Exhausted

On top of everything that was 2020 and some of the crap that continues to be 2021 (are we still a democracy?) I’m exhausted. Yes, part of it is pandemic related but at (almost) 42 I’m actually tired of…. tech.

I remember in my 20’s and 30’s I’d stay up all night to play with Linux and get Nagios setup for my company and I was always looking for the next cool tech thing to play with. Now? I think I want off this ride.

And I’m not tired of tech because of lack of innovation. I think the new M1 chip from Apple is SUPER cool. I think the new Surface Duo foldable phone has promise and I look forward to what Microsoft does there. Technology for sure is still advancing and doing awesome things.

I’m tired of the security aspects of technology. The fear of bad actors (the friendlier name for “hackers”) has become crippling and has sucked all the joy out of working in tech. I find myself doing less and less of the cool projects that bring meaningful change to an organization and it’s users because my time is now entirely occupied with security response.

If you use Microsoft’s Defender as part of M365 and scan an out-of-the-box Windows computer with all updates installed you’ll still find about 50 vulnerabilities you need to patch. And every day 3 or 4 more “critical” ones roll in. How do you stay on top of that?

In just the past 7 days I’ve had to address these:

Microsoft: TCP vulnerability requires emergency patching to all Windows systems.

Apple: SUDO vulnerability requires emergency updates to all macOS systems.

Google: Chrome has had THREE critical vulnerabilities patched… in 3 separate patch cycles in 7 days.

I can’t go into details (legally) but I’ll say that in a previous job my company was hit with ransomware. It was awful. I probably have diagnosable PTSD from the event. I literally ended up in the hospital over it. So I know the result of ignoring or failing to respond to all these security issues – first hand. It’s BAD.

But with that knowledge comes the personal angst of always having to put security response first. We now spend all day patching systems to prevent attack and a very tiny amount of time doing meaningful projects that bring your organization forward.

If you’re in a small organization you likely have “an IT guy” – or at best a very small staff and this kind of pressure can be overwhelming for them. Even if you have the financial luxury of bringing in security vendors they mostly just point out the things that need to be responded to and you’re still on the hook to actually respond.

I realize as a tech professional for the last 24 years it’s not good for me to post a post like this. Who wants to employ someone exhausted by what they do every day? But I know I’m not the only one out there feeling like this.

Maybe this is why alpaca farming has taken off?

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