CS career megathread / AMA

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Expand view Topic review: CS career megathread / AMA

Re: CS career megathread / AMA

by haus » Fri Nov 26, 2021 2:20 pm

My current role is with a credit union. The job covers a lot of ground, I am responsible for the implementation, maintenance and monitoring or our security stack (think Firewalls, DNS filtering, end point security, IDS/IPS, SIEM), work with IT on patch management/vulnerability assessment, help establish baselines for configurations and arrange to test compliance with same.

We just went through our audit by NCUA, in prep for that I worked with vendors who performed a variety of test (pen test, social engineering, etc…). Also spent a lot of time working with insurance companies as we were looking for options on cyber insurance.

Much of our internal policy related to IT/InfoSec was boiler plate documents bought from a vendor and little of it has been modified to reflect the realities within the org. So I spend quite a bit of time in replacing these documents with things that are not fiction.

We have an in-house development team, but it is fairly small. We work with them to ensure that the code they produce is run through static and dynamic code review before it goes into production.

So far this year I have spent time reviewing the new privacy laws in Virginia and California, looking at guidance and regulation from agencies repeated to changes in incident notification. Then advising the executive team on the changes we need to make as well as suggesting a path forward to allow

In large part I enjoy the work that I do, in a new job I would like to stay involved at some level with the tech, but leveraging my legal education more would be nice.

I do think there is a need for more attorneys who have experience/understanding of security operations. But you will not see job postings for a person who has years (or decades) of InfoSec experience and are also an attorney because it is not the way that law firms think, and is is extremely unlikely to find such a person through the traditional law firm hiring funnels.

Re: CS career megathread / AMA

by app » Fri Nov 26, 2021 1:33 pm

haus wrote:
Thu Nov 25, 2021 8:27 pm
I took my current job almost a year ago on the promise that once my bar membership became final it would be a dual hat role (director of security stuff and in-house counsel). On the bright side, they “promoted” me as promised, but within a month of the promotion the CEO changed his mind. It seems that he decided he did not want anyone at the org to have an attorney title, because he thinks it is “dangerous”. So my title was changed to remove in-house counsel.

I have been mildly looking and have two promising leads. A small law firm (~20 attorneys) that is focused on cybersecurity and data privacy has expressed interest in me for a role as a incident response attorney. The other option is a role with a fed agency that I used to work for. They have a 15 slot that was created when my old job (leading SOC/CSIRT as a 14) was broken into two parts, this new role adds an emphasis to adapting process. And procedure for incident response related to regulation and guidance from various agencies. The later is not a attorney job, but the jd does not hurt.

If neither of these comes through by the end of January I will likely start looking for something more aggressively.
your current role as dir of security, is it mainly tech/security-sw development or is it more like product or something else pertaining to business law?

do you prefer to move into more law/jd role now from tech? i'd assume with all the developments that are going on in tech, there would be similar increase in demands for lawyers who know both, or is that false?

Re: CS career megathread / AMA

by haus » Thu Nov 25, 2021 8:27 pm

I took my current job almost a year ago on the promise that once my bar membership became final it would be a dual hat role (director of security stuff and in-house counsel). On the bright side, they “promoted” me as promised, but within a month of the promotion the CEO changed his mind. It seems that he decided he did not want anyone at the org to have an attorney title, because he thinks it is “dangerous”. So my title was changed to remove in-house counsel.

I have been mildly looking and have two promising leads. A small law firm (~20 attorneys) that is focused on cybersecurity and data privacy has expressed interest in me for a role as a incident response attorney. The other option is a role with a fed agency that I used to work for. They have a 15 slot that was created when my old job (leading SOC/CSIRT as a 14) was broken into two parts, this new role adds an emphasis to adapting process. And procedure for incident response related to regulation and guidance from various agencies. The later is not a attorney job, but the jd does not hurt.

If neither of these comes through by the end of January I will likely start looking for something more aggressively.

Re: CS career megathread / AMA

by app » Thu Nov 25, 2021 12:32 pm

haus wrote:
Wed Nov 24, 2021 12:19 am
thx tbh i expect it to be rough in the beginning, based on some of the stories i've heard. last time didn't have good fb recruiter experience, different than this time.
i heard they are revamping their perf appraisal system from every 6 months to once per year. that could make it more bearable.


in general the job market seems hotter than i've seen in the past. are you planning to change job? you moved from tech to jd?

Re: CS career megathread / AMA

by haus » Wed Nov 24, 2021 12:19 am

Congrats app, I hope that the new role works out nicely for you

Re: CS career megathread / AMA

by app » Tue Nov 23, 2021 9:18 pm

A different recruiter from a previous company contacted. Planning to take the offer this time.

**This thread seems much quieter than in the past. Or is the site in general less active?

Re: CS career megathread / AMA

by app » Fri Nov 12, 2021 8:19 pm

wizzy wrote:
Wed Nov 10, 2021 2:00 am
You mean once offices open up?

I'm not sure why SWEs would switch careers at a higher rate now when they can be fully remote (other industries have less flexibility for WFH) and tech stocks are at ATHs (other industries suck for equity based comp).
how is the preference for wfh/remote versus onsite in other industries/law?

Re: CS career megathread / AMA

by app » Wed Nov 10, 2021 10:10 pm

Recently also decided to leave my current company. initially it was supposed to RTO in summer this year, but now the earliest is early next year.

Re: CS career megathread / AMA

by app » Wed Nov 10, 2021 10:08 pm

wizzy wrote:
Wed Nov 10, 2021 2:00 am
app wrote:
Fri Nov 05, 2021 11:30 am
It would be interesting to know what poster rustyshackelfordd decided to do. i think he was considering a switch to law or had already switched.
it looks like once companies begin to open up after shutdown, there would be lots more career switches.
anyone here waiting for things to open up?
You mean once offices open up?

I'm not sure why SWEs would switch careers at a higher rate now when they can be fully remote (other industries have less flexibility for WFH) and tech stocks are at ATHs (other industries suck for equity based comp).
yeah, i meant once offices open up. the turnover (moving to different employer) at sw companies seems to be much higher than pre-pandemic times.
i for one would like for things to be somewhat similar to what it was before, instead of remote.

in my current company, it's the most job reqs i have seen open in a long time, but not enough people to fill them.

Re: CS career megathread / AMA

by wizzy » Wed Nov 10, 2021 2:00 am

app wrote:
Fri Nov 05, 2021 11:30 am
It would be interesting to know what poster rustyshackelfordd decided to do. i think he was considering a switch to law or had already switched.
it looks like once companies begin to open up after shutdown, there would be lots more career switches.
anyone here waiting for things to open up?
You mean once offices open up?

I'm not sure why SWEs would switch careers at a higher rate now when they can be fully remote (other industries have less flexibility for WFH) and tech stocks are at ATHs (other industries suck for equity based comp).

Re: CS career megathread / AMA

by app » Fri Nov 05, 2021 11:30 am

It would be interesting to know what poster rustyshackelfordd decided to do. i think he was considering a switch to law or had already switched.
it looks like once companies begin to open up after shutdown, there would be lots more career switches.
anyone here waiting for things to open up?

Re: CS career megathread / AMA

by sev » Sun Oct 31, 2021 7:51 pm

app wrote:
Sat Oct 30, 2021 12:46 pm
what type of law you practice and for how long? does it mean you plan to change career?
Started as a legal aid attorney not too long ago.

Maybe someday I’ll take a few years off to work as a remote software dev or something, but I’m better at law than I am programming. I mostly just do it because almost no one else in the office knows how to use excel, let alone scrape data off of a webpage.

Edit: there seems to be a huge comparative advantage in having technical skills in a non-technical field and vice versa. I feel like if I was actually in a technical field I’d be average at best.

Re: CS career megathread / AMA

by app » Sat Oct 30, 2021 12:46 pm

sev wrote:
Fri Oct 29, 2021 11:17 pm
what type of law you practice and for how long? does it mean you plan to change career?

Re: CS career megathread / AMA

by sev » Fri Oct 29, 2021 11:17 pm

app wrote:
Fri Oct 29, 2021 10:56 pm
what are these scripts used for? analyzing excel data?
Yep, kinda. We pull down information on each eviction in our county every day and automatically check for compliance with certain rules. All of that gets dropped into a spreadsheet for our advocates at the docket.

Re: CS career megathread / AMA

by app » Fri Oct 29, 2021 10:56 pm

what are these scripts used for? analyzing excel data?

Re: CS career megathread / AMA

by sev » Fri Oct 29, 2021 11:46 am

I'm now an attorney but 20% of the work I do for my firm is writing python scripts--it's a really nice break when I have time to work on it.

Re: CS career megathread / AMA

by app » Fri Oct 29, 2021 11:21 am

how is those in tech here doing?
anyone recently changed career into/out-of tech?

Re: CS career megathread / AMA

by waldorf » Fri Apr 23, 2021 10:35 pm

app wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 10:00 pm
waldorf wrote:
Fri Apr 16, 2021 12:22 pm
rustyshackelfordd wrote:
Fri Apr 16, 2021 9:17 am
Hi!

Kind of a strange question, but I have a quick question about pivoting from a career *in* tech to a career in law school. I was really lucky and able to net roughly 400K+ this year in tech and am having a few second thoughts about whether a legal career is appropriate, primarily because I work maybe 30 hours a week and have extremely generous benefits. Is it possible to exceed this range in a substantial way as a lawyer? Are there a lot of examples of people like me who switched out and became lawyers in the legal tech space? I'm very interested in tech policy and am hoping for a good "lateral", and law school seemed like the most appropriate slot. I am going to a to HYS, but am able to pay out of pocket so will not be taking debt.
I graduated law school in 2020 and am in a relatively good position compared to most: no student loan debt, biglaw job at a relatively humane firm/group working with people I genuinely like, etc. and I still regret going to law school instead of doing STEM and going into tech. You're netting almost half a mil and only working 30 hour weeks. I would cut off my left arm to be in your position.

Edit: also, tech benefits are amazing and biglaw benefits are terrible, as someone else mentioned. The health insurance is awful--I'm on a very expensive plan with a very high deductible, so I'm paying for insurance every month + like $2000 in healthcare costs so far this year thanks to the deductible (tbf, this is unusual for me, I've had a few health issues recently). Only 12 weeks of paid maternity leave which isn't even enough time for many women to fully recover physically from giving birth, let alone focus on spending time with their new baby. I think paternity leave is like 2 weeks which is just lol. No 401(k) match sucks too.

I definitely don't hate my life/job or anything like that, but I'd never leave a tech job for it.

Waldorf, what major in stem? Which law school?
I went to Wash U for law school. I wish I did computer science or engineering

Re: CS career megathread / AMA

by app » Fri Apr 23, 2021 10:07 pm

rustyshackelfordd wrote:
Fri Apr 16, 2021 4:22 pm
Wow, thank you for the response everyone! This is super realistic. I do have a follow-on -- is it possible to make the lateral switch from something like BigLaw into in-house counsel in tech? I'm interested in a fairly specific niche in the technology sector (machine learning, cybersecurity, AI) and am curious about legal roles that deal directly with that. I'm early-mid 20s, if that helps, and am definitely curious about leadership roles in technology companies as a lawyer, such as a GC role (but please correct me if I'm missing anything, I haven't actually gone to law school).
btw, I'm in a similar niche area as well. The good thing is ai is still very underdeveloped imo as far as legal issues regarding it are concerned. At your age you'd be able to ride that wave if it comes.
How important is good money similar to tech comp a consideration for you?

Re: CS career megathread / AMA

by app » Fri Apr 23, 2021 10:00 pm

waldorf wrote:
Fri Apr 16, 2021 12:22 pm
rustyshackelfordd wrote:
Fri Apr 16, 2021 9:17 am
Hi!

Kind of a strange question, but I have a quick question about pivoting from a career *in* tech to a career in law school. I was really lucky and able to net roughly 400K+ this year in tech and am having a few second thoughts about whether a legal career is appropriate, primarily because I work maybe 30 hours a week and have extremely generous benefits. Is it possible to exceed this range in a substantial way as a lawyer? Are there a lot of examples of people like me who switched out and became lawyers in the legal tech space? I'm very interested in tech policy and am hoping for a good "lateral", and law school seemed like the most appropriate slot. I am going to a to HYS, but am able to pay out of pocket so will not be taking debt.
I graduated law school in 2020 and am in a relatively good position compared to most: no student loan debt, biglaw job at a relatively humane firm/group working with people I genuinely like, etc. and I still regret going to law school instead of doing STEM and going into tech. You're netting almost half a mil and only working 30 hour weeks. I would cut off my left arm to be in your position.

Edit: also, tech benefits are amazing and biglaw benefits are terrible, as someone else mentioned. The health insurance is awful--I'm on a very expensive plan with a very high deductible, so I'm paying for insurance every month + like $2000 in healthcare costs so far this year thanks to the deductible (tbf, this is unusual for me, I've had a few health issues recently). Only 12 weeks of paid maternity leave which isn't even enough time for many women to fully recover physically from giving birth, let alone focus on spending time with their new baby. I think paternity leave is like 2 weeks which is just lol. No 401(k) match sucks too.

I definitely don't hate my life/job or anything like that, but I'd never leave a tech job for it.

Waldorf, what major in stem? Which law school?

Re: CS career megathread / AMA

by app » Fri Apr 23, 2021 6:07 pm

rustyshackelfordd wrote:
Fri Apr 16, 2021 9:17 am
Hi!

Kind of a strange question, but I have a quick question about pivoting from a career *in* tech to a career in law school. I was really lucky and able to net roughly 400K+ this year in tech and am having a few second thoughts about whether a legal career is appropriate, primarily because I work maybe 30 hours a week and have extremely generous benefits. Is it possible to exceed this range in a substantial way as a lawyer? Are there a lot of examples of people like me who switched out and became lawyers in the legal tech space? I'm very interested in tech policy and am hoping for a good "lateral", and law school seemed like the most appropriate slot. I am going to a to HYS, but am able to pay out of pocket so will not be taking debt.
In the same boat regarding tech work and interests, except no admission.

Which type of company and work in tech do you do? Swe area? App stats/profile?

Dont think you'd make more money from law school, but not sure if thats your goal or if its your only aim.

Re: CS career megathread / AMA

by Johannes » Fri Apr 16, 2021 8:49 pm

TLDR: what about the law is appealing to you as you understand it??

Re: CS career megathread / AMA

by Johannes » Fri Apr 16, 2021 8:48 pm

Yeah just echoing all of the above.

Only point that hasn’t been hit on yet that I’d add is I think you are glorifying/making law out to be something it’s not.

Talk to some of the product counsel at your company and ask about their jobs day to day. I don’t really see the overlap with someone working in AI/ML and law. The creativity you get to push is so different from law. You’re basically working in an unbounded field that just hit NN breakthrough many thought impossible 15 years ago (my laymen understanding from reading) and you’d be transitioning to law based on foundations and principles 100 years old that’s mostly all settled. For every 2 hours of cool tangential work on AIML you’d be doing, you’ll be spending 15 hours of time in meetings and managing email about bs.

Re: CS career megathread / AMA

by wizzy » Fri Apr 16, 2021 7:56 pm

I'll offer a slightly more positive perspective and say that I think you *can* advise on ML/AI-related products as pcounsel. It typically will be yes, you can implement X feature vs. no, you can't implement Y feature. But I do think that for someone with your background, PMs and SWEs would respect your expertise, and you might be able to find creative workarounds knowing the tech stack where you can provide more of a "no, but" answer: No, your product won't work if you do it like currently described in your design doc, but have you considered this alternative design to mitigate some of the legal risk?

Companies like Google, FB, and Snap have a lot of interesting product counsel work in the ML space and do pay 320-400k for 4-5 years of experience (obviously can go higher with stock appreciation if you join in a bull market). I'd imagine you'd also be somewhat of a unicorn for those companies understanding both the code and the legal side of things. That said, you're still looking at putting in 3 years of law school and several years of biglaw to get back to where you are now at 400k. The opportunity cost / time spent in biglaw is pretty huge.

And the path to GC is basically still impossible. You're looking at counsel, lead counsel, associate general counsel, director, VP, maybe another VP, and then GC as rungs on the ladder for these tech giants. Most people will top out in the L7 / associate general counsel range.

The gist is that this might be a dream path for somebody who already went to law school but not for somebody like you who already has much better options (without needing to go to law school).

Re: CS career megathread / AMA

by BlendedUnicorn » Fri Apr 16, 2021 6:25 pm

icechicken wrote:
Fri Apr 16, 2021 4:32 pm
GC of a major company is a late-career stretch goal which you can't really plan around. It's like getting into accounting so you can be the CFO. Being a random in-house lawyer at some tech company is realistic assuming relevant SME, good law school, and a stint in biglaw, but that's a lot of manure-shoveling just to get to a job which, on balance, isn't really any better than where you started.

Also, if you really mean roles that deal directly with, say, machine learning then you're probably looking at patent lit, which I'm not going to pretend to understand but which I'm pretty sure is not what you have in mind.
This, plus also I’m kind of skeptical that even high level lawyers at tech companies are the ones doing the really innovative thinking. Like best case scenario for a lawyer who wants to work on AI is that you’re working on telling the business unit why they can’t do x, y, and z of their AI plan. More likely you’re going to be overseeing litigation resulting from the follow on effects of the business unit doing thing x anyway, or drafting contracts so that your company can finance a purchase of a start up that does thing y, or figuring out how to design a click wrap arbitration agreement that stops you from getting sued for thing z. Business schools probably a better bet for that sort of stuff.

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