Ave mundus (Latin for hello, world!), and thanks for stopping by! My name is Christopher Black – I am technology professional living in beautiful San Francisco (born and raised, thank you). I am a senior solutions engineer at an amazing company called Lacework; Lacework provides a powerful cloud-security automation platform that helps organizations secure their cloud environments from threats. With the increasing reliance on cloud infrastructure, the importance of robust security measures cannot be overstated. At Lacework, we leverage advanced AI and machine learning algorithms to continuously monitor and analyze cloud configurations, network traffic, and user activities to identify vulnerabilities and threats in real-time. The technology is fantastic and we're solving real problems for many of the world's leading technology companies. Demo Image

Somewhere near the ruins of ancient Mycenae

Currently, I am finishing my master's degree in cybersecurity at UC Berkeley. It is a great program and many of my classmates are likely future CISOs of Silicon Valley. I'm still convinced someone in admissions made a mistake...but here we are. I studied Classical Civilization and Political Theory as an undergraduate at UC Irvine. Although I spent a few years as an undergrad studying dead languages and the Greeks, I found myself thrown into the engine room doing DevOps and site reliability engineering professionally when I graduated college in 2014. It is a long story, as you can imagine…but I have always had an insatiable curiosity when it came to computers and technology. I have a wide range of interests and intellectual pursuits, from ancient history to software and technology; from political theory and the writings of Rousseau to Nas and the masterpiece that is Illmatic.

My present role as a solutions engineer - essentially the intersection of engineering and sales. It is a perilous yet immensely rewarding client-facing role that offers the chance to work with extremely talented people while solving complex problems every day. Working in the security space is a uniquely challenging opportunity because I’m constantly exposed to so many different technologies and problem sets; from security in complex, distributed systems to incorporating vulnerability management into a build process. From code to cloud, we cover many core use cases associated with software security

Outside of work and school, I’m passionate about technology's impact on society and how it can be used to solve real-world problems. I spend a fair amount of my free time exploring the latest tech trends, attending meetups, and contributing to open-source projects. I believe that sharing knowledge and collaborating with others are key to innovation and making the world a better place.

I volunteer extensively with Larkin Street Youth Services, teaching homeless and at-risk youth computer science, programming, and career readiness. It's easily the most rewarding thing I do. It’s my own little way of trying to make an impact and giving back to an organization that did a lot for me during a really dark chapter in my life…but that is a different story for another time.

Toastmasters is another big part of my life. Public speaking is a wonderful skill, irrespective of profession or background; everyone can benefit tremendously from improving their public speaking skills. I’ve been a proud member of Golden Gate Toastmasters for several years now. It’s a great club with a wonderful, supportive group of talented professionals. I highly encourage everyone to come check out a meeting.

This forum will be used to write about my passion for software, technology, and DevOps, with the occasional musing on the ancient world, my journey as an SE/SA in Silicon Valley, and other (hopefully interesting) topics that come to mind. I'll occasionally write about the lost art of public speaking as well. And I’ll also touch on the work I do with Larkin Street Youth Services, the incredible impact they're making, and most importantly, how you can get involved.

If you enjoy software and technology, history and philosophy, don’t take yourself too seriously, and enjoy good hip-hop over non-hipster coffee, you’ve come to the right little corner of the internet.

Fun facts:

  • Can program computers, develop software, maintain, monitor, and manage complex systems
  • Seasoned sales professional with a proven track record (made President’s Club 1st year as SE)
  • Active community leader - volunteers extensively with homeless and at-risk youth teaching computer science and career readiness
  • Can read & write in Latin
  • Accomplished public speaker
  • (Actually) completed the original Mega Man game on NES
  • Can still 360 flip on a skateboard
  • Traveled to 15 countries and counting!