An Experienced Newb

We’ve all been newbs at one point or another in our lives. Have you ever been an experienced newb? Of course it happens. Just because you’ve got years of experience doesn’t mean you don’t encounter new processes or new procedures. You need to pick up a new skill. You get handed a new tool. You change jobs and the new company does things differently.

It can be tough to an experienced newb. You’ve done it all before. You don’t want to ask questions. You don’t want to show how rusty some skills are. You don’t want to look like a newb or a n00b. (Yes there’s a difference!) You’re supposed to be an old pro. You know your fellow techies aren’t always gentle with newbs and can be evil to n00bs. RTFM! But reading the manuals is tough when you’ve been doing things for so long because you may know 90% or 95% of what’s there and you have to wade through everything to find that 5% or 10% you don’t know. You can’t search for it because you don’t know what you don’t know. Or your find the new stuff but maybe the new company uses different terms and a different language and things aren’t clear. (Especially fun coming out of the US DoD work where they can NEVER use the standard terms. Ever do the side-straddle-hop? You probably know it as the jumping-jack.)

Despite seventeen years in the information security business, I find myself in that situation now. I’m an experienced newb. New company, new processes, new procedures, new report standards. I’m no longer following processes and procedures I helped create and writing reports I’m used to writing. I’m an experienced newb.

I can flounder around and slowly figure things out costing time and money or I can check the ego and start asking questions. Ego checked.

How do you all do…?

What’s your standard on…?

How long do you spend doing…?

I”m rusty on this, is it really as simple as…?

Hats off to my fellow Cigitalites. These guys sure seem to welcome the newb questions even from an old pro and answer them eagerly.

I’m working through my time as an experienced newb. Past that necessary ego check and off to learning how we do business. It’s been fun and I expect it will continue to be.