Back in the Cadence

After fighting a bout of burnout earlier this year I got back into writing the blog from May to September. Then I just ran out of steam again after I had transitioned into a role involved in application security. I found this making it harder to write about what I was doing day-to-day, due to a need to maintain some confidentiality around the sorts of problems and challenges we were facing which could manifest as security vulnerabilities. So I wrote some posts about the work I was doing, keeping to the high level and abstract parts of the situation. None of which turned out particularly engaging.

I don’t think it was burnout again, I was still engaged through the majority of the time off from writing. I still did plenty of reading in the gap, as opposed to the prior block of burnout where I just didn’t have the interest in doing anything software-related. There was a two-fold problem: I was more busy with work-adjacent things trying to bootstrap my own knowledge of the field, and the kinds of things that might inspire a blog post all had to go through that internal filter. I tried to write about some of the stuff I was learning, but for a lot of it, I found it hard to identify where the interesting portions are and where the rote everyday parts were.

While I’ve managed to write a fair bit about the nuts and bolts of learning functional programming, a lot of that is me trying to describe difficult concepts in a different way. The security knowledge of the type I’ve been developing lately it’s more about understanding the terminology rather than the details of any particular application of the knowledge. Getting to the point where I am conversant with someone and able to keep up with the terminology of the basic parts of the conversation wasn’t easy.

I started listening to the Security Now podcast just to get a consistent outside perspective. Despite having a more generic information security focus, it was still good to get into the right mindset to look at a vulnerability turned up by a static analysis tool. It also made sure I didn’t fall into only learning internal lingo for this, and brought concepts and terms to me without me having to go to them first. Listening to the first few episodes I probably spent more time doing background research to understand what I was hearing than actually listening to the content itself.

I want to get back into the habit of writing posts again. I don’t know if I’ll have the topics for the once a week cadence I was doing. I’ve got ~12 topics I generated over the 11 weeks I missed so it seems like I should. Some of the topics required the hindsight of having integrated into this new community to be able to see what’s worth talking about. I also had three topics from before that I’m not sure what to do with. While I may not be able to convert all of these ideas into posts, I’m going to post once a week again and try not to force too many topics that don’t fit.