Be a [BLANK] who can code

I write code. I’m not a programmer. I am a security engineer who can code. Why is that important?

There’s nothing wrong with being a programmer. It’s a good paying job, and in high enough demand to make a nice living (especially here in the Midwest where talent can be hard to find and competition is lower). Being a security engineer is a good job, well paying, and good job security as well. But the places where those jobs intersect, things get… interesting.

For example, when your boss asks you to do a menial, boring task that requires copying and pasting and very little else. That sounds like a job for Bash or Python. Or exploring your product’s API to automate certain tasks. Or building a web interface to a tool that’s hard to use. I’m a security engineer first and foremost, but I can also code. That combination of skills is uncommon and builds a pretty good career moat for you.

It can also lead to the strongest job security you’ll ever find: building a product that only you know how to operate/fix. If your company comes to depend on an automation tool you wrote or modified and you’re the only [BLANK] who can code on the team, they’re going to think twice about laying you off. Because they’re not only losing a team member who can do [BLANK], they’re also losing the only person who runs their automation or web interface or bash scripts or whatever. They’d be losing one of the most productive members of the team, and someone who has already proven that they can be good at multiple things (so they know you can re-trained if they need to move you).

Being good at your job is important. Being good at two jobs? You’re not going to find better job security.

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