What do you think this is?

just thoughts of a restless mind...

Studying again

Whoever knows me can tell you: I enjoy learning. I enjoy it so much that I’m always looking for opportunities to learn more on any random subject that I find interesting. Lately, i.e. the last 2 or three years, I find psychology to be very interesting. I was even thinking of taking a degree in psychology and information security (aka social engineering :)) but with my work schedule it seems to be a difficult task. Let’s park this thought…

While I probably cannot take a full academic degree on psychology, I can always attend seminars or short courses. In 2013 I attended through Coursera Dan Ariely’s “A Beginner’s Guide to Irrational Behavior” and it was so much fun!

On Monday I’m starting Negotiations and Influence from Emeritus.org with MIT’s Jared Curhan and I’m so excited!

Tagged in : personal, management, education

Responsive design

Responsive design

When I started creating this blog, some 40 days ago, I decided to go with a very simple template. First of all because I don’t like many bells and whistles. Second, because I know that I don’t have the skills to modify complex templates. All these JS libraries and CSS magic things are wonderful, but I leave them to the professionals.

I’m not a professional web designer; I don’t even think I could call myself an amateur. So being simple was important to me. Then a couple of weeks later I read that Android surpassed Internet Explorer and being the geek I am, I decided to make my site mobile friendly.

I spent probably too much time trying to locate a template that would be mobile friendly, or responsive, and at the same time be as simple as I wanted it. I failed. Everything was too bloated. Then I decided to try my luck.

The good thing when you have a very simple design, is that changes are easy. If your CSS is some 80 definitions, transforming it into a responsive website is a piece of cake; even if you don’t really know much about responsiveness.

I spent a couple of hours researching resources on the internet. I probably took a lot of courage by this one and voila: not even three hours later I have a blog with a responsive design.

It will not win any competitions and it doesn’t have any “wow” factor, but certainly does the job for me.

Tagged in : personal, blogging, web design

It’s never easy

It’s never easy

We are professionals. Or so I want to think. Professional life is not easy, and conflicts are common and frequent. Most of the time the conflicts can be attributed to the right reasons. All parties want the best for the company. They just have a different perspective, which leads to conflict.

Being a risk and security professional, I have experienced complaints about security being a blocker. Almost every time I had the opportunity to get into a discussion with whoever is complaining, I try to explain why what I suggest will not hinder the business. And most of the times, we reach a conclusion that is good for everybody. A win - win situation.

Yes, that’s right. I rarely, if ever, suggest something related to security that will hinder the business. Security is not easy, but I’m quite experienced to find the best secure solution, instead of the quickest one. Truth be told, I probably cheat. I have been an IT professional long before I focus on security. Sometime it is just too easy to point out why the insecure solution will create efficiency problems, or unmanageable technical debt. And I’m taking this opportunity. I’m lucky because I have a very good technical background, so most of the times I can explain why an insecure solution will create problems, and how they can be avoided by a secure solution.

I have also learnt over the years to be more open-minded. Maybe I’m too open-minded now, and people think that I am not confident enough. But I don’t mind, because I benefit from it. I benefit from listening other people’s opinions and perspectives; and I always learn more and more.

And most of the times this whole thing works and everybody is happy, and the company is in a better place day after day.

But then, once in a while, things are not so easy. You stumble upon someone who just doesn’t want to listen. Or who has a hidden personal agenda. It’s times like that, when I realise that sometimes, you just lose. And it’s times like that, when I realise, that when I managed to improve something it was not only due to my skills but also due to luck.

Because it’s never easy. You need to be lucky enough to speak to the right people, at the right time, instead of speaking to a wall who without reason, and without benefit for anybody, just does not want to listen.

But that’s life, right?

Tagged in : personal, security, professional life, wisdom