Career Notes 7.4.21
Ep 56 | 7.4.21

Dwayne Price: Sharing information. [Project Management]


Dwayne Price: Hello, my name is Dwayne Price. I'm a senior technical project manager, specializing in cybersecurity.

Dwayne Price: I've always been fascinated by the technology field. So when I, uh, decided my major at undergraduate school at UMBC, it was always information systems management. I like the aspects of the business side of a computer implementations. A few years later, after obtaining my undergraduate degree, I received an advanced degree in that same specialization. It's always been a part of me. And I just enjoy that the technology changes and you can never know enough at any given point in time.

Dwayne Price: I had an opportunity to do what's known as a cooperative education experience while I was in college. I really got a chance to sit down with professionals in the field. And one of the areas that really gravitates to me is around database security. After understanding what Unix administration was and being trained in that area, I naturally gravitated to doing database administration. That was kind of, I think my foray into security, particularly as it relates to database systems.

Dwayne Price: So my first job out of college was at the U.S. House of Representatives in their information systems department, and I was hired as a programmer. Due to a reorganization, an opportunity became available to me. I was able to move into system administration role and then from that system administration role along with additional programming, I was eventually able to move into Unix administration. In order to be a great database administrator, understand database security, you have to understand the platform that it sits on. And back in the day, the primary platform was Unix administration. So having that strong Unix administration background really prepared me to understand the relationship between Unix administration and database security.

Dwayne Price: Day to day it's, uh, about projects, focus around enhancing or increasing the cyber security capabilities at a, at a company that I work with. For example, right now, um, many of the projects I'm focused on focused on on data security, as it relates to data loss prevention, database activity monitoring, everything around securing data, whether it's what's known as data at rest, that is sitting, or data that is in transit, or data that in use.

Dwayne Price: One of the things I try to explain to people there's this document that was done by the National Institute of Standards is called the NICE Framework. It speaks to all the various different types of roles as it relates to cybersecurity, whether you want to do you want to be a SOC analyst, whether you want to do a project manager, whether you want to do threatened vulnerability management. I tell people to look at that NICE Framework and identify what other roles attractive to you. And in that document, it speaks to the competencies to training, any applicable certifications that would be great to earn as you look to specialize in that area.

Dwayne Price: One of the biggest opportunities that was made available to me was really out of accident about 10 or 11 years ago, I was having one of these 360 assessments done, um, you know, by a third party where you go to like executive education actually was at, uh, Columbia Business School and I was sitting down with a clinical psychologist and he said, Dwayne, I can tell you a very good at talking very technical subject topics with technical people. Have you ever thought about being an adjunct professor part-time? And I was like, no, I have not. But see, you know, that would be very good practice for you to explain technical concepts to people that don't necessarily know what you're talking about. So move ahead, 10 or 15 years, I've been an adjunct professor part-time. I can turn it on, turn it off. I think that's really strengthened my communication skills, particularly explaining technical subjects to very non-technical people.

Dwayne Price: I do have those mentors now, but I think having them sooner, earlier would have, uh, propelled me  much faster. So that's definitely something I would tell the younger version of myself seek mentors, um, in the industry sooner, rather than later.

Dwayne Price: One example that comes to mind is I was working at this Fortune 500 company. And there was this one woman that, um, I think she taught me the value of understanding your gut. So I had a feeling anything about her, that she was very approachable. She was very high up in the organization, but I ignored my gut and I spoke to her after I left the organization and she actually became a great mentor to me after. And, one of the things she explained to me is Dwayne, you have to understand what your gut is telling you and always go with your gut. So that's probably the great pieces of light is standing your gut. One of the things I, I want to be able to leave, and it's really based on the experience that I had early on in my career. When you learn something new about a technology or a capability, no one liked to share that information. I said, you know, if I have her get in the position of being a supervisor or a senior technical person in the field, I'm going to make it my purpose to share information when people. Don't keep it to myself. So one of the things I pride myself with is sharing information with people and I think it's much appreciated because me sharing it, doesn't devalue what I know. If I can share it with you, it can help the team. It can help the organization. So just being someone that shares information, when I go to a conference or I've read a great book, um, or any I've read a great article, it's just sharing that with people .