Making Friends and Their Impact in Our Lives

The other day my son was asking to use some hardware that I had collected over the years and I ran across this little gem. In 2009, my employer had assigned me to the security role I had been advocating for. As part of this, our CIO felt that I needed to go to Black Hat and paid for me to attend. At that point if you went to Black Hat, you also got a free badge to DEF CON. So I paid for the hotel for couple of more days so I could go to DEF CON.

At the conference I had the opportunity to meet a number of folks who became very important in my life and for my career. I stopped by the Security Weekly Podcast booth (then the Pauldotcom Podcast) and met Paul Asadoorian and Larry Pesce. I had been listening to the podcast for several years already, so these were some folks I really wanted to meet. Larry had featured a script that I had written on an episode, so I had exchanged some emails with the crew already. Later that day I met Kevin Johnson, Justin Searle, and Ed Skoudis, all of which were working for InGuardians at the time. I was able to hang out with Kevin and Justin for a couple of days, which I really appreciated since I was just some guy they had met.

I’ve kept in touch with these folks over the years. I consider them friends and people whose opinions are extremely valuable to me. My friendship with them has led to opportunities I never expected to be possible back in August of 2009. Paul and I worked together at Tenable Network Security. I worked for Kevin as one of his consultants for nearly five years. I have been a co-host on the Security Weekly News podcast for nearly seven years now. Their friendship has had a profound impact on my life and my career. And these are only a few of the friends I’ve made over the years.

Moral of the Story

Whatever field your career is in, make friends with people. Even if they seem like they are out of your league. Especially if you feel like they are out of your league, make friends with people. Keep in contact with them. Help them whenever you can. Be there for them when things get rough. Share when things are rough for you. You never know what can happen. It’s astounding to me what has developed from my friendships.

Jason Wood