Between Two Ferns

The final talk headed in to the closing.

These, plus discussions I had with friends afterward, kind of left me scratching my head.

A few things.

Bruce repeatedly implored people to try to get women and young people involved in the Infosec industry.

I think there was another instance where I really railed against predetermining outcomes in populations.

This is one of the areas where my frequent consumption of the Ancaps comes in. There’s no way to determine what the future IT labor force should look like.

Even more, it’s a waste of time to try.

Unfortunately, we’ve got this model that’s completely incapable of responding to whatever comes along.

I came from an industry, broadcasting, that’s nearly dead today. How many Boomers ended up in print journalism because they were really enamored with what Woodward and Berstein did with Watergate?

I knew a few of those folks when I was still in radio. They were making a career transition as the print media started dying. Most of them were ending up in sales.

Those lasted until the broadcast industry died, too.

A cynic might say, well, maybe it’s those people. No, I’m not going to go there. They’re good folk. But the audiences have changed, and they don’t have the stranglehold on the consumers the way that they used ot.

Higher education has a similar problem. I’ve talked about it, myself. I’m one of the last folks in Generation X. There weren’t very many of us to begin with, and with everyone worried about AIDS when we were reaching sexual maturity, we didn’t accidentally many babby.

So, those kids we didn’t have are filling up colleges. OK, Boomer, you’ve got tenure, and are planning on charging $100K for a BA in something?

Or how about a crash-course that lets you pass the minesweeper match to get letters after your name?

I also think of friends and acquaintanceship who paid a ton of money to buy a vendor’s certification.

I recall picking up a dated box from my old employer, and having a coworker absolutely amazed that it served as an email host for something like six domains without an expensive Microsoft license.

Uh, it runs FreeBSD, Exim, and Courier IMAP.

So you’re not running Exchange??!?

Uh, no.

I worry that pushing people towards security careers might be akin to pushing them towards careers in print journalism in 1996.

Would establishment higher even be able to produce people who can just pass multiple choice test, people who’ve the ability to adapt to whatever changes arrive on the scene?

I’m even more skeptical about that than I am about the idea that sparking interest in a particular part of an industry will increase the current interest in it, and entrench it for the future.

I was on the air when the millennium flipped with CBS Radio over a phone couplet.

I was ready to stay live if the communications failed when the clock flipped to 2000.

You might think that the experience I had, and the education I was recieving at the time would have me set up for life.

Yeah, about that.

The market will dictate demand. Whether or not that demand is met is not something that can be planned ahead of time.

So, there’s not a ton of young people terribly interested in locking down Windows servers.

Give me a minute to find the fuck I’m not giving. The company that employs me now have moved all that sort of stuff “to the cloud.”

So everyone who paid a ton of money to “obtain those skills” is now unemployable, in a ton of debt.

I got in a pretty passionate conversation for a few minutes, there.

But things are not designed the way they were in 2005. Or 2010. Or 2015.

Security is a part of everything.

The days of a squadron of firemen there to deal with problems introduced by designers not the least bit concerned about security isn’t a problem now, or in the future.

So why are we worried about the kids being interested?

About as interested as my millennial wife was when I showed her how to queue both a 45 and a 33 so they’d start cleanly. Just hit the triangle icon on the app you’re using.

Apologies for the rant. I did enjoy my time at Shmoocon.

I enjoyed being able to support a student’s attendance.

I enjoyed my time alone in the hotel where I could collect some of my thoughts and write.

Since I’m kind of beyond the point where I can really get around comfortably, I may just watch the stream next year, and write.

We’ll see.