Jul 04 2007

At least I know one thing I don’t want to do with my life

Published by at 9:07 am under Security Advisories

Back in the late 80’s I joined the US Army as a Radio Repairman(31v10).  I’d been out of high school for a couple of years and was going nowhere.  Worse, I’d fallen in with a bad crowd and I had just enough self awareness left to realize if I didn’t make major changes, I was going to end up in trouble.  So I joined the Army, rationalizing it by telling myself that even if the Army wasn’t something for me, the discipline would do me good and I’d know at least one thing I didn’t want to do with my life.  I proved to be right on both accounts:  the discipline helped, and I knew that the Army wasn’t the right place for me.  I’ve never regretted joining the Army and I never regretted leaving.

As I’m sure many of you know, in February Mitchell Ashley and StillSecure offered me the position of Cobia Product Evangelist.  I had previously blogged that I thought the position of Security Evangelist would be my idea of a perfect job and jumped at the chance.  The thought of traveling to events and meeting people, being paid to blog and podcast, and generally being the public face of a product like Cobia sounded fun and exciting.  Basically, I thought this would be THE job for me.  Boy was I wrong.

Mitchell Ashley, Alan Shimel and the whole crew at StillSecure did everything they could to help me, but it turns out I’m just not built right to be in marketing.  Obviously, I love spouting off my own opinions, but when it comes to representing a company and speaking on their behalf, my own instincts are my own worst enemy.  I like to tell the whole, direct truth, and that’s not what marketing is about; it’s about shading the truth to put your company and your product in the most positive light possible.  Not that marketing is a bad thing, it’s just not how my thought processes work.

I still believe StillSecure is a great company; Mitchell, Alan the whole Cobia team are good people to work with.  But I’m not a marketing person, I’m not a recruiter and I’m just not a good fit for the position.  Effective yesterday, July 3rd, I have resigned from as the Cobia Product Evangelist and I’m on the lookout for a new position, preferably something more on the technical side of security.  I’m parting on good terms with the company and people involved and I will continue to support them in any way I can, but I’m just not the person to be the Cobia Product Evangelist. 

The folks at StillSecure have been great, but I’m just not built right to be a Product Evangelist.  It’s been great to explore the possibility with Mitchell and the folks at StillSecure, and I’m very appreciative of the opportunity, but I’ve left the company while my overall impact is still positive.  I made a lot of friends at StillSecure and was able to attend events I never could have attended on my own.  I really feel honored to have had the opportunity, but it’s not for me.  And now I know one more thing I don’t want to do with my life.

So now I’m back to being Martin McKeay, the Network Security blogger, not Martin McKeay, the Cobia Product Evangelist.  I don’t think the vendor side of the aisle is for me, unless it’s in a technical role rather than a marketing role.  If you happen to be looking for a Sr. Security Analyst with a experience in policy, PCI and IDS, drop me a line.  I think I know a former manager who might be willing to give me a positive endorsement.

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14 responses so far

14 Responses to “At least I know one thing I don’t want to do with my life”

  1. Mitchell Ashleyon 04 Jul 2007 at 10:06 am

    Martin – Thanks for giving it a go as a product evangelist. You helped us a lot and I’m thankful for it. It takes courage to try something new, and even more to make the decision you have. I respect you a great deal for it. But then again, I already did. Thanks.

    I’m looking forward to seeing and hearing more Network Security blog posts and podcasts. I think your time with Cobia built even more of a following which great for everyone.

    Thanks again, and all my best. – Mitchell

  2. Mikeon 04 Jul 2007 at 11:45 am

    Best of luck on your new endeavors. I’ll give you a positive endorsement anytime!

  3. Mikeon 04 Jul 2007 at 11:52 am

    Best of luck on your new endeavors. I’ll give you a positive endorsement anytime!

  4. Garrett Geeon 04 Jul 2007 at 1:19 pm

    I always find it interesting when people get their dream job, only to find out its not what they want to do. I guess its related to the grass being greener on the other side. But its good that you found out more about yourself, and what you really want to do. Best of luck to you on your next venture.

    Will you still be attending Blackhat and or Defcon this year?

  5. Cutawayon 04 Jul 2007 at 8:41 pm

    As I have already told you, keep your head up and drive on. As you have said, this experience tells you something about yourself and about a different aspect of the industry . As Mitchell said, it takes guts to make a shift and recognize when you need to pull back.

    Start doing the things you really like to fill the time until you find the direction that is right for you and your family. You might look into Google as they have openings for security professionals. I know that Mountain View is a drive for you but it might just work out. Plus, the closer you are to the city the less time you will spend traveling to interviews and user groups. Plus, living that close to Santa Cruz doesn’t suck.

    Take care, my friend.
    Go forth and do good things,

  6. Andy ITGuyon 05 Jul 2007 at 2:33 am

    Martin, Good luck in your search. I know that you will find something quickly. I’m also sure that you know this but take you time and find what is right for you. I look forward to hearing about your new endeavors.

  7. Rob Newbyon 05 Jul 2007 at 2:35 am

    I’ve always wanted to be a product evangelist… :)

  8. Chris Harringtonon 05 Jul 2007 at 6:26 am


    Best of luck moving forward. I’m sure you’ll have little problem finding your next gig.


  9. Jeremiah Owyangon 05 Jul 2007 at 7:25 am

    Glad you’re happy, that’s always what matters, hope to catch up with you soon again, friend.

  10. Martinon 05 Jul 2007 at 10:37 am

    Thanks to everyone for the support, especially Mitchell. This is probably the most cordial separation I’ll ever make from an employer.

    I don’t think I’ll be attending BH this year, though that could change. Without a current employer, that’s a bit outside my budget for now. But things could change.

    And Rob, you might want to talk to Mitchell if you want the position. How’s the old saying go? “Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it”


  11. Patrick Ogenstadon 07 Jul 2007 at 3:45 am

    Best of luck Martin, perhaps now you’ll have time to upgrade your blog to WordPress :)

  12. Martinon 09 Jul 2007 at 9:26 am

    Patrick, have you been talking to Jeremiah? I know my site is ugly and the colors are a little off, but I think the base software is fine. I tried relocating the site about 6 months ago and ran into a lot of problems with the feeds, so I dropped the upgrade for a while. Maybe I’ll try again now that I have some free time.

  13. Dave Whiteleggon 10 Jul 2007 at 3:38 am

    Martin – Sorry to see it hasn’t work out for you at Cobia, I’m sure it won’t be too long before you get sorted.

    Good luck with your next move

  14. dave jon 19 Jul 2007 at 9:10 am

    AOL is looking for Security Engineers with a strong bent toward PCI policy and compliance. You’re welcome to drop me a line if you would be interested in talking!

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