Our guest today is Katie Colgan, an Application Security Professional, and Cyber Security Content Creator.
Katie is Grant Colgan's partner, and she will tell us what it's like to work in the same field as your husband, how she decided to put her career on hold to raise their children, and why it was the best decision she could ever make.
We discuss how, despite not currently working in the industry, why and how she keeps up to date on current events and her plans to obtain certifications in the meantime.
Katie explains how she overcomes her social anxiety, what she means when she says she "hacks stuff," and her advice for other mothers who are juggling time with their children and time at work.
Do what's best for you and what you can do, because you'll not regret it spending time with your kids, it will be worth it.
Kids grew up so quickly, and I'm looking at it as you have about 18 years maximum with your kids being kids, and that is not a long period of time.
So make the most of the time that you have, careers will be there when you want them.
Thanks for being an imposter - a part of the Imposter Syndrome Network (ISN)!
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You can also find us on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Patreon.
Make it a great day.
The following transcript is machine generated and probably contains some errors.
[00:00:00] Chris: Hello and welcome to the Imposter Syndrome Network Podcast where everyone belongs, especially if you think you don't.
[00:00:15] Chris: My name is Chris Grundman and I am not joined today by my supersonic co-host, Zoe Rose. She's out sick and sends her regards. This is the Katie Colgan episode, and I think you're gonna love it.
[00:00:27] Chris: Katie is the wife and we suspect inspiration of one of our previous guests, grant Colgan, who was with us back in episode 21. And Katie is also an application security professional who is passionate about sharing knowledge and awareness of cybersecurity.
[00:00:46] Chris: Hi Katie. Would you like to introduce yourself further to the imposter syndrome network?
[00:00:50] Katie: Hi. Um, yes, sure. Um, that is all in completely accurate. Um, at the minute, however, I am not actively working in application security. I have two kids and I am a stay-at-home mom. So as much as my professional background is application security and I have a lot of background in that, but.
[00:01:12] Katie: At the minute I'm not actually working in that field. So, um, yeah, just to, to mention that
[00:01:18] Chris: fair point. Good deal. You're doing what's more important right now. That's awesome. Uh, I think we'll probably talk about that a little bit actually. But to start out, because we spoke with your husband, grant on the show a few weeks back.
[00:01:31] Chris: We have some inside information mainly that you both do work, um, when you're working in, uh, cybersecurity, but also, at least from our conversation with him, it sounds like you're a pretty big inspiration on Grant in his career. And I wonder if you can talk to us a little bit about. What it's like to work in the same field as your husband and and co-parent.
[00:01:52] Katie: Yeah, sure. Yeah, it's an interesting one. I definitely started in this cybersecurity area first. He was in tech before me in terms of working, but it wasn't like I got my first job as we started a relationship and it happened to be in cybersecurity, and it was a couple years later that he got into the field.
[00:02:14] Katie: and yeah, it's, it's an interesting one because obviously you do have all the work things to talk about in terms of security. We're both in different areas of cybersecurity. Um, so I'm predominantly application security. He is. Everything else, I'll be honest. And so we have some crossover and yeah, it's just one of those things of, I don't know, we, we understand each other's roles a little better than some couples who have very different fields that they work in, which is nice at times.
[00:02:47] Katie: And also sometimes you do still have the gazed eyes of, what are you talking about? Because it, it's a particular part of security. One of us doesn't actually really care about or understand and yeah, so I'm not really sure what else to say about that. It's, it's interesting, um, and we definitely inflict a little bit of the techy side of things on our kids at the moment.
[00:03:08] Katie: They are too small to understand that. But we do have some baby HTML books and things lying around. Um, so they will probably be a little bit nerdy like we are.
[00:03:19] Chris: Yeah, makes sense. They probably would've been anyway. Right? Well this is like the classic nature verse nurture, uh, debate. But you're gonna, you're gonna close both gaps, right?
[00:03:25] Chris: So it's natural for them to be techs and you're also gonna gonna, you know, give them the, the HTML book in their cradle. So, awesome. .
[00:03:32] Katie: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely.
[00:03:34] Chris: Um, I mean, what about the other side of that though? I mean, obviously I think that makes a lot of sense, right? That working in the same field. And, you know, I don't know about you, but you know, one of the reasons I work in technology is cause I'm pretty passionate about it.
[00:03:44] Chris: And so it is a big part of my life. And so assuming that's the same for, for you all, I mean, having that connection makes sense, right? I mean that's, that's definitely an interesting way to kind of add on to the relationship. Like you said, a lot of people don't have that, cuz you might, if you live with a banker or a florist or a barber, they may have no idea what what you're talking about at all.
[00:04:02] Chris: But I wonder if it, if it goes the other way. Is there any time, I mean, you guys ever get in like arguments or anything about the right way to secure something or, or is there like technical religious debates that the breakout
[00:04:13] Katie: Oh, fair, fair. That is, that is an interesting question. Usually it's when one of us doesn't have as much in depth knowledge about a particular topic as the other. There's sort of maybe miscommunications about things. We tend to not have those big heated discussions about things. However, sometimes it'll be one of us reads into something and interpreted a different way than the other. I'm trying to think of an example, but I don't have one on top of my head for that.
[00:04:41] Katie: But that does come up where if you've got a little bit of technical knowledge on one thing, but not depth enough, Like say I don't have a depth enough in knowledge that's just, for example, say networking cuz I'm not a networking person. If there's something networking related vulnerability that had been talked about and I only saw a glimpse of it, grant would then sort of be like, yeah, no, that, that's not exactly how it works.
[00:05:06] Katie: That's the the biggest sort of, Issues that we like, not issues, discussions that we would come up with in terms of that, that sort of thing. But, uh, sometimes it's just a bit of excitement of, hey, there's this thing and it's really cool, and we both sort of geek out about it. ,
[00:05:21] Chris: that's awesome. Yeah. That's great.
[00:05:22] Chris: And I mean, yeah, to be really cool to kind of be able to learn from each other and, and kind of, you know, one person's the expert and, and kind of toss those things around. That makes a lot of. And then, you know, I assume that he's also been supportive of you taking some time off to, to stay home with the kids.
[00:05:37] Chris: Maybe. I mean, I think that's something that's really interesting, not just tech technology careers, but any career at all is, is, you know, feeling comfortable taking that break. I know it's probably a little bit different. I mean maybe in, in Europe, um, than it is in the us but I am really curious as to how that thought process went and, and you know, what ultimately led up to making that decision of like, no, I can take time out for my career to focus on family.
[00:05:59] Chris: Yeah. How did that decision come about?
[00:06:00] Katie: In all honesty, from I was no age. I wanted to stay home with kids. So when I had kids it was like, that would is what my ideal situation is. Obviously, a lot of the debate went into. I took a year out for maternity leave. That's the ab, the, the sort of maximum you can in the uk.
[00:06:18] Katie: And uh, I did at one point try to go back to work part-time. Um, so I discussed with the company I was working for the ways that might happen and we did get to a point where they had agreed that I could come back three days a week. But just in that whole discussion, . I was looking at this little small child that I was going to be leaving for three days a week and not have that whole time with him.
[00:06:48] Katie: And also I did find out that I was pregnant with my second one around that time. So I was like, yeah, do you know what? I'm just gonna see what we can do about me staying at home full-time. And it just made the most sense for me. When it comes to Grant, he, um, He was supportive of it, obviously, in terms of monetary decisions and all of that.
[00:07:10] Katie: We were able to make that work with the expectation that within a few years, most likely I will return to work. And so sort of trying to balance how long you can come out of your career for before becomes a bit too much. But I think with tech, yes, tech moves fast, but with. A partner who works in tech. I keep hearing about lots of the things that are going on despite the fact that I'm not actually working and also I do keep listening to like podcasts and all that kinda stuff to try and keep a little bit up to date.
[00:07:46] Katie: So it is a little bit scary that I haven't quite got to that point of returning into the workforce, and I'm interested for myself to see how that goes and when that might happen. But it's, it's a big thing to make that decision because there is those sort of unease about what will come, but I would not give up the time with my kids for anything because they have grown so quickly.
[00:08:10] Katie: And it feels like yesterday I had the first one and he's now two, and that that is insane. Like he is such a little kid and I had thought about hi for what, six months or so? I could have been working part-time before I had my second, but I had so much one-on-one time with my son that I wouldn't have wanted to have given that up.
[00:08:34] Katie: Like I wouldn't have had the freedom to do all of those things with him before my daughter was born. I, I wouldn't change it just like would not change it. So we'll see how the future goes of what I do once they're maybe in school, that kind of age. That's the sort of plan, if I can do something alongside them while they're still a little bit young, I would like to do that at some point.
[00:09:00] Katie: But for now, that's, that's kind of how we got to that point. And I wouldn't change it. I don't think Grant would either. But I can't speak for him. .
[00:09:11] Chris: Yeah. That's fantastic. And it is good, right? That I think, you know, at least for the time being, careers in technology are, are, you know, you, you do pretty well, right?
[00:09:19] Chris: I mean, you're not, you know, necessarily making millions of dollars, but you know, anybody who has a solid job in tech is, is making a good amount, you know, to the point where a single income can, can support you all for, for the time being. And that's, that's, I think that's great. And yeah, I was gonna ask if you had plans to go back eventually, and it sounds like you do in, in, in a few.
[00:09:35] Chris: And, and I like that plan to, you know, kind of stay abreast of what's going on. Obviously, like you said, it's easy cuz you're gonna have these conversations over the dinner tables and, and that kind of stuff with, with Grant, but also it's something you're interested in. And so you're, you said, I think you said you're, you know, you're still listening to podcast.
[00:09:49] Chris: Do you have any plans to like knock out some certifications while you're, while you're hanging out with the babies or any of that?
[00:09:54] Katie: Yeah, that was actually something I was gonna say. At some point I would like to do some certifications. I have a postgraduate diploma in Applied Cybersecurity. I'm not sure if Grant mentioned that, that he did it as well.
[00:10:08] Katie: So I've got that little bit of education that was as my son was very young, so that's really fresh in terms of education. But one of the ways obviously to make sure that you're seem to employers are still having knowledge would be to have certifications. More like recent. So I do plan to potentially do security plus at some point that certifications is not a thing that I've really done.
[00:10:33] Katie: So being able to go in and do that, no, um, or in the near future is kind of a way of just refreshing knowledge and making sure that when I do start to go back and look into getting another job, doing something. It's a good sort of marker to say, Hey, in the last however many months, years, whatever, I've done these things and it shows that I haven't lost all of my knowledge, which you know, Kids can make you forget things, so, but yeah, so security plus is is one that I've looked in that I'd looked into previously, and that is one that I would probably look at because it's a good starter certification and it just sort of shows.
[00:11:17] Katie: That you've got a good rounding in security. I think the history of my work would sort of demonstrate that I have some knowledge, but, uh, you know, as people look at time, skills and all that kind of thing, you just want that little bit of confirmation that, uh, you still know things.
[00:11:36] Chris: Yeah. Yeah, definitely. I think that this is something that is, is kind of a touchstone issue in, in, in the world at least, you know, from my perspective for women in general is, and, and, and men as well, right?
[00:11:46] Chris: I think there's some, uh, fathers who want to be able to take some time out and, and go hang out with their kids for some extended period of time at some point, whether it's, you know, in infancy or maybe even somewhere later in life. And the ability for parents to do that and then be able to come back to the workforce is definitely something that seems to, you know, flare up in, in articles and debates and, and news from time to time.
[00:12:05] Chris: Because you're right, right? I mean, after five years there are questions, right? That long of a gap becomes kind of a question mark. Uh, I like that approach of using certifications to kind of put a stamp, put a marker there and say, no, no, I, I've been working on this, you know, this is on the side. And you said maybe, you know, not right away, obviously cuz you got a brand new baby girl, but maybe at some point you'll do a little bit of like freelancing or something like that.
[00:12:25] Chris: Maybe you were thinking about or part-time or, you know, to kind of fill in a little.
[00:12:29] Katie: Yeah, that's a good question. Um, I don't know what it is that I would like to do. What? I just don't think that the sort of typical nine to five, even if it's part-time, fits in around what I want to do with my kids. I just don't know what it is that would fit yet.
[00:12:45] Katie: If I can come across something that would fit. That would be a thing to do. Obviously, right now my brain doesn't function as well because I'm so tired from a very small child and a toddler. But in the next probably year or so, it would be nice to have something that sort of makes my brain think about anything but little humans.
[00:13:10] Katie: Um, once it starts to, you know, function that little bit better . But yeah, I don't know what that looks like. And that's part of, in terms of career, that's part of my issue with career is I don't know what I particularly wanna do. Like I have done various parts of application security and I still don't know what I wanna do.
[00:13:30] Katie: I did the degree, um, and applied to cybersecurity. And I still don't know what it's that I wanna do. And I used that as a marker of, I, obviously the different modules had various different types of cybersecurity and that my, I thought one of those will click and it'll be the thing that would drive the interest to a particular career within cybersecurity, obviously.
[00:13:56] Katie: But, um, no, that didn't happen. I worked it hard because that's the, I don't know, maybe it's a do a little bit of everything is what's in my future. I don't know, but I wish something would just spark and be like, yeah, this is it. , this is the thing, but that just hasn't happened quite yet.
[00:14:14] Chris: yeah, I, and from my perspective, and obviously I, you know, I can only talk about my experience and what others have shared with me.
[00:14:20] Chris: I think that having it totally click like a hundred percent and just know for sure is a little bit rare. But I think you're also right that, you know, over time, as you try a few different things, That should probably help you kind of hone in on, on the things you really like doing. And I, I think that figuring out what you like doing and what you're good at and where those two things overlap.
[00:14:39] Chris: And then, you know, the third piece is like, what will people pay you to do? Finding that sweet spot or, or all three meet is actually really hard. It's, it's part of life's work, I think is to, is to figure that out. And then of course, it, it becomes like a moving target I think too, because your interests change and your skills change and what the world is willing to pay for changes.
[00:14:54] Chris: So yeah, I think there's like a Japanese term... I think it's I, Ikagari or Igacari that talks about that. It's this overlap of like, you know, what you love to do, what you're good at doing, what the world values, you know, what people will pay you for. And kind of that center part is, is the thing that you need to be doing. But finding that is, is pretty hard sometimes.
[00:15:12] Chris: Uh, always. I, I think it's actually hard. Always hard.
[00:15:15] Katie: Yeah. I don't think anyone that I know has found that of all of the things that align, because it's just not that common to do what you love and get paid for it. Like, and it not then become a job. I think that's the bit as well, is not letting it just become a job, because then that takes the whole fun out of it too.
[00:15:34] Chris: It can, and that's where I think some volunteering can help. I know you're a volunteer coo or were at least, uh, a volunteer coordinator with OWASP, right? The OWASP Foundation.
[00:15:42] Katie: Yeah. Um, so I volunteered, uh, for the APSEC EU. When it was in Belfast, and I will spoiler alert, say I did that so that I could get a ticket because the tickets are so expensive.
[00:15:55] Katie: So if you volunteered, you could go, yeah, . So I volunteered so that I could go. But obviously part of that is giving back and doing your part for the community as well. Obviously that that comes with it. But the main drive there was that I got to actually go to the conference because otherwise I wouldn't have been able to afford it myself, which was great, but obviously you put some work into that.
[00:16:19] Katie: I have also done talks for BSides in various places around the uk and I am helping, will be hopefully helping with BSides Belfast for this year. Um, I'm part of the group of doing that, but, um, Haven't quite managed to get anything to do yet for that. But you know, that's one thing of trying to stay within the community and actually keep that those sort of connections and experiences going is with things like BSides, cuz BSides is great.
[00:16:50] Katie: It's a really good community for learning about security even if you're not actually in it. We've met quite a few people through BSides. And some, some people have become really good friends from going just to, BSides then Grant talking to people and bringing me into the conversation because I am terrible at starting conversations and keeping them going
[00:17:11] Katie: So, uh, I rely on Grant for some of that.
[00:17:14] Chris: Nice. That's awesome. Yeah. It sounds like you guys have a really good symbiotic relationship. I like it. And, and yeah. I mean, I, I think that that's really cool, right? Keeping active with, with kinda the conference circuit and the community in that way, that makes a lot of sense as a way to kind of keep the thread going and hopefully it's fun.
[00:17:28] Chris: Even, even if, uh, you know, talking to strangers isn't always the easiest thing.
[00:17:32] Katie: Yeah. Like, I mean besides is always I come away from it being like, this was great. But when I, I'm on my way there and even sometimes just sitting there, I'm like, there's so many people and people are always very nice. But yeah, sometimes it's just I'm not a people person.
[00:17:51] Katie: I wish I was sometimes, but that's just not me. And that's okay. .
[00:17:58] Chris: Yeah, exactly. I think that acceptance is important and, and I, I have found that, you know, for me anyway, the going to conferences has been a big piece of kind of building my career. I didn't always know that I, I started going to conferences more for fun and, and to meet people who were smart and to, and to learn a lot.
[00:18:15] Chris: And now, and then later on realized, oh, shoot, like those people I met have helped my career since then. Right. And so, you know, now 20 years on, looking back, it was a stroke of genius to, uh, to rack up a bunch of credit card debt and send myself to conferences. At the time it felt very irresponsible, but I was learning about stuff I liked and I was meeting cool people.
[00:18:32] Chris: Uh, and now I've realized, oh, like actually that's paid me back at least 10 times because of, you know, those relationships turned into jobs and all kinds of other things.
[00:18:40] Katie: The networking side is so important that. . If you don't have that, it can be very hard, which for me, I think I could potentially have something on the side if I was better at the networking side of things.
[00:18:55] Katie: But again, that just comes with experience. Like when I was a kid, I wouldn't speak to anybody. So now as an adult who does speak to people, That's a good step. .
[00:19:07] Chris: Yeah, that's a win for sure. I have a similar, similar background. I think, I mean, you know, I don't know, I, I hate to kind of over-diagnose or like, you know, amateur diagnosis and kind of WebMD myself here, but what I call, I call it social anxiety.
[00:19:20] Chris: I had like crippling social anxiety as a kid to the point where my mom tried to teach me lots of things. One of them was, she wanted to teach me how to, like how, how to understand finance and like balance a checkbook, just like home finance. And so I had like a bank account from a very young age, uh, which is like, you know, a few dollars in there just so I knew how to balance a checkbook and how transactions, you know, mattered and, and all that stuff.
[00:19:41] Chris: And I was terrified to have to go into the bank and talk to the teller, like to make a withdrawal or make a deposit. Like, I mean, that was like the worst thing ever. Or even like when my mom would try to gimme money and tell me to go to a store, like buy a lollipop or something. Like, I could not face these stranger.
[00:19:55] Chris: Even that weird, you know, just kind of really transactional interaction. So if it resonates with me to kinda have like, ugh.
[00:20:01] Katie: Yeah, you we're on the same page then of that Definitely as growing up, you definitely get a little bit over that and you kinda have to, if you don't, yeah, it's, it's hard to get to that point where you can go into your room of other people and even if you don't speak to anybody in that room, that's a step.
[00:20:19] Katie: Away from that kind of feeling of, I don't wanna even ask for like, food at a restaurant. Like those sorts of things that, that was definitely, I was the friend who other people asked for me as a kid. Like that's, that, that's who I was
[00:20:34] Chris: for sure. And similarly, that resonates with me Now, you know, kind of fast forward to, to going to a conference.
[00:20:40] Chris: And same thing, right? I mean, well now I get excited when I'm like, on my way to the conference, but then at the conference I remember how hard it is to strike up conversations with strangers and, and, and talk to people. And then after the conference I'm always like, Ugh. Like, I, like it was, it was, it was great.
[00:20:54] Chris: It was fun, but like, I should have done more. I should have talked to more people. And then I think I'm gonna do that until I show up at the next one and then get terrified again.
[00:21:01] Katie: Oh yeah, that's hundred percent the same. Exactly the same like at BSides Dublin this year, March, I think with BSides Dublin, it went down.
[00:21:10] Katie: Um, with Grant, we daughter wasn't born yet, and we had our son babysat by the grandparents, and so we went on for a night. I went to Jason e Street's talk and could I build the confidence to actually go and say anything to him? Cause I didn't know exactly what to say. Um, no I didn't. And yet Grant had a chat with him not realizing who he was.
[00:21:32] Katie: That's, that's the difference between me and Grant. He doesn't care necessarily, not, doesn't care, doesn't acknowledge who someone is until after the fact. And he goes, oh, that was that person. Whereas I'm like, I need to have the specific thing to say. And I dunno what that thing is. Um, yeah, ,
[00:21:52] Chris: I think I was listening to, I think it was an audio book.
[00:21:53] Chris: It doesn't matter. I'm, I'm terrible at attribution, but there was this lady who was kind of talking about this a little bit, and I think I might have even told this story on the podcast before. So if, if I did, I'm sorry listeners, I'm gonna tell it again. And she was, you know, this lady was waiting to go on TV at some show and she's sitting in like the green room, right?
[00:22:09] Chris: Which is like the room everybody's hangs out in before they go in. So it's like actually record the. And her favorite author was also in the room with her as well as some other lady that she didn't recognize. And she's sitting there like racking her brain like, okay, that's my favorite author. Like, I, I can't waste this opportunity.
[00:22:24] Chris: I have to talk to this person, but like, what do I say? How can I come up with something like witty and insightful to impress this person so that they wanna talk to me? And then while she's kind of, you know, torturing herself in her mind, the other lady in the room says, do you two like soup? And this conversation ensues.
[00:22:39] Chris: It starts talking about soup and then the three of them just, you know, start talking about other stuff and this conversation unfolds. And it's kind of a silly story, but I, I always sticks in my mind that, cause I do the same thing, I kinda overthink these things and I wanna bring value. And sometimes it's, it's okay just to say, you know, do you like soup?
[00:22:52] Katie: Yeah. I need to keep that as a thing. Just have one question that everyone can Yeah. Kind of have an opinion on that can be a conversation starter. Sure. I think with practice that comes much easier. , it takes you going and doing that thing in the first place, and that is a little bit scary. That's why I go to BSides, particularly because.
[00:23:15] Katie: there aren't other people in that boat as well. And you know, other people appreciate that to be,
[00:23:20] Chris: it's true in the cybersecurity community, but in the broader kind of, you know, information technology and technology even, you know, broadest. I think there are a lot of, of us, so to speak. And so you're right, I think it does.
[00:23:31] Chris: And then, so that's part of it, right? It's just, it's okay to just be like, Hey, I'm super nervous, but I want to talk to you. And most people, at least in our communities will respond to that cause they probably feel the same.
[00:23:40] Katie: Definitely it's talked about a lot, but it doesn't, doesn't necessarily make it easier, but at least you can kind of get an appreciation that other people understand.
[00:23:48] Chris: Yeah, and I think remembering that's important, right? Yeah. I think that that helps a lot. Cause I could, to your point, I, to, for me anyway, it, it doesn't get any easier. , but I have more practice doing it. .
[00:23:58] Katie: Yeah. You have more successes than failures, which gives a little bit of confidence to try. Again. I think that's, that's where it comes from and that's just life experience.
[00:24:07] Katie: And I, as I'm getting older, I realize that a lot of things just come from life experience and you have to have those experiences to actually go forward with life. And that is a little bit scary, but it just has to happen and it, you know, things do. Just happens sometimes. They are just a lot of things you don't realize happen for a reason to build you up as a person.
[00:24:34] Katie: As a, as a kid, you don't realize that until you then look back 10 years later going, oh yeah, that's why that happened. I now can do whatever because of that. That's a scary thing about getting older. .
[00:24:47] Chris: Yeah. Yeah. Well, I think it's the opposite of scary though. I, I really enjoy that part of getting older, which is that, You do become wiser, or if you're paying attention anyway, I think you can definitely get older without becoming wiser.
[00:24:57] Chris: There are people who do that, a lot of 'em, but I think it's fairly easy to get wise as you age if you're able to kind of reflect like, like you are. I think. And, you know, I, I think there's a way to be proactive about that process, maybe, which is just, you know, one of the things I try to do, and I'm ob ob obviously not perfect at it, but one of the things I try to do is to see things as challenges, like as they're happening, right?
[00:25:19] Chris: So instead of being like, oh man, like, you know, I don't know, right? Like, I got a flat tire, right? And you can, you can get a flat tire. On your way to work and just really be bummed about it and hate life and be mad and like smack the, you know, iron around. Or you can say, okay, like, do I remember how to change a tire?
[00:25:34] Chris: Like, can I, can I, you know, can I meet this challenge? Anyway, you your idea of kind of looking back and seeing how these maybe adversities or, or things that at the time felt uncomfortable, you now realize we're put there for you to learn a lesson from. With practice I think you can start to see that in the moment, uh, like I said, it's hard and it's not always, but, but start to look at things as a challenge instead of a setback, you know?
[00:25:54] Katie: Yeah, no, like I, I, I like that viewpoint because I've recently had a flat tire and had a sort of, yeah, I'm not going anywhere now. . Um, thankfully it was at home, so it wasn't anywhere with two small children, which is one of my biggest fears is my car breaking dime with two small children. Yeah, like I like that approach of looking at it as a challenge and trying to figure out what have you done before to kind of overcome it.
[00:26:19] Katie: A lot of the time when something happens, it is easy to just sort of take yourself into this hole of, oh, this is just terrible. There is no way out of it. And if you think about it that way, you won't find a way out of. Very easily with that perspective. And yeah, I, no, I really like that. I'm gonna take that and, uh, run with that whenever I face challenges in the future, which I absolutely will.
[00:26:42] Chris: Yes. Yes. For better or worse. That's, uh, that's a part of life, I guess, huh? Yes, it is. I noticed on your, I think it was your Twitter profile, you say, I hack stuff, and I'm wondering if you could tell us a little bit more about just kind of what that means, right? Who, who is a hacker? What is hacking? I think in some situations or in some circles, maybe hacker is thought of as like a criminal.
[00:27:08] Chris: I don't think of it that way, but I think it might be interesting for you to kind of share your perspective on, on what you mean when you say, I hack.
[00:27:13] Katie: Yeah, sure. This is definitely a topic of lots of people take hacked to mean bad. I get why anyone who is not in like techy fields would think that because they see headlines that say, hackers did this, hackers did that, and it's really easy to look at that as a massive negative.
[00:27:33] Katie: Actually, when I went to university in Nottingham and they had a hack sock, which was literally just there like a version of their computer science. Society where it was building things, and that is literally they had to fight the, um, university naming people. They, they had an issue with the name of it because it was seen to be sort of negative.
[00:27:57] Katie: And so hacking was presented as it is to build things. It is to either figure out how something works. and either fix it or change it, that kind of thing. And so to think about it that way, a hacker is just someone who either builds something from nothing or takes something and finds another way to use it.
[00:28:19] Katie: That's how I like to think about it, is just. , you have this thing and it tends to be techy, um, like an application, and you find a different way to use it in, it's a way that the developer didn't expect you to use it. That is what we call vulnerabilities. And some people might just. Say that they are, um, features that they didn't intend
[00:28:40] Chris: Right, right. The the age old question, is it a bug or is it a feature? .
[00:28:44] Katie: Yeah, exactly. So it could be a feature that they could use if it doesn't actually do anything. But that to me is what Hacker is. And I think I put that on my Twitter profile when I started in cybersecurity. I think So, uh, that's where that originated all that young sort of very.
[00:29:04] Katie: New to cybersecurity and thought it was cool. Basically . Yeah, I still think it's cool. Still do think it's cool. That's sort of what I would say is a hacker is just someone who looks at things to try and find ways to use them in a unintended way or just use it. Yeah,
[00:29:23] Chris: I love it. I love it. Unfortunately, that's all the time we have for today, Katie.
[00:29:28] Chris: This conversation's been great. Thank you so much for sharing your story with the imposter syndrome. And thank you to all of you imposters out there for your attention and your support. Fyi, you can find us on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and we have a, a LinkedIn group for the imposter syndrome network that we'd love for you to join and get or give career advice, mentorship or just general community support.
[00:29:51] Chris: But, uh, Katie, before we close out, I am curious. As someone who's kind of recently taken this plunge to go be a full-time mom and, and step away from your career a little bit, do you have any advice for other, um, moms out there who are struggling with, you know, time with children and time at career and, and, you know, facing the same kind of decisions that you've recently made?
[00:30:10] Katie: Yeah, sure. Do what's best for you and what you can do because you'll not regret to spending time with your kids. They grew up so quickly. even a day a week extra that you can have with them. If you can afford to do that, if you have the ability to do that and you want to do that, do it. If you don't, if you're happy to work nine to five, see them mornings and night and that is what you want with your kids, absolutely do that too, because some people that that is exactly what they want.
[00:30:43] Katie: But if you want that extra time and you can do it, absolutely do it. It will be worth it. Kids grow up so quickly, and I'm looking at it as you have about 18 years maximum with your kids being kids. And that is not a long period of time, so make for the most of the time that you have, and careers will be there after when you want them.
[00:31:05] Chris: Yeah, I love it. And hopefully today, you know, in this kind of post covid world where remote and distributed teams seem to be, hybrid work seems to be more and more of the norm. Maybe it's, you know, hopefully it's easier for folks to, to spend time with their children as they're young. I would say it's even less than 18 years.
[00:31:21] Chris: And my, I mean, yes it is, it's, it's, it's that age and in some ways it's more than that because, you know, obviously you still get to be a parent and have an influence on your kids' lives when they're in their twenties and and beyond. But I also think. You know, after four or five years old, once you send them off to school, now they're being influenced by teachers and friends at least as much, if not even maybe more than their parents in some ways.
[00:31:38] Chris: So yeah, those first five years are really quick and, and really powerful.
[00:31:43] Chris: So, you know, you're doing some stuff with BSides and with Owas. Was there any other projects or specific projects or events that are coming up that you'd like us to be aware of and know about stuff that you're involved in that, that the Imposter Network should know about?
[00:31:56] Katie: So I do have a TikTok that I kind of have abandoned for about a year, but would like to bring back up and it is called Cybersec Mama. I started that back in summer of 2021, so there's, there's a fair few videos there. That is one place that you can see things that I've talked about in terms of techy things.
[00:32:20] Katie: At some point I would like to go back to making videos there because it's fun and easy. Not easy, easy when you've got something to talk about. Easy wasn't quite the right word to say there. Myself and Grant, we had done quite a few TikTok lives together. That. So that's actually a place that I would like to get back to.
[00:32:40] Katie: Um, and so if people wanna see. Some of me that's, that's a good place to go.
[00:32:46] Chris: Cool. We'll make sure we put the link, uh, in the show notes and if folks wanna reach out and maybe, you know, chat with you or is that, is that okay And where, where, where should they reach out and find you?
[00:32:53] Katie: Yeah, absolutely. Twitter, I am on there, don't post much, but I will acknowledge dms and things if anybody wants to talk to me there.
[00:33:02] Katie: And TikTok would also be one. They're the two main places.
[00:33:06] Chris: Okay. Awesome. Well, thank you again and we'll be back next week.