance. As people are your most valuable asset in an organization you want them functioning to spec or beyond. You accomplish this by setting your metrics, your rewards/incentives and taking measurements and making adjustments.

Like NASA, companies also have missions. Most of the time performance metrics are based on the mission. If not, the company risks measuring the wrong metric and effectively losing sight of the performance it needs to accomplish its mission. It’s in both parties best interest to know what performance metrics are measured and what reward (if any) will be given if the employee meets the performance levels. With proper metrics and realistic goals an organization can get the best performance. Like the rocket people need to be tweeked sometimes.