Work-life balance

The Humanity of ShmooCon

by Bill Brenner January 15, 2016 Work-life balance

I’m missing the ShmooCon hacker conference for the second year in a row because of family activities. But it remains a favorite of mine for several reasons. One is how its not afraid to explore how the human condition affects the security profession. Mood music: For starters, ShmooCon has given Johnny Long a platform. Long, one of the world’s foremost hackers, has given presentations on why he started Hackers for Charity, a nonprofit organization using the skills…  [Read More]

With Burnout Comes Wisdom (If You Survive)

by Bill Brenner November 5, 2015 Work-life balance

I’ve devoted several posts to combatting career burnout, particularly in the information security industry. But something recently occurred to me: Burnout can be a good thing, but only if you survive. Mood music: The thought came to me after talking to a fellow industry veteran and work colleague. We’ve seen friends younger than us either setting themselves up for the fall or crashing to Earth after burning to a crisp. My friend knows burnout. So do I. We’ve…  [Read More]

You Call It Selfish, I Call It Survival

by Bill Brenner July 21, 2014 Work-life balance

A friend once lamented that she tries to make everyone around her happy. She’s a self-described people pleaser, and it’s led to a world of hurt. She wanted to know how I got past it and was able to out myself. Here’s my attempt to answer the question. Mood music: I used to be a people pleaser. I probably still am to some extent. But nothing like how I used to be. I wanted desperately to make every boss happy, and I…  [Read More]

There Are Other Things Besides Hacking

by Bill Brenner April 14, 2014 Work-life balance

During that SOURCE Boston session on security burnout last week, someone in the audience made an important observation: One of the reasons depression runs deep in the security industry is because hackers spend most of their time staring at a screen. Mood music: When a researcher is trying to break into system weaknesses, there’s an obsession to it. You can’t pull away. You have to keep traveling deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole in…  [Read More]

Wherein I Run Afoul Of The U.S. Secret Service

by Bill Brenner January 24, 2014 Communication skills for the crazy

My resolve against the inner demons is tested regularly. Some are little tests, like being put in a room with all the food and alcohol I once binged on daily to see if I can resist the temptation. Some are bigger tests, like getting lost en route to Washington D.C a few years ago with my wife and kids in the car. Getting lost in a car used to be the stuff my anxiety attacks were made…  [Read More]

Work-Life Balance in the 21st Century

by Bill Brenner July 15, 2013 Work-life balance

A friend noted the other day that he actually gets annoyed about holidays and mandatory paid time off because he simply loves his work and would rather keep at it each day. He’s not an all-work-no-play kind of guy, either. He’s a dedicated weight lifter, traveler, music lover and bee keeper, all things that require time away from the computer. I see some of myself in his outlook on life. I too love what I…  [Read More]

Farewell, CSO and IDG. Hello, Akamai!

by Bill Brenner May 31, 2013 Work-life balance

Today is my last day as managing editor of CSO Magazine and CSOonline. Monday, my new job at Akamai begins. I’m excited about the new challenges that await me. But I’m going to miss the place where I spent the last five years of my professional life. Mood music: [spotify:track:1JFQyGHeNDAqUAubIAMiXI] It’s been an excellent ride. I worked with some of the best talent and sweetest human beings on Earth. I got to burrow deeper into…  [Read More]

Interview About My Job Change

by Bill Brenner May 10, 2013 Work-life balance

My good friend Anthony M. Freed did a write-up about my job change. He has some fun at my expense along the way, which I will surely get him back for. Read it on Tripwire.

Leaving CSO, Heading to Akamai

by Bill Brenner May 6, 2013 Work-life balance

After five excellent years as senior editor and managing editor of and CSO Magazine, I’m moving on. Starting June 3, I’ll be a senior program manager at Akamai Technologies in Cambridge, Mass. I’m stoked about this new challenge. Mood music: [spotify:track:4xaEeuXlXyc3lzYoLYEsAV] I’m announcing my new adventure here because it’s the best way to reach the most people, since this blog is read by friends, family and many in the information security community. Let’s address…  [Read More]

How To Avoid Becoming #RSAC Roadkill

by Bill Brenner February 19, 2013 Coping tools

Last year was a first: I had a stay-at-home vacation a week before flying out to a big conference. We took the kids to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and did a lot of relaxing. It worked so well I’m doing it again. Mood music: The kids are on their February school vacation, which was my main reason for choosing this week. That it fell the week before RSA — one of the…  [Read More]