Covid Lockdowns, And My Learning Journey
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Yesterday, I was just sitting and thinking about my time spent in COVID lockdowns. It was a harsh period for the whole world. It was a terrible year for everyone, millions of people died. While all my friends were stuck inside their homes playing video games, watching movies and doing other things. I wanted to do something productive. I was 13 years old at that time.
That reminds me of this quote from the Harry Potter books:
“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”
I’ve always been interested in computers since I was a child. As I grew older, my interest evolved to learning about networking, cybersecurity, and Linux. However, it wasn’t until the COVID lockdown that I had the time to dive deep into the subject matter.
When the pandemic hit, school was moved online, which meant that I had unlimited time to explore my interests. The online classes were on mute. One of my goals was to learn more about cybersecurity. I looked up how to get into it and read that learning the basics of networking and Linux was a good place to start.
Although I had already tried to install Linux on my PC, I ran into some issues because the BIOS was buggy and did not support proper USB boot. I discovered about Raspberry Pi and the numerous projects that one could do with it. I convinced my parents to buy me a Raspberry Pi Zero W. This became the turning point in my learning journey.
With my new Raspberry Pi, I was exposed to Linux and command line for the first time. I completed various projects. As I gained more experience with Linux, I began reading books about cybersecurity, IoT, and networking. During the lockdown, I read at least 20 books on the subject matter, and I couldn’t stop.
Despite my love for reading, I’m a believer in practical learning. Most of what I know comes from hands-on experience. I participated in a CTF competition and was rewarded with $150 and some swag. BugCrowd also sent me a T-shirt, which was a nice bonus.
As the lockdown period came to an end, I returned to school, but my interest in cybersecurity and Linux didn’t fade away. Towards the end of last year, I bought a new laptop and wanted to do something with the old one. I decided to start doing server stuff and hosting self-hosted services, which was a great learning experience.
The COVID lockdown provided me with the time and opportunity to explore my interest in cybersecurity and Linux. I gained a lot of experience and knowledge during this time. I’m grateful for the lockdown, which allowed me to develop a new set of skills that I’m passionate about. It’s crazy how much one can learn within a short period of time, come to think of it, people learn something everyday, everyhour, everyminute and we don’t even realize it.
If you are truely passionate about something, nothing can stop you. Being passionate is an important part of learning, you will be bored very soon if you don’t geniunly care about learning.
I currently host a linux mirror, and if you want to support that: https://shrirangkahale.com/donate