This is fun. This is a fun piece that I’m writing to force myself back into the habit. Work is busy, as is your work, I am sure. If you are a newbie, then your study is busy. If it’s not, you aren’t trying hard enough or your life is busy and you don’t have the time to be busy with study.
Hackers and makers and do-ers and coders and blue teams and red teams look like normal people. Some of these people are men. Some of these people are women. Unfortunately, most (>50%) are men. I say unfortunately because that number is skewed closer to 100% than 50%. And that’s a problem because women are people who have capacity to make a real difference in security.
Some hackers have dark skin. Others have light skin. Some are albino, I’m sure. A few hackers are very tall. A few hackers are very short. It’s likely that some hackers are quite obese while others are unfortunately malnourished.
Hackers are people just like you. Hackers are people totally different than you.
If you see a man on the street with a funny t-shirt and long hair, he may be a hacker. If you see a man on the street with a boring suit and a briefcase, he may be a hacker. If you see a woman on the subway with an umbrella and a book, she may be a hacker. If you see a handsome man or a beautiful woman, they could each be hackers.
There isn’t “a look”. That’s stupid. There isn’t even a look in the NBA, where we think people have to be tall. Boris Diaw doesn’t look the fitness part any more than Patty Mills looks the height part. (Back off the team I support. Or else.)
If you decide to study infosec, focus on putting things into your brain and then using those things to make and hack and do. How you look doesn’t matter. If you want to be image-conscious and dress in custom suits, that’s awesome. You’ll look real nice. If you could not care less about how you look, then own that too (though please care about how you smell if you need to be around people).
That’s all. Just be cool.
How you look doesn’t matter. But, what’s inside does. So this is my unsolicited advice on success in life, cyber, and I guess everything else. Get and then stay healthy. Learn how to prepare healthy food, or learn how to purchase healthy food. Form a habit of enjoying healthy food. Figure out what quantity of food is healthy and train yourself to stay in that healthy-quantity range. Find a way to get your heart racing through some kind of activity. Maybe walk around. Maybe play a sport. Maybe lift like all the weights. Or whatever, something else. Play paintball with your friends, I don’t know. Just get yourself healthy.
When you are quite good at your job, when you are making good money, and become in your 40s and maybe have between 0 and ? kids, you’ll be very happy to have spent the time learning how to be healthy and fit, because you won’t hurt as much and you’ll be able to keep up with the young people who have energy and don’t have kids.