The Imposter Syndrome Network Podcast

Troy Hunt

June 18, 2024 Chris & Zoë Season 1 Episode 97
Troy Hunt
The Imposter Syndrome Network Podcast
More Info
The Imposter Syndrome Network Podcast
Troy Hunt
Jun 18, 2024 Season 1 Episode 97
Chris & Zoë

In this episode, Zoe is back with a one-on-one with Troy Hunt. He is the founder of the pivotal cybersecurity resource “Have I Been Pwned”, the Microsoft regional director, MVP, Pluralsight instructor, and an active member of the security community.

Troy shares his unexpected journey from aspiring pilot to tech influencer, revealing how a simple blog post evolved into a career-defining move. He discusses the power of public contributions to Stack Overflow, user group attendance, and open-source code repositories in establishing credibility in the tech world.

We delve into the importance of communication skills, not just in tech but in life, and how blogging tests one’s knowledge. We also touch on the challenges of self-employment, the balance between work and personal life, and the lessons learned from mistakes.

Don’t miss this candid conversation that explores the intersections of tech, career growth, and the personal journeys that shape us.

Just go out there and do stuff.
Put yourself out there.



Thanks for being an imposter - a part of the Imposter Syndrome Network (ISN)!

We'd love it if you connected with us on LinkedIn:

Make it a great day.

Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, Zoe is back with a one-on-one with Troy Hunt. He is the founder of the pivotal cybersecurity resource “Have I Been Pwned”, the Microsoft regional director, MVP, Pluralsight instructor, and an active member of the security community.

Troy shares his unexpected journey from aspiring pilot to tech influencer, revealing how a simple blog post evolved into a career-defining move. He discusses the power of public contributions to Stack Overflow, user group attendance, and open-source code repositories in establishing credibility in the tech world.

We delve into the importance of communication skills, not just in tech but in life, and how blogging tests one’s knowledge. We also touch on the challenges of self-employment, the balance between work and personal life, and the lessons learned from mistakes.

Don’t miss this candid conversation that explores the intersections of tech, career growth, and the personal journeys that shape us.

Just go out there and do stuff.
Put yourself out there.



Thanks for being an imposter - a part of the Imposter Syndrome Network (ISN)!

We'd love it if you connected with us on LinkedIn:

Make it a great day.

Machines made this, mistakes and all...

[00:00:00] Zoe: Hello and welcome to the Imposter Syndrome Network podcast, where everyone belongs, especially if you think you don't. My name is Zoe Rose, and as you can tell, today's episode is slightly different. Instead of the lovely Chris Grundemann, uh, co hosting, you actually have stuck with me today. So hopefully I don't disappoint too much.

[00:00:29] Zoe: However, on the flip side, we have an excellent guest. Today is the Troy Hunt episode. You likely know him as founder and CEO of Have I Been Pwned. He is also a Microsoft Regional Director and MVP, Pluralsight Instructor, Partner at Report URI, and Director of Superlative Enterprises. I think I said that right.

[00:00:52] Zoe: Um, because obviously he doesn't like to sleep. He's also an avid blogger, vlogger, published author, and active security community contact.

[00:01:05] Zoe: Hey Troy, would you like to introduce yourself further to ISN? 

[00:01:10] Troy: I think you did a very good job of it, actually. Um, yeah, now I feel tired just listening to that intro. So yeah, I'm the have I been pwned guy. Uh, you may see me online tweeting about data breaches and the beach. It's mostly those two things, beaches and breaches.

[00:01:27] Troy: That'll be a good book title one day. I should do that. 

[00:01:29] Zoe: Yeah. Especially if you mention your board meetings. I'm ever jealous of that. Um, for those that you don't know, his board meetings are surfboard, Yeah, a lot more exciting than meetings I have to attend. And warmer. All right. Let's start then. So, looking at your LinkedIn, you started out building websites and development.

[00:01:52] Zoe: Um, whilst you've become quite a big name in the industry, was that always where you wanted to go or was there another direction you had, um, aimed for? 

[00:02:02] Troy: It's an interesting question. I guess it depends how far back you go. I'm, uh, I'm preparing for a keynote for NDC Oslo. It's coming up in June. Come to NDC Oslo in June.

[00:02:13] Troy: And there's a bit of background there where originally I'd wanted to be a pilot. That was my original thinking. Because that's what my dad did. And a lot of people want to grow up and do what their parents did. And he said, ah, that's That's not a great idea anymore, you know, it's not like the good old days, not like it used to be.

[00:02:29] Troy: Uh, so I got very interested in, in tech and I never sort of saw myself having a public position. I, I got the, the original MVP award in 2011 very much by accident without expectation. Uh, and then that just, uh, one thing led to another, led to another, and it just kept growing, growing, growing. And of course now I've, I've had the luxury, I guess, of building this online profile since 2009.

[00:02:52] Troy: I can always remember it because for some reason I decided to start a blog three weeks before my first child was born. Ah, and he's 14 now, so he's, he starts driving next year, like that's how long it's been now. Uh, but the, the first blog post I ever wrote was titled, Why Online Identities Smart Career Moves.

[00:03:10] Troy: And I was working at Pfizer at the time and I eventually ended up being there for 14 years in total and I felt that every time I went to interview someone to employ them in a tech role, I'd get a CV from them and you wouldn't believe it, like every CV was awesome. Like everybody was amazing and everybody could do everything because it's your CV and that's what you put in your CV.

[00:03:32] Troy: And, and I'd confront people with this sometimes and say, look, you know, you say all this wonderful stuff, uh, can you prove it? And, and they'd say, well, I've got references, people you can call. So hang on, you choose them. Like you're only going to choose people that are going to say nice things, because I would, that's exactly what I'd do.

[00:03:49] Troy: Uh, and I just felt that whole model was sort of flawed. And particularly around that time, I was, I was just getting really into consuming information from other online identities. This was sort of the early days of Stack Overflow, and I'd, I'd listen to all the podcasts that Joel and Jeff were doing at the time, and sort of follow that very closely.

[00:04:09] Troy: I was listening to Richard and Carl on NET Rocks, and just absorbing a lot of information out there. And that original blog post was, was very much around, I can't trust what I read in CVs. But I would trust a history of, uh, contributions to Stack Overflow or user group attendance or, uh, contributions to code and public source code repositories, or all of these other things where if you create a public profile for yourself, you will have this independent paper trail of validation.

[00:04:42] Troy: And that was my theory, and I thought, oh, I'll give it a little go, and I'll write a blog post. Um, now not quite overnight, but yeah, 14 years later, here we are. 

[00:04:53] Zoe: Well, that's, uh, that's actually a topic that comes up a lot in our chats with other people is, is that community and how, one, it's good for your career, but two, it validates your own kind of knowledge base and.

[00:05:06] Zoe: For me, blogging has been like a test. Do I actually know what I'm talking about when I write this blog post? Can I get enough content? Or am I talking out of my bottom? 

[00:05:18] Troy: I know what you mean. Yeah, uh, you know, the interesting thing is for me, I wrote many of my blog posts, not for other people, but for me.

[00:05:26] Troy: And that kind of sounds a bit selfish that I put it, but. Uh, I wanted to write things because if I have to explain something to someone else, I have to give it a degree of thought that I wouldn't otherwise do. The same sort of thing where very often I try and troubleshoot problems, you know, I'm coding something, something's not working, the cloud's broken again, something like that.

[00:05:45] Troy: Uh, and it's a complex issue and I'll, I'll sit down with, with Charlotte, my wife, and I'll, I'll start talking her through it and she's not technical, but I'm explaining it all to her and she's sitting there saying nothing and I get halfway through it and then I. Ah, crap. Now I know what I did. So having to explain concepts to other people, whether it's verbally or whether it's in writing or speaking at conferences and things, is an enormously good way of building your own knowledge and of course, by extension, your confidence.

[00:06:16] Zoe: Yeah, definitely, definitely. And also, um, it clarifies things for what you already just said, but it clarifies things that I didn't connect the dots on previous, previously, like just speaking out loud clarifies a lot of things for me or writing it down, clarifies a lot of things and I'll find patterns where I didn't.

[00:06:33] Zoe: Another really hilarious thing I saw the other day on Twitter, I can't remember who it was, it was a lady on Twitter, and she was like, Oh, I was searching for this problem I couldn't figure out. I found this excellent blog post that covered it all. It was my bloody blog post. And I was like, that is something that I've actually done.

[00:06:51] Zoe: So that's brilliant. 

[00:06:53] Troy: I remember writing a very long blog post about getting free certificates from StartSSL, rest in peace. Uh, and then going through the process, and this is sort of back in the day, and it was very clunky with lots of sort of manual CSRs and converting one format to another and everything else.

[00:07:08] Troy: And the blog post was always just my go to, so every time I had to do this again, I just went back to the blog post. And I was explaining it to myself like I was an idiot, and apparently that was really useful, because there's lots of other people in the same boat. 

[00:07:19] Zoe: Yeah. Well, I use, I use, um, Scott Helms blog posts a lot when I'm trying to, when I used to send out reports and I would just link his blog posts or I'm pretty sure I've linked a couple of yours as well, where I'm like, I could explain it in detail in here, or I could just link an existing blog post that I know has authority on that.

[00:07:38] Zoe: It's really good quality. And saves me a lot of space in my report. , 

[00:07:42] Troy: I, I joke about it a lot when I do any sort of q and a at events and people ask a question about something. I go, there's a blog post for that. And I feel like I have a blog post for just about everything, which of course, given 14 years worth of time does help that it's, it's just great to have that resource there.

[00:07:57] Zoe: Yeah. Yeah, definitely. And it builds a skill. Like, I, when I started out, I wrote rubbish reports. And as I wrote, I'm not saying I'm great now, but I'm not as horrible. So that's a good sign. 

[00:08:09] Troy: Well, I think the ability to communicate is enormously powerful. And this is one of the discussions I'm having with my kids a lot.

[00:08:15] Troy: So when I did this keynote in Oslo in June, my 11 year old daughter is going to do a talk with me about 3D printing, which is why. 

[00:08:22] Zoe: Oh, that's wonderful. 

[00:08:23] Troy: I know we're just doing audio here, but I'm holding all these 3D printed parts, which were. We're putting so much effort into this. I keep explaining it as, like, you know, the most valuable thing that you'll, you'll be able to get from this that will go beyond 3D printing or tech or any of these sort of things is the ability to communicate and express your ideas and convince people that you're right.

[00:08:43] Troy: Yeah, 100%. You can influence, that is enormously powerful no matter what you decide to do in life. 

[00:08:49] Zoe: Yeah, and it makes a huge difference in your career, like you could be the most technical person out there, but if you can't bloody communicate it, no one's going to listen to you. 

[00:08:56] Troy: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Or you won't be taken seriously.

[00:09:00] Troy: Or you're one of those things. It's communication good. 

[00:09:03] Zoe: Yes. Um, another thing I was going to bring up was, um, often our careers take turns that we didn't quite expect. Sometimes it's interesting. For me, that was, uh, in 2017, I posed for Vogue, which was very unexpected and quite cool. Um, but for you, I feel like that's testifying for the U. S. Congress. Unless you planned doing that in your career. 

[00:09:24] Troy: Well, it's, it's kind of, I'm just trying to remember now, remember that photo of you. That was a very cool photo. It's the one on the lounge. Yeah, that looks so cool. I was probably, I don't know if I want to be on the cover of Vogue, but I was a little bit jealous about that.

[00:09:35] Troy: That kind of is kind of cool. 

[00:09:36] Zoe: Well, I wasn't on the cover. I'm not that cool. 

[00:09:38] Troy: Come on, don't, don't, don't let it go. Let's see. It's let's just go with, yeah. All right. Okay. Uh, yeah, look, I guess career changes or pivotal moments. It was a pivotal moment when I got invited to Congress in 2017 because it was I guess it's, we all in this industry, or many of us in this industry, we start out like sitting here in our own little isolated, I guess, environments at the PC, a lot of people are very insular, a lot of people are less, you know, socially comfortable, I guess, than, than other, other walks of life, and you sit here doing your own thing, and for the most part, you're, you're isolated, particularly if you're Like me, and you work for yourself as well.

[00:10:17] Troy: So, getting positive feedback from other people, great. Starting to, to get recognition in ways like being invited to go to Congress was just like, wow, it's like I must have been doing something right. This is awesome, I'm so happy about that. Um, So that was, I guess, pivotal in terms of, it's just an experience that I'll, I'll never forget.

[00:10:38] Troy: Uh, it was, it was part of the, the linear nature of, of the career path I'd chosen. I don't think probably a more pivotal point in my career was, was when I left normal employment and got the opportunity to be independent. That was when things like really, really changed and accelerated. And then since then, everything's just been on the rocket ship ride.

[00:10:56] Zoe: Yeah, we've had a few people on that have been self employed, including a co host, uh, Chris, he's also self employed. And I think for a lot of people, I, I had a job. I had a job. I have a job. Um, but I did own a company early in my career. I owned and operated an MSP. And what a lot of people don't know is the reason I did that is because I couldn't get a job.

[00:11:17] Zoe: I was a woman and I found, I was a woman, I'm still a woman, um, but I did find 

[00:11:23] Troy: that I don't know what to ask. Whatever. It's fine. 

[00:11:27] Zoe: It's still valid. Yeah. But, um, I, I had a lot of trouble, like I would go to interviews and not be taken seriously. Granted, this was basically when you started your blog, so I'm a little bit younger than you.

[00:11:39] Zoe: But, um, uh, it was earlier in the 2000s and I, I couldn't. I couldn't get a job. So that's why I started my own company. I was also in college at the time, but that was kind of a necessity to me. But for other people, most people, it's a big risk starting your own job. And I've seen a lot of people do it later in their career, whereas I did it early in my career.

[00:12:01] Zoe: So I'm curious about. Any feedback you have for people that are thinking about doing it and maybe the things that you unexpectedly benefited? 

[00:12:10] Troy: Well, I think the first thing there is that everyone's journey is, is different. Um, I put out a book when was it a year, a year or something a bit ago, which is largely a collection of different blog posts and all the backstory behind it.

[00:12:21] Troy: But at the intro to the book, there's my, uh, Origin story for want of a better term, where one of the first things I did in fact was whilst I was at university, I dropped outta university, I was doing computer science, but I had the opportunity to write software for a company that was running. Um, I think I can fairly confidently say horse racing scams without me really realizing at the time was horse racing scams.

[00:12:42] Troy: And I got to write this software and I, and I sort of, sort of independent and shared in the ups and downs of the, of the organization and, and had all of this, I guess. Opportunity and, and relative wealth very early and quickly. And then the whole thing blew up into a complete mess. And I had to go and work to people for a very long time after that, but the point where I got independence was, so where are we now?

[00:13:07] Troy: It was in 2015 and I'd been advisor for 14 years. And you know, the weird thing about it is, so it was five years after I started writing my blog. I was doing a lot of Pluralsight courses, I was making a lot of money out of Pluralsight, I was making twice as much money out of Pluralsight as I was going into the office in my corporate job, being quite well paid every day, but sitting at home doing this stuff.

[00:13:29] Troy: And I hated my job, I vehemently hated my job for all sorts of reasons. And it was taking so much opportunity from me, but there's just something about me that just felt the inertia of not wanting to leave. And in fact, the only reason I left is because it got rid of me. Now, when I say get rid of me, they made four of us redundant, and they were good reasons for it, I was I was in Australia and I was running an application architecture for Asia Pacific and I was the most expensive or in the most expensive part of the world and they could have got like Chinese Troy for a third of the price or something like that.

[00:14:03] Troy: And that was a reasonable conclusion for them to draw. So I literally got pushed and I got pushed into a life where I was already. Make a lot more money. But I guess by that rationale, I sort of lost a third of my income, but redundancy said, I don't been there for a long time. So they gave me effectively two years worth of pay to leave.

[00:14:21] Troy: And that gave me that opportunity. So I really only left when I was forced to, even though every empirical measure there was. It probably says I should have gotten a long time ago. So I guess that the, or maybe I don't know if that's advice, but recognition of other people is that it can be extraordinarily hard to leave something that is at a well known quantity that is comfortable and I was going to say secure, but they did get rid of me.

[00:14:47] Troy: No one is unfireable from, from any job. I suspect it probably would have been easier when I was younger. I mean, I had a family at that time as well. So yeah, you're thinking about, Oh, I've got responsibilities and kids and things like that. I am a little bit jealous of people that, that are maybe a bit younger than me.

[00:15:05] Troy: I mean, I was. My late thirties then, you know, if someone in their typical twenties era and they don't yet have children or a mortgage or things like this and they have that more freedom of life, I'd probably be more inclined to be a bit more bullish because you can take more risk. 

[00:15:20] Zoe: Mm hmm. Yeah, that's what I was in.

[00:15:22] Zoe: That was my situation. And, and also it allowed me to travel, move to different countries and work. Which, you don't have that freedom as much when you're a little bit later in career. 

[00:15:31] Troy: Yeah. Yeah. It's, it depends. I mean, as, as we both know, life can throw you all sorts of different curveballs and get very complex along the way.

[00:15:40] Zoe: That is true. That is true. Um, so I think one thing is you already touched on is you're isolated when you work for yourself, but also the demand to staying on top of everything is on your own, you know, you have to take that initiative. So how do you do that? How do you stay current? And how do you prioritize where you want to build your skill?

[00:15:58] Zoe: For example. 

[00:15:59] Troy: Man, I would love to think that I stay on top of everything, but I know I don't. And I, um, I, I think I can, maybe sometimes I'm just a little bit self deprecating, but I, I almost sort of look at the task list and go, okay, well, what, what is it that I'm going to neglect today? You know, like what are the things I'm going to decide not to do?

[00:16:15] Troy: And I say that half jokingly, because at the end of the day, you have this great big list of things and it's, it might be everything from, I've got some code to write, I've got some things I want to learn, I've got to do my taxes and all the rest of it. I have more requirements on me than what I have capacity.

[00:16:30] Troy: So how am I going to prioritize? And I, I almost ended up thinking about prioritization as, as choosing the things to, to not do just as much as choosing things to actually do. And that's extraordinarily hard. And I, and I think particularly when you're, when you're independent and you have lots of opportunity.

[00:16:46] Troy: It is in many ways a first world problem in so far as like, Oh, it's terrible. I've got all these wonderful things I could do and I don't know which ones to do. But it, it is a real, it is a real paradox when you're trying to figure out how to prioritize your time and you do always end up neglecting things that might be neglecting some opportunities, but it might also be neglecting your family.

[00:17:03] Troy: Uh, and as, as much, I did a talk a few years ago called, uh, Hack Your Career. And one of the points I was making there is like, you know, everyone says my family is the most important thing. Family always comes first. And I'm like, But you're all sitting here in the audience listening to me, instead of at home with your family, so, so clearly it's not quite that simple, is it?

[00:17:22] Troy: But that's, that's where I find myself constantly getting to, it's like, you know, I could be, uh, doing something with my kids, uh, I live in the part of the world where, you know, I could, you know, Walk down to the back of the house and get on my jet ski and just go out and have a really nice time. And I, I don't do that enough because there are other demands on time and I don't have a good answer to that.

[00:17:41] Troy: I think I have a bit of an innate sense when I feel like things are a bit out of balance. So when I feel like I'm getting a bit behind on work, um, for example, and I feel like I've got to shuffle a little bit, but I don't have a, a good definable measure of it. It's just, it's just like that gut feel. 

[00:17:54] Zoe: Yeah.

[00:17:55] Zoe: Fair. Yeah. I think it's just understanding. Also understanding where your limitations are. Like for me, it's. I know I've got to do this boring work, I hate doing this boring work, so I might prioritize that in the morning, knowing that by the afternoon I'll just be like, no, not doing it, you know? So it's, it's really understanding your own balance as well, internally, internal struggles.

[00:18:17] Zoe: A lot of people would look at you and say, Oh, well, you know, he's hugely successful. He clearly makes no mistakes. So I'm curious on, uh, some, uh, Big mistakes that you may or may not have made in your career and how they impacted you. 

[00:18:30] Troy: In my career? Okay, right. Now that we have that caveat, that's good. 

[00:18:34] Zoe: Well, I mean, big mistakes.

[00:18:36] Troy: No, no, no. Let's stick with career. It's safer. Um, look, in a way, and as much as I joke about it, you know, in things like personal life and although I'm very subtly referencing a painful divorce, but, but whether it's that, you know, whether it's that or whether it's work things, I don't look at any of these things and have regrets or think I should have done things differently only insofar as I really like where I am and were it not for those things that happened and caused me to make certain decisions and shape my path, I wouldn't be here now.

[00:19:10] Troy: I wouldn't be with the most amazing wife I could imagine or living in a wonderful house, doing cool stuff, traveling the world, I wouldn't have all of those things. So I don't think there's any, any regrets. In that way, I mean, of course, there's always little things like, Oh, I wish I might've been everything from, I wish I had have learned that programming language.

[00:19:29] Troy: I wish I had have bought those shares or something like that. Um, but, uh, you know, nothing that would change the place that I'm in now. 

[00:19:38] Zoe: I, uh, I always think back to when I was starting my career and when I may or may not have caused taking down a network, um, may not have been me, it could have been ghosts in the network.

[00:19:53] Zoe: And I remember being so panicked and then realizing, well, actually, now I know how to fix it, you know? So it's, it's almost, it's kind of the same mindset as you have is, you know, yeah, we made mistakes and yes. There are some complexities, I will say, going on in my life, but, um, but it has allowed me to learn and grow and got me to where I am today, you know, so that's, that's always exciting.

[00:20:17] Troy: I think that's a very good observation too, and I certainly find that there are many times where something happens and it seems terrible at the time. Give me a really simple example. My son had some elective surgery on his ears recently, he had his ears pinned back a bit. And he went and had the surgery.

[00:20:31] Troy: Everything went perfectly. He's got stitches behind both ears. And the surgeon's like, make sure no one pulls on your ears. And of course, one of his idiot friends, he's got this one friend that just makes all the wrong choices. Oh no. Manages to grab his ear and rip stitches out. And it is blood and stuff and then we're in ER and it was very, very not fun.

[00:20:48] Troy: And this was a few weeks ago. And we got him patched up and afterwards we sort of went, you know, like that was, that was really, really not fun. However, the outcome of it wasn't too bad. And I, I think that because of that experience, you're going to now be so much more careful. You might avoid something which could have actually been much worse.

[00:21:04] Troy: Uh, you, you, you might avoid playing that sport or hanging out with these particular friends in an environment where they, they could have been a lot rougher and the damage could have been much worse. And I think there are all these different points in your life where something happens It feels bad at the time, taking down the network.

[00:21:20] Troy: He probably didn't have the, the here with all of the time to go, Oh, this is actually going to work out just fine. But I just almost can watch myself go through this mental cycle of being so infatuated with something that's bad. And then suddenly starting to go, hang on a moment, I realized that I always come down and then I look at it and it doesn't seem so bad, but maybe that, that was your same with you, with your network.

[00:21:39] Zoe: Yeah. Yeah. Well, I have a friend that says. you know, things happen for a reason and it's a lesson you needed to learn. And at the time, yeah, I'm like, bloody hell, why did I need to learn this lesson? But then afterwards, it's like, okay, that actually was really beneficial. And I can, it helps me in my career and I can also help other people, you know?

[00:21:58] Zoe: Fair. 

[00:21:58] Troy: Well, by that rationale, should you not aim to make more mistakes? 

[00:22:01] Zoe: Mistakes are the portals to discovery, innit?

[00:22:04] Troy: I think, oh look, I mean, I guess some people have that belief that they feel that there's a purpose behind everything, but yeah, I personally, I would like not to make the mistakes. That's always option number one or priority number one.

[00:22:17] Troy: When they happen, we try and make something good out of it. 

[00:22:19] Zoe: Yeah, yeah, fair. Has there ever been a time where you've actually felt like, I'm stupid, like, I just, how can I not understand this? Um, or, or I'm not skilled enough. Is there ever had that kind of situation for you? 

[00:22:32] Troy: Yeah. The other day when I was trying to understand Snapchat and I'm not joking about this either.

[00:22:38] Troy: I absolute truth. I threw my phone across the room. And then I deleted the app off my phone. And the reason for it was my, my good friend, Nile Merrigan. I feel like you know Nile. Um, he's been at many events before. He put something on snap and he tagged me on something and I'd looked at it very briefly and then I was doing other stuff and then I'm, I'm trying to come back to it later and I can't find it.

[00:23:00] Troy: And I just find it like a really clunky UX. And I was saying to Charlotte, it's like, Hey, you know, how do I see that thing that Nile just posted? And she's like, well, you can't. And so what do you mean I can't? Well, it's the snap. Yeah, I know. I saw it before. It was just there. Like, how do I go back to it?

[00:23:11] Troy: Well, you can't go back to it. Why not? Well, it's meant to just be like a fleeting moment. I was like, he tagged me and had a cool car. I want to see what it is. How do I see the thing? And I just completely lost my shit and threw the phone. Uh, mentally, and, and I know that it's an enormously popular platform and clearly that they've done something right, but it just, I just cannot wrap my head.

[00:23:32] Troy: I just do not understand why this thing exists and it disappears and why does everything have to be vertical and why can't you just take a photo? I sound like a really old tech guy, you know, but yeah, that's my thing. 

[00:23:43] Zoe: To be fair, I'm in the same, I don't use Snap, but I just, Snapchat, I just, yeah, I don't like it.

[00:23:49] Zoe: But, but I do use other social media, so I really shouldn't complain about the one. 

[00:23:54] Troy: And when I come back to it, it's still there. That's what I use, Facebook and Twitter and things like that. 

[00:24:00] Zoe: That's fair. That's fair. So, we did touch on this a bit already, but you're very candid about your, on your blog and in your book about your life.

[00:24:07] Zoe: As well as, you know, I know I've seen you reach out to people and say, I don't know how to do this. Can you explain? Or, um, I haven't, this is how I do this. Is this the right way? Do you ever feel nervous about sharing or nervous about other people's perception about your capability? 

[00:24:24] Troy: Um, it's, it's a good question.

[00:24:26] Troy: I think I feel pretty comfortable with knowing that there are things that I don't know. Uh, I, I can't be across everything and I think probably earlier on when I was probably younger and less confident and less experienced, I felt more of a need to at least have the veneer of knowing what I was doing and then as time's gone by and, and I, I think it was, I've sort of had the opportunity, you know, things like Congress.

[00:24:49] Troy: So, all right, I'm not an idiot. I wouldn't have been being invited there, you know, would have had these opportunities if it wasn't for that. So I'm more comfortable showing the things I don't know. And I find that I learn a lot just by putting things out there and going, Hey, how do I do this? And I got to be honest, sometimes people come back and they give me answers like I'm an idiot.

[00:25:05] Troy: And I look at that and go, well, I'm an idiot. A really good example is I posted an issue to one of my own open source projects the other day and said, Hey, I think that by default, you know, we should recursively look through all directories and not just in the root. And someone replied and it's like, your own code already does that.

[00:25:20] Troy: Like, why are you posting this? And, um, You know, I'm a busy guy. I miss some stuff, but I, I think that one of the, the, the greatest opportunities that we have in, in this industry in this time is a massive social network of people out there who genuinely want to help you with things. Uh, when we get off this call, I need to post something about why does my 3d printer keep rejecting one of the filaments, um, and spitting it back out.

[00:25:47] Troy: You know, it's, it's, it's, it's, it's, it's, it's, it's, it's, it's, it's, And maybe there'll be a really obvious answer, but I don't care. It's, you know, if I get the answer, I'm happy because I'm going to fix that problem and then move on to the next one. 

[00:25:56] Zoe: Yeah, no, I think I, I mirror you in that early in my career.

[00:26:00] Zoe: I mean, granted, this is a decent amount of time ago. And there was a very big distinction between being in IT and being a woman in IT. I hope that has changed, and I think, so far, in my career, currently it has changed. But in the beginning, it was, well, you're a woman, that's why you don't know. You know, and so I always had to pretend that I knew.

[00:26:20] Zoe: And I, I remember sitting in meetings and being like, I don't have a bloody clue. What is going on? But I can't admit that. And so I'd go back to my desk and I'd research it all on Google and watch YouTube videos and then learn it. But now I feel like I learn more by saying, you know what, I don't know what you're talking about.

[00:26:39] Zoe: Can you, can you clarify? And sometimes it's really simple. Like the latest one was an acronym, super easy acronym. But as you know, in security, we have a million acronyms. I'm like, I don't know what that one stands for. And then, um, one of my colleagues told me and I was like, Oh, I'm so stupid for not knowing that.

[00:26:55] Zoe: But, you know, but it's also like, Hmm. Okay. Like if I, if I've reached this part of my career, I think I can admit, I don't know this one small thing. Whereas, you know, somebody starting out, like you said, it's that external validation. That's the only reason I went to college. You know, I needed somebody else to say, yeah, you do know what you're talking about.

[00:27:16] Troy: I think the very relevant point you make there is you, you've made it to that point in your career, so you've reached a level of maturity where you're perhaps more comfortable recognizing there are some things you don't know, and it's not as much of a sort of an affront on your capability. I guess what's important for all of us is to create environments where people feel comfortable asking questions, and whether they're young, old, man, woman, whatever it may be, everyone should be able to go, look, I don't know something, and get an answer.

[00:27:44] Troy: Now, of course, There is always the very real problem that, that some people actually really don't know enough to be doing what they're doing. We have all worked with these people before. I've probably been that person at times. So, um, yeah, I'm also conscious that there's also like, you know, you need to be this high to ride the ride sort of thing in, in certain circumstances.

[00:28:04] Troy: And, you know, maybe some people, but maybe it brings us onto the whole idea of imposter syndrome. Yeah, sometimes people are out of their depth as well. And maybe they, uh, yeah, they need to get to grips with that. 

[00:28:15] Zoe: Yeah. And, and being able to tell somebody you don't know enough is so hard. Whereas them consciously recognizing I don't know enough and I need to learn.

[00:28:25] Zoe: That's going to be a little bit easier. 100%. All right. Well, we are out of time. Um, just too interesting. I'm sure we could chat much longer for many more topics, but, um, unfortunately that's all the time we have. Uh, Troy, do you have any projects or causes you'd like us to know about? 

[00:28:42] Troy: Uh, everbeenpine. com seems to dominate everything.

[00:28:46] Troy: Uh, look, it's, uh, if people want to see what I'm up to, there are always causes and things that I find interesting and I will share them. Usually I'll, I'll tweet them. I think we still say tweet anyway, don't we? 

[00:28:58] Zoe: I do. 

[00:28:59] Troy: Uh, on Troy Hunt. So, find me there. 

[00:29:02] Zoe: What else would you call it? An exit? That sounds horrible.

[00:29:05] Troy: Ah, I tried. I don't care. Everyone knows what I mean. 

[00:29:10] Zoe: All right. Thanks so much for sharing your story with the Impostor Syndrome Network. And thanks to our listeners for your time, your attention, and your support. If you found this episode insightful or interesting, please consider paying it forward and letting others know about it.

[00:29:22] Zoe: know about the show and the great guests we have. Before we close out, I have one final question. What's your advice for somebody wanting to not just build a career, but also build a name for themselves and become maybe an authority on some sort of topic? 

[00:29:37] Troy: I think it's just getting out there and doing stuff.

[00:29:39] Troy: You know, like, honestly, go back and read that first blog post I ever wrote, how online identities are smart career modes. And, and that is someone who had absolutely no idea what to do, but just saw that there was something interesting there. And I wrote that post. And it's really interesting if you start reading through chronologically the first things I wrote because it was all over the place.

[00:29:56] Troy: Like I had no aspirations of being a security person. I was a software developer and that was it. And just by continually creating stuff and putting blog posts out there and going to events and things, I started to find the right fit. So putting yourself out there, going and doing these things, there's so many cool free resources out there for you as well.

[00:30:16] Troy: I, I think that most people will sort of start to figure out what it is that resonates with them and they'll, they'll find their groove. 

[00:30:22] Zoe: Wonderful. All right. So we will be back next week. Cheers.