The start of the year is a time for goals and plans. I’ve given it some thought and want to put mine out there for two reasons:
- To be held accountable. I know a couple people who may read this and chide me a bit for not keeping up. I can use that.
- In the hope that some people may join me in a couple of my goals.
Goal 1: Read one technical book a month
“A capacity and taste for reading gives access to whatever has already been discovered by others.”_ — Abraham Lincoln_
In 2014 I read the fewest technical books since getting done with college. This isn’t a trend I want to see continue. My work life balance isn’t what it used to be, but 12 books covering intelligence, security, and development in a year seems more than reasonable.
I’ve already gotten started with Incident Response & Computer Forensics, Third Edition by Jason T Luttgens, Matthew Pepe, & Kevin Mandia. Even better I’m reading this along with with Alex Pinto. I plan to post a “book report” each one.
I’m also planning on reading:
- Understanding Computation: From Simple Machines to Impossible Programs by Tom Stuart
- Thwarting Enemies at Home and Abroad: How to Be a Counterintelligence Officer by William Hood
- The Art of Intelligence by Henry A. Crumpton
- Practical Malware Analysis by Michael Sikorski & Andrew Honig
- The Web Application Hacker’s Handbook: Discovering and Exploiting Security Flaws by Dafydd Stuttard
I’d love to continue having a discussion partner to work through each book with so feel free to reach out if any of these books peak your interest.
Goal 2: Blog at least once a week
“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”_ — Benjamin Franklin_
I’ve had this blog going for a little bit more than a year and honestly I’m a bit ashamed of how little is on it at this point. I think I can do better. Writing forces me to structure my thoughts and gives me a chance to explore ideas that require more than 140 characters.
Goal 3: Learn a System Programming Language
I write Python multiple times a week. Working at GitHub I see Ruby/Rails more than a bit. Between web frameworks and Jekyll I write HTML/CSS/JS quite often. That said I haven’t really spent time working on traditional system programming language since C++ in college (and that wasn’t really a great experience).
While Python is a great Swiss Army Knife of a language there are times you need something more. Google’s Go certainly has gotten a lot of attention and apparently for good reason. It’s highly performant, portable, and has a clean (dare I say Pythonic) syntax. It looks like a great language. I’ve also heard some great things about Rust as well (this article may sway me). Taking the time to learn and develop a project in a system language would round out a gap I have.
I’m not really keen on making this blog a LiveJournal but while I’m at it I may as well mention a couple personal goals as well:
- Read 12 cooking books this year. Currently I’m reading Twelve Recipes by Cal Peternell. Cooking more goes along with this of course.
- Complete the C25K (Couch to 5k) program and run regularly.
- I’ve been talking for awhile about getting a dog (my wife has had one since before we got married). I’ve never had a dog that was primarily mine and I think it would be a great experience and challenge to raise and train a dog myself.
It should be a great year.