from Tanay Pratap | by Tanay Pratap

Tanay Pratap


over 1 year ago

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Did it hurt? When someone experienced in the Network Security domain called you out as a script kiddie? Many 18YOs today find it cool to call themselves "ethical hackers". Ask them when was the last time anyone paid them to do any sort of "ethical hacking"?

Not many people know this about me, but for the first 3 years of my career, I have handled the network and security for Cypress APAC region. I was part of a special three-people team across the globe to manage Cypress's (a billion-dollar public company's) network security. 2/

At 22, I wrote a SPEC on WiFi and WiFi Security that was the first for WiFi in the company's history. They had a unique document management system, and internally that doc must still be there. From evaluating vendors, to configuring firewalls, to managing NOC team, 3/

I have done it all. I have lived that life. And I know that I was lucky to get there. To be part of a 3 people team globally. To get that interview, I had to sacrifice so many jobs in college. I didn't sit for Microsoft then, even though I was good at programing. 4/

I have been a programmer since 15YO. I knew I would crack a software engineering job if I sat for it. But the problem was college rules: you get one job, and you can't sit for placements anymore. So, I skipped. My friends kept getting jobs, and I sat aside waiting for 5/

...someone to come and hire me for the Network Security job, the ethical hacking job I was waiting for. Companies came, and I asked every HR/Recruiter, do you hire for my dream job? The answer was NO. Then Cypress came, and I got one chance, and I got in 6/

They weren't prepared to hire me for my dream role. They said, "If you're really good, clear our software rounds first, and then we'll interview you for the InfoSec role." So, I did. Cleared SE rounds. They had to call their team online from the US to interview me further. 7/

Why am I sharing this? Because the dream of an "ethical hacker" is alluring. I bought into that dream and bet my career on it. I was super good at engineering and exceptional at understanding networks. Still, it was a matter of luck to get that job. 8/

Don't fall for the ethical hacking BS. There aren't good jobs. Most of the jobs are NOC team jobs, basically configuring routers and maintaining the network. And trust me, that "ethical hacking" workshop/bootcamp that you just did, it's not gonna get you a job. 9/

This guy was all the rage when we were in college. He was selling the "ethical hacking" dream to the masses. Charging 1000-5000rs for his workshop. Thankfully, he got exposed later. But you can find someone like him. A new avatar. Selling the same old dream. 10/

And listen, read about law of averages. If enough people want to make a career in a domain, some (despite their backgrounds) will make it. You will find that one person. Aspirational being. In the case of making a career in Cyber Security field, I am that person, but 11/

there are no repeatable process And this is why I am vocal against these things. With my range and following, I need to talk about processes that will work for 99% of programming aspirants. I need to be empathetic to the needs of many. 12/

If I talk about what has worked just for the 1% -- the AI, the web3, the ethical hacking, etc. then people will fail at scale. And I can't have that on my soul. So, throw stones at me all you want, but I will always talk about what works at scale. 13/

And that is programming... Do web dev, do android, do iOS, do flutter, do Python, do RN. If you really want it, then do DSA or even the backend. Do things that scale your career. And stay away from these marketing gimmicks. End.

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