It has been roughly six months since my last post, and I wanted to provide a brief update before diving back into articles. I have been very busy the past six months with a lot of life changes which is why I haven’t written in a while. While I do not normally blog about personal things, I am making a bit of an exception in this post.

First, back in March, I started a new job as a Senior Security Analyst at a global manufacturing company. This has been an exciting new adventure filled with many rewarding experiences so far. One of the biggest changes has been trying to secure a global company. Working at local small companies, it is easy to just block traffic from risky countries such as China and Russia. In a global organization; however, this is just not feasible, so you must find alternatives for protecting assets and limiting malicious traffic. The other significant change is working with such a large IT team. In most of my experience, there have been very limited roles and teams, and everyone wears many hats, but now there are different teams handing different tasks. This means that you often have to request something from one team, then do something with the result, then send off to another team. While it makes the most sense in a large company, it does take some time adjusting when you are used to performing all the tasks from beginning to end yourself.

Second, my wife and I were blessed with our second child this summer - a beautiful daughter. Taking care of an infant, working full time, and also taking care of a toddler is definitely a significant time dedication. That being said, I wouldn’t change any of it, as I love being a father even more than I love working in this field. Now that things are starting to settle down though, I figured I could start doing some writing again.

Which leads me into my third and last major event of the past six months - I have decided to go back to college. I have not spoken of my education much, but I only have an Associate’s degree, which I’m sure has had an impact on my career opportunities in the past. I’ve often considered going back for my Bachelor’s, but I was just never sure when with the time dedication and the cost. That changed when I learned about Western Governors University. The convenience factor was always a concern, and WGU is entirely online which was my first consideration. The other major concern was the cost. Now that I have been paying on my student loans for a few years, it became feasible to increase the amount again by pursuing higher education. One of the things that I like most about WGU is how their “terms” are structured. In most colleges, you pay per credit hour regardless of taking one course or five courses. At WGU, you pay per term, which is a six-month period. The downside to this is that you must remain full time, which is 12 credit hours at a time, to remain an active student. This makes it more of a significant time dedication when working full time and also taking care of a family. However, the advantage of this is that you can take as many courses as you can force into a term with no additional cost. For example, most of my courses are 4 credit hours meaning I have three courses per term. Since I have worked in this field for quite some time, I can quickly go through the material for a course, finish it and then move onto the next. Once I have completed my required courses for the term, I can add future courses and complete them early as well. For example, if I could do one course per month, I could do six courses in a term which would be 24 credits instead of the planned 12 credits, and it would not have any additional cost. While I am not likely to do a course a month, even being able to take one extra course per term brings my degree another step closer in a shorter amount of time, and for less money.

I plan to start being a little more active with blog posts again, but I wanted to give a status update before just diving back in. Take care of yourselves, and stay safe on the Internet.