Is this really the InfoSec community you want? Everyone is somebody’s child, brother, sister, etc. Everyone is human and everyone is fragile. I can’t help but think of Aaron Swartz and Len Sassaman. Geniuses in our time that we lost because some straw broke the camel’s back. Is that the plan; drive all the geniuses to that point they break and then you won’t have the competition? Seems like it. I don’t consider my daughter a genius but she’s pretty damn smart. How many times have I have seen her crying over something mean someone in infosec said to her. Girls cry. That’s just what we do. (Hopefully a lot of guys cry too because it is a great release.)
My daughter is a crappy coder. But that is not what her work is about. Her work is about ideas. Crappy code can be fixed. Not everyone can come up with the ideas. Her coding is getting better the more she does. There is not much else she can do but try to improve.
Can my daughter take criticism? Yes but not publicly. You got to have a pretty tough skin to be able to take criticism publicly. Most of us don’t have that tough skin. I think that’s good because that usually goes hand in hand with compassion. If I had to choose only one thing missing in this InfoSec community, it would be compassion. The nonconstructive criticism is so public and so vicious that you end up missing that one nice person who is trying to offer the constructive criticism that could really make a difference. And that’s sad. That person who is trying to help gets lumped in with the naysayers, and no one benefits.
Is this really the InfoSec community you want? Stand up for what you want. Don’t let the bullies of InfoSec do this to people. Stand up to them. Support each other loudly. If you don’t, this is the InfoSec you get.
Georgia’s gone to some pretty dark places out of inexperience, out of fear, and out of mistakes she admits were her own. She’s made it out, I hope, but what about other new people in InfoSec, other people going through a hard time? Is it going to take someone dying to make you see/care?
I've watched my daughter on Twitter for over 2 years. I've watched my daughter on the Internet in one way or another all her life. You better be watching yours, too. Not every parent has the skill to do it but you do. The Internet is a dangerous place. I’m not just talking bullying but bullying doesn't stop when you turn 18, and the stakes get even higher when there are careers at stake.
Will I turn into a helicopter mom again? If I feel I need to, you bet. My daughter is the most important person in the world to me. In fact, I consider her my greatest achievement. If I see you push her to a scary place, I’ll show you what mean is again. I barely scratched the surface this time. The things I've said these past couple of days, this is what some of you do you to your peers every day. Is this really the InfoSec community you want?