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Am I too old for a career change into security?

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bahr

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Post Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:01 pm

Am I too old for a career change into security?

Hi there :)

I'm a soon 29 year old guy with a master in information technology working full time as a. NET developer. I've had an interest in security, especially pentesting since high school, but back then I never really considered it as a career path option. Now lately the last year I've begun to read more and more security articles, tutorials etc, and I've started coding in Python trying to make small client server back doors, my own http server and stuff like that to get an in depth knowledge of networking and protocols etc. I'm also reading Counter Hack Relosded, and this world of security is so much more  exciting compared to my daily job.

Hence I dream of a career within pentesting, but do you guys think it is to late for me to change direction from being a 'commercial'. NET developer without any real knowledge within security  to becoming a professional  pentester? If not, how would you approach this endeavour, and what path do you think I should take? The reason why I'm so in doubt is because this field is so large and requires such a broad knowledge, and I can code, but I really don't know where to start. 

I don't have any really useful knowledge within security, so I'm a complete newbie, I only have like 3 years of programming experience, but I consider my self a fast learner.

What do you guys think, am I to late with this, and is my age against me, or how and where could I start with my current knowledge?

Oh and I'm sorry for the length of this post.
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dynamik

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Post Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:42 pm

Re: Am I too old for a career change into security?

Wow, I was expecting you to say you were 60 or something.

Why don't you leverage what you know instead of trying to start from scratch? Wep app pen testing is hot right now, and your .NET knowledge clearly puts you in a good position for understanding how ASP.NET applications work behind the scenes (I assume you're doing thick-client development since you didn't mention ASP).

And even if you want to start from scratch, 29 is not too late. However, you're going to have to accept that it's going to take years of work to become competent, and you may have to take a drop in pay and seniority to migrate into a relatively different field.

If I were you, I'd take use my existing knowledge and skills and take on some security responsibilities, or obtain a position that has such responsibilities, and then keep working towards a full-time security position step-by-step.

Also, welcome to the forums.
The day you stop learning is the day you start becoming obsolete.
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cd1zz

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Post Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:24 pm

Re: Am I too old for a career change into security?

I changed careers from network admin to pentesting at 30. I managed to do so without taking a pay cut. It's possible, you just have to be strategic about it. Like ajohnson said, the next logical step in my eyes is for you to become a web app ninja. You'll have to convince a potential employer that you actually know what you're talking about. You might want to start blogging, or publishing useful code to the community.....whatever it is, just start showing that dream company that you're a ninja. Where are you located?
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impelse

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Post Fri Mar 15, 2013 7:08 am

Re: Am I too old for a career change into security?

I can tell you I am in the transition process, I begin around the 39. I've been taking trainings online, reading book, etc.

I am a System/Network admin, so every time I install a new system, or we got a new customer I scan the network or server, sometimes I test my own new servers.

I am keep building the skill before the full transfer. Just the last weekend I found a vulnerability in one of the custom application, I liked a lot.
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caissyd

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Post Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:06 am

Re: Am I too old for a career change into security?

ajohnson, cd1zz and impelse are all right!

I am a Java developer who started transitioning into pentest 5 years ago. I am now 37 and I am almost completely out of web development.

So by all means, do it! It requires lots of work, but like me, you can do it!  ;)
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lorddicranius

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Post Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:29 pm

Re: Am I too old for a career change into security?

Gosh, I hope not. 28 here and I'm working on making the transition. If I only have one more year... :-\ ;)
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bahr

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Post Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:11 pm

Re: Am I too old for a career change into security?

Thank you all for your answers. It's comforting to get some support from people with experience already on the same path. I think I'll read up on web app pentesting and try to use some of my experience with WCF from the. NET world. Better start somewhere than nowhere I guess :)

I'm from Copenhagen / Denmark, and nice forum :)
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caissyd

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Post Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:56 pm

Re: Am I too old for a career change into security?

Then welcome the the forum bahr!

My #1 advice to you is to stick to this forum and post your questions like you just did. You'll get tons of hints and answers here...  ;)
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dynamik

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Post Fri Mar 15, 2013 2:50 pm

Re: Am I too old for a career change into security?

Oh, in that case, you may have to move as well. I'm not trying to discourage you, but it doesn't sound like there's a lot of opportunities over there. MaXe, despite his impressive skills, actually relocated to Australia for a full-time pen testing gig: https://forum.intern0t.org/blogs/maxe/1 ... nning.html
The day you stop learning is the day you start becoming obsolete.
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24772433

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Post Fri Mar 15, 2013 5:56 pm

Re: Am I too old for a career change into security?

It's definately not too late. 28 is young! I was 30 when I took the transition from soldier in the British Army to IT Systems Admin - I didn't do IT in the army!

From the sounds of it your're on the right track. Most definitely concentrate on Web Application testing. Also, get signed up for the PWB/OSCP course too. It's worth the investment.

Take a look at this security organisation in Denmark:
https://www.csis.dk/da/csis/job/

Steve.
Last edited by Guest on Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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DataDwarf

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Post Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:03 pm

Re: Am I too old for a career change into security?

28 is not too old. I am making the transition after 15yrs working as a sysadmin
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bahr

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Post Sat Mar 16, 2013 12:50 pm

Re: Am I too old for a career change into security?

Thank you. Moving out of the country is not an option for me in the near future, but I do live in Copenhagen, so I think that might be the best place to be located, if you are unable to move. Thanks a lot for the link to CSIS, that definitely seems to be a dream place for me to get hired.

I will stay on this kind forum, and hopefully learn a lot of stuff, and maybe with time give something back to this community ;)
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rattis

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Post Sat Mar 16, 2013 9:48 pm

Re: Am I too old for a career change into security?

bahr wrote:Hi there :)

I'm a soon 29 year old guy



He is too old. Yes, too old to begin the training. ;)

(I couldn't help myself)
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caissyd

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Post Mon Mar 18, 2013 6:04 am

Re: Am I too old for a career change into security?

But I've learned so much!

(I couldn't resist either)
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vekarman

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Post Tue Mar 19, 2013 4:33 am

Re: Am I too old for a career change into security?

Man, man, man!!!

Age is mere a number. don't worry and go ahead. Though I am 50 now, I feel very young with younger member of this group!!

Enjoy.
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