2015: The Final Hurdle – Tom Cope

Hello, It’s me Tom.C. I’ve been on this Earth for 19 years and retrospectively that’s not a long time, but damn where have the last 2 years gone. The IBM apprenticeship is three years in length and this year; 2015 will be my last on the program. In September I’ll be thrown into the business to move on to bigger and greater things. That leaves me with ~15,897,609 seconds… ~15,897,608, ~15,897,607. I should really stop over thinking this and start making the most of it. My resolutions for 2015! Everyone’s got them so I would like to share mine with you.

Firstly I would like to complete some certifications. I am currently a Certified Redhat System Administrator (which was by far one of my favourite courses) and I would like to get my Certified Redhat System Engineer. The course is booked, so now all I’ve got is the exam (wish me luck). Next up is the CompTIA Security+ Qualification. Security+ is an industry recognised certification which covers everything from encryption to network security. It’s all done from this cool website which adapts based on how you answer the questions, which is great because you can skip over the stuff you already know and go for the new interesting parts first. I’m about half way there and then I can go for that exam.

Working in a security role really changes your outlook on IT, I always find myself thinking of new ways to bypass security measures. So much so I found a security hole in one of my scripts! I wrote a simple bash script to exploit this hole and voila it worked! I then rewrote a section of the script to defend against this type of attack. I found the whole experience quite fun. I was talking to the project SME and showing him how I performed the exploit and he said I should think about becoming a PEN tester, who’s job it is to do what I just did. Find security holes on a project and write a report about them, so the business can help patch the issue. He recommended I go on a Ethical Hacker course and if I pass I would get a “Certified Security Testing Associate (CSTA) qualification” which is approved by “CREST”. I was all in for that so I sent of a course request and I was approved today. I’m really looking forward to it.

Next up learning. I would like to try some Windows based technologies this year. It’s all well and good falling in love with the soft glow of a black and green command line but sometimes you’ve got to close Putty and use a GUI. I use IBM’s TDS (now re-named to SDS) which is a type of LDAP server. Think of it like a massive phone book, you can quickly search for someone’s name and get their number. But in my case, quickly search for their username and check their password. Windows has its own version called Active Directory or AD for short. Because everyone use’s Windows as their work station I have done some work integrating AD into Redhat Linux so that you don’t need to keep re-typing your password to access a Linux box. Good fun but I would really like to learn more about AD, it looks really cool.

Another point on my New Year’s Resolutions is Social media. IBM has a real focus on “Growing a Social Presence”, so I want to do the same.  If you’ve ever been interested in connecting with me here how:

  • Twitter – @copethomas : My various 140 char comments about work, life and my desk cactus.
  • LinkedIn : My Jobs within IBM, Qualification and (hopefully more) Certifications
  • My Website tomcope.com : Built from scratch in the Style of a Old Fashion terminal screen

I hope to work on my “Social Presence” writing more blogs etc. You can find my blogs on my Linkedin.

My Final resolution is one a bit closer to me. I am continuously making things at home. Arduino Robots, Minecraft Mods and applications in Java/C++. Most of these get back benched and placed in the dark abyss knows as “The Archive” (a black hole folder on my desktop). Sounds a lot like a Doctor Who episode checking… nope not there but “Temple of Secrets” or “The Ark in Space” are cool names. My point is I never truly finish a project, either I’m to paranoid about “perfection” or I think of some other project and go “oooh lets do that!”. Then the current project gets thrown into the folder and the cycle continues. The only exception to this is my “Conference Call Bingo” game. Which I made in a weekend. I have now published this game and you can find a blog post about it on my Linkedin. I want to do more projects like that and share them. So that’s my final resolution, more projects and more sharing. If I do get another project out I will be sure to post it on LinkedIn, here and my personal website.

So there we have it. My plan for 2015. To think it took 2940 sec to write this. Which leaves me with ~15894667 sec to complete the ABOVE! As I said got to stop thinking (or writing) about it and get on with it. So that was me Tom.C, see you in the next one!

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2 thoughts on “2015: The Final Hurdle – Tom Cope

  1. Paul Champion March 23, 2015 at 10:48 am Reply
  2. […] there’s qualifications. As stated in my previous blog I wanted to gain more certifications and I can happily say I have completed my CompTIA Security+ […]

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