Working in Cyber Security*

I don’t know if you’re familiar with the work of Studs Terkel. He was fairly popular a generation ago for his oral histories of WWII and the Great Depression. He also compiled an oral history about people, the jobs they did, and how they felt about what they did, aptly titled Working.

I’m no Studs Terkel, but I’m going to take a stab at doing something similar, only focused on the people who work in the computer/information security domain, and I’m wondering if you would like to participate? The process will be pretty straight forward:

  1. We’ll set up a mutually agreeable date/time to either meet in person or virtually (probably virtually).
  2. I’ll ask you questions, you provide answers. You can say whatever you want, however you want. This conversation will be recorded.**
  3. Your answers will be transcribed into text. Very light edits may be made for the sake of clarity or readability. You will get the final say on how anything you said reads.

Some basic ground rules:

  1. You cannot be anonymous. We can use your real name, or we can use your nickname/handle, or we can use a pseudonym. “Anonymous security expert who is totally not fake” is not going to work.
  2. You have to work somewhere. I’m not asking you to be an official representative of your employer, but I would like to be able to give readers some sense of where you work, and all that that implies. So whenever possible you won’t be “Alice Smith, Generic Security Nerd,” But “Alice Smith, SOC Manager at Fortune 50 Manufacturing Company” or some such (whatever keeps you kosher with your employer).
  3. I’m going to ask some mildly personal questions about you and your background. This is to help paint a picture of a whole person, not an attempt to invade your privacy. Think, “Were you into technology as a kid, and did your parents encourage that?” and not “Do you have any tattoos we can’t see if you’re wearing pants?” If you want to change names/dates/locations to protect yourself/family that’s fine, but answers have to be true.
  4. If you were in the military or government I’m going to ask about that. Broad, non-specific answers are expected. I was in uniform and later a govie. I’m under NDA too. I get it. Let’s not give pre-pub a reason to fill this thing with black rectangles.

If you’re interested please let me know and let’s see when our calendars sync up.

With thanks in advance,


* Yes, I’m not a super fan of the term either, but the goal here is accessibility, so allowances have to be made.

** I very much would prefer we do this orally, but if schedules clash, or you’re really not comfortable, we can work out something via chat or asynchronous.