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Employee Spotlight – Bob Salmans, Security Training Architect

Posted on February 5, 2019 by OliviaOlivia

Our Training Architects are dedicated to pushing the boundaries of online learning and helping professionals become cloud and Linux experts! Hear from one of our Security Training Architects, Bob Salmans, below and see why he loves working at Linux Academy. He also just released his first Linux Academy Course: CompTIA PenTest+ Certification!

What are you currently listening to?
Song – Cody Jinks: “Chase That Song”
Book – Jocko Willink: Extreme Ownership
Podcast – Risky.Biz
1. What do you do at Linux Academy?
Security Training Architect. I create training courses related to information security. I’ve been at Linux academy for four months.
2. What did you do before this?
Prior to coming to Linux Academy, I was a security engineer at an MSP/MSSP. There, I worked with clients to perform penetration testing, risk assessments, incident response, and to increase the security of their infrastructures.
3. What do you like most about what you do?
I love the freedom to create great content and really help people understand information security. We’re not tied to a pre-laid-out curriculum and can bring our experiences into the content.
4. You just released your first course: CompTIA PenTest+ Certification. Can you tell us about it?
The CompTIA Pentest+ course is designed to walk you through the pentesting process from start to finish. Along the way, you learn about the process and how to perform each step. You’ll get to use lots of tools and see how to identify and exploit vulnerabilities. If you’re not interested in pentesting, don’t write this course off. Anyone in IT can benefit from taking this course, as it lets you see how attackers work and will help you better understand how to protect against them.
5. What’s your favorite part of working at Linux Academy?
Without a doubt, the people. We have a great team of talented individuals and work well together. At our recent holiday get-together, I was able to meet most of the people working at Linux Academy, and there wasn’t a bad apple in the bunch!
6. How do you live out one of our core five missions?
One of the core missions is, “We support others in their mission to learn and grow.” I push myself to create the best content I can. There is no reason to “settle” and provide mediocre content. I have the abilities and platform to help others in their journey to succeed, and that’s what I do. I love checking the community for questions and invite the opportunity to answer questions and provide advice. We’re all in this together, and the more we help each other, the better off we’ll all be!
7. What are you currently learning? 
Currently, I’m working through the AWS Certified Solutions Architect course. I’m working to better understand the AWS cloud infrastructure and how security works in that environment.
8. What do you like to do in your free time? 
I love to cook. I cook anything and everything — I guess it’s my creative release! I like to find new ingredients and figure out how to make them delicious! The latest ingredient I’ve been working with is kohlrabi. It’s a sweet German turnip that is great simply roasted or raw in salads.
9. Favorite food?
So hard to decide, but I’d have to say Vietnamese. I love how the southeast Asian countries balance flavors to achieve masterful dishes! So many of their dishes pack a punch of salty, sweet, sour, and heat, and can blow your mind!
10. Favorite quote and why?
My favorite quote is, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax,” by Abraham Lincoln. That quote is the key to success. If you properly prepare for anything you are trying to achieve, you can achieve it. If you wanted to pass a technical certification test, you wouldn’t simply spend a couple hours googling the subject and expect to pass. Preparation is the key to success. If you fail to prepare, you fail to succeed.
11. What’s something you’re really excited about right now? 
Dreaming Creek Brewery. I live in a small(er) town, and we now have a local brewery. They have a great tap room and are normal guys who fulfilled a dream. The taproom is really inviting and a cool place to hang out that’s not a “bar scene” kind of place. I enjoy a good beer, and I’m pretty excited that we now have a place like this!
12. What do you like to collect?
I like to collect spices and spice blends. The last one I came across was berbere, which is an Ethiopian spice blend. It’s comparable to curry, but has more warm spices in it and I have been putting it in just about everything. Just this week, I made some kebbeh meatballs, and the berbere really brought them to life!
13. If you could have any superpower, what would it be, and why?
Originally I thought it would be to fly, but that has changed. I would want the ability to time travel. Just imagine if you could travel to 1863 and hear Abraham Lincoln give the Gettysburg Address. You would have the ability to experience anything from history and the ability to see what the future holds!
14. You’re a new addition to the crayon box — what color would you be, and why?
I’ve thought about this a lot. I would be an invisible crayon. Sound strange? I’m often considered shy or reserved because I don’t say much. That’s because I’m listening. The motto of Kali Linux is, “The quieter you are, the more you can hear,” which is so very true. An invisible crayon would be one not seen or noticed, but it’s there, and always with a sharp point.
15. Teach us something we may not know in 10 sentences or less.
Keeping your third-party software — such as Adobe, Flash, browsers, and everything else — patched is just as important as keeping your operating system patched. So many security breaches occur because of outdated third-party applications. Flash is probably the worst of them all, and if you don’t need it, remove it. That really goes for all software: If you don’t need it, remove it.
Cheese is super easy to make. You simply add an acid such as lemon juice to milk, heat it up, it separates into curd and whey, and then you strain it. That’s cheese! The first cheese was believed to be made when traveling bedouins put milk in sheeps’ stomachs to travel with, and as the days’ sun heated the milk, the rennet from the sheep’s stomach curdled the milk, and — voila — cheese!
There you go— a two-for-one!
16. If you could interview one person (dead or alive), who would it be?
That would be my grandfather. I took our time together for granted, and as I grow older, I continue to find out so many interesting things about him. For instance, he was in the US Navy during WWII. He was onboard the USS Johnston, which was sunk in the Battle of Leyte Gulf, and he spent three days in the water waiting for rescue. I also found out he slept through a drill and was sentenced to peeling potatoes for that! It’s funny how we can appreciate these things later in life!
17. What’s one thing on your bucket list?
One thing on my bucket list is to travel around Europe. I was in the military for almost eight years earlier in life and traveled around much of the world, but never made it to Europe. I love to travel and experience other cultures and learn about customs and the ideals of others. I believe this goes back to the fact that we’re all in this together, and if we take the time to learn about each other, the better we will all be at understanding why things are — and this allows us to make better decisions.

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