Young man with slicked back brunette hair in crisp white shirt sitting on couch and smiling.
Seán Feeney. Image: Connor McKenna/Silicon Republic

How to pivot into a career in cybersecurity

8 Jul 2019

We spoke to Seán Feeney about the programming skills that have stood to him in his career and what his work at Fidelity Investments is like.

Seán Feeney is a senior cybersecurity engineer at Fidelity Investments, working in identity and access management.

His day consists of many elements those working in tech will be familiar with – daily stand-ups to provide updates on development work, gathering business requirements, demonstrating software features and afternoon calls with US-based business partners.

“I’ve more recently taken on some people management responsibilities, and this includes running one-to-one sessions with my reports and helping them get the most out of their careers, which keeps me busy.”

Cybersecurity is one of the hottest career areas around at the moment. A spate of high-profile hacks, coupled with the increased digitisation of the business world, has thrown the importance of the burgeoning sector into sharp relief.

So, many software development professionals may be asking themselves how they can pivot into the world of cybersecurity.

Feeney explained: “I think it’s very important to have a broad range of programming skills if you’re looking to get into cybersecurity. I think it’s also important to have the adequate soft skills to be able to communicate effectively when trying to solve a difficult problem.”

Feeney goes on to explain that C#, JavaScript, Java, PL/SQL and developing web services have all stood to him throughout his career. It’s also a good idea, should you be interested in forging a career in cybersecurity, to familiarise yourself with the OWASP Top 10 security standards.

Though given how rapidly the industry is transforming, best not to rest on one’s laurels, programming or otherwise. This fast pace is an element of the industry Feeney particularly enjoys.

“I think one of the best things about working in cybersecurity is it’s a forever-changing landscape and this forces you as an engineer to stay on top of the latest security trends.”

To hear more about how to get into cybersecurity as a career, check out the video interview in full above.

Eva Short
By Eva Short

Eva Short was a journalist at Silicon Republic, specialising in the areas of tech, data privacy, business, cybersecurity, AI, automation and future of work, among others.

Loading now, one moment please! Loading