Episode 23 – You’ve Got To Get Your Name Out There with Kevin Beaver

 In Podcasts

Kevin Beaver has more than 28 years of experience in I.T., the last 22 years of which have been dedicated to computer and information security. Kevin is author or co-author of a dozen information security books including the best-selling Hacking For Dummies, Hacking Wireless Networks For Dummies. As well as a prolific writer, Kevin is also creator and author of the Security On Wheels information security audio programs.
In this episode of the I.T. Career Energizer podcast Kevin talks about the importance of communication. Kevin also talks about how writing “Hacking For Dummies” has helped his career and why you should get yourself known for what you do.

Time Stamped Show Notes

(00:51) – Phil introduces Kevin

(01:30) – Kevin considers himself to be a technical guy at heart who balances common sense and pragmatism in with his work in information security

(01:52) – Kevin says that he’s seen the good, the bad and the ugly of information security

(02:02) – Kevin says that information security is an awesome field to work in


(02:25) – Unique Career Tip: Kevin says that if you want to be successful, sell yourself and get people on your side, you need to look at the bigger picture

(03:04) – Don’t get stuck in the weeds with all the technical stuff because you need to understand what the business is trying to accomplish

(03:36) – Such people struggle with communication to management, peers and subordinates

(03:53) – You not only have to balance technical skills with common sense, but you needs business understanding and communication skills


(04:19) – Worst Career Moment: Kevin talks about installing a new system

(05:12) – A Windows 2000 server had been running a couple of days

(05:32) – Kevin knew that he had to apply all the latest security updates

(05:43) – Kevin downloaded all the updates and installed them all but didn’t think about testing them

(05:57) – The server rebooted but it didn’t come back up

(06:07) – Kevin spent the night in his office fixing the server


(07:07) – Career Highlight / Greatest Success: Kevin says that his greatest success has been writing and publishing Hacking For Dummies

(07:31) – It was a lot of effort resulting in a lot of blood, sweat and tears

(07:38) – His publisher had wanted him to write the book in three months, but it took five or six

(07:59) – Getting the book completed and seeing it in print was a glorious moment

(08:08) – The book is now in its fifth edition

(08:11) – It’s been a great thing for Kevin, particularly as an independent consultant by establishing his credibility

(08:51) – Kevin believes the book has sold almost two hundred thousand copies

(09:26) – The book was recently featured in a made for TV movie


(09:41) – What Excites You About The Future of a Career in I.T.? Kevin talks about the opportunities available

(10:00) – There is so much growth potential and so much to learn

(10:05) – There is so much to manage and so much to secure

(10:10) – There is unlimited opportunity which lends itself to freedom

(10:33) – Job security is there due to ever changing technology

(10:46) – Kevin feels fortunate that he chose to specialise in security due to the high demand for those skills

(11:35) – Phil says that he believes security is an amazing area for anyone who wants to develop an I.T. career as well as experiencing an exciting future


(11:46) – The Reveal

(11:49) – What attracted you to an I.T. career in the first place? – “My mom, Linda, told me to go to school and study computers”

(12:07) – What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received? – “If you want to accomplish something, if you want to be a leader in the field you’ve got to take action and you got to stick with it”

(12:39) – If you were to begin your I.T. career again, right now, what would you do? –”I would do the same thing.  I would get involved in security”

(13:32) – What career objectives are you focusing on right now? – “Continuing to be an expert in my field and a person of value”

(14:32) – What’s the number one non-technical skill that has helped you in your career so far? – “My communication skills, both verbal and written”


(16:16) – A Parting Piece of Career Advice: Kevin says that you’ve got to get your name out there

(16:28) – You’ve got to get to know people in and around I.T., in and around business and in your specialist area

(16:49) – It’s all about who knows you in a positive way

(17:06) – You are self-employed as a sales person for yourself

(17:41) – Study the concepts of sales and ensure that your communication skills excel


3 Key Points:     

  1. You need more than technical skills and ability to be successful in I.T.
  2. Information Security is an amazing as well as an exciting area for anyone who wants to start a career in I.T.
  3. You need to be the salesperson of your skills and talents


Resources Mentioned:

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