What are you going to do in 2024? Tops 5 skills to get!
I like to think of the following, what can I do today to make all of my tomorrows better? You can make a change in your life this year that changes the rest of your life, either for good or for bad. The choice is yours. What are you gonna do in 2024 that's different or improved on what you've been doing in the past to get you to a better place than you are today or where you were yesterday? Now, it's not always gonna be easy.
You have to put in the work. You can visualize where you wanna be, and it's important that you dream, that you plan, that you make plans of where you wanna go, but you have to put in the work. You have to do something every day to make your tomorrows better.
Again, it's not always gonna be easy, but books like this can help you with your motivation. Can't Hurt Me, David Goggins, fantastic book. If you really need to see someone who came from really bad circumstances and did insane things or amazing things then have a read of this book.
The one piece I was missing was me having the courage to face myself. And once you do that on a daily basis, it's not about the running. Work, people are gonna be talking about working out. Where I got my work ethic from was the hours I had to spend learning this. When you sit down and you're not smart and you have a disability and you still wanna be at the top of your class, I didn't want this to get by.
When I realized that I can learn, do hard work, and I can beat the valedictorian in school, but I got put in 10 hours more a day than he does. You know what kind of strength comes from that? When you're sitting down, that guy, that valedictorian's study for an hour, and you know I caught you. I caught you and I am dumb, but I have the work ethic to catch you. That's where David Goggins got really invented was at a kitchen table with 20 spiral notebooks that were empty.
And then three months later, they were full. And when you can go through that, I still have them in my storage unit. You go through these spiral notebooks of your life and you realize this is how I learned. This is unbelievable. There's no miles.
It's not about the miles. It's that, having to discipline every day to say for me to learn this one math problem, it's gonna take me 10 hours. And that's where it, and you realize through hard work, you can outwork anybody. But as he says here, being motivated today is fine, but you've got to be disciplined. You've got to be dedicated.
You've got to decide that even when you don't feel like making a change, even when you don't feel like studying, even when you don't feel like putting in the work, that you do it. Don't do the things that you've been doing in the past if they don't get you where you wanna be. As the saying goes, it's insanity to do the same thing and expect different results. And it doesn't have to be a huge change, just by making small incremental changes in your life. It's amazing how quickly things can snowball either for good or for bad. This is another fantastic book that I recommend, Atomic Habits, talks about how making a 1% change in your life every day can give you astounding results over the period of just a year.
Look at where you are today and see where you are in one year from today. If you make a 1% improvement every single day, it's gonna be amazing to see where you are at the end of this year. But before we get to any of that, you need to believe in yourself. You need to believe that it's possible for you to change things. You've got to ignore the haters. You've got to ignore all those people that told you either at school or at other times in your life that you can't do it.
As my audience on YouTube has grown, I've got over 2 million subscribers at the moment, and thanks to all of you who have subscribed. I've seen also that the negativity grows as well. Lots of negative comments. If I listened to all the haters and all the trolls and all the wonderful people making all kinds of nasty comments on YouTube, I would just give up. Just like me, you've got to ignore those haters.
Ignore all those people that have told you that you can't do it. I've had many comments over my life, like, David, you're too old. You're too ugly. You're not intelligent enough. You speak with the wrong accent.
You're doing the wrong thing. This is not you. You need to be in this box.
You are this type of person. You're not this type of person, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Thousands and thousands of nasty comments over the years. You've got to ignore those people. Ignore all the haters and get a tribe of people or a group of people that believe in you and that support you. It's really important that you surround yourself with people that have your best interests at heart.
People that want you to succeed. You've got to, unfortunately, cut off the people who are negative, who are bringing you down or holding you back. That's, unfortunately, sometimes what you have to do in life. So evaluate the people that you spend your time with.
The people that you spend your time with are going to affect you. Even if you don't want them to, it's just going to happen. So make sure that you spend time with a group of people or a tribe of people, if you like, that want you to succeed. But you need to believe in yourself. You need to believe that you can do it.
There are many people out there that want you to succeed. I want you to succeed. It gives me such joy and such motivation when I get comments from people that say things like, I worked in McDonald's, I had a job that I hated or a low paying job. I couldn't buy my wife a car. I couldn't afford the nice things of life.
And then I got into cyber security or I got into networking or I got into tech, some part of tech. I became a developer or did something and I changed my life and now I can buy my wife a new car or I can feed my family. I've changed my life by believing that I can do it and studying and getting certified or getting a degree or doing something in tech and I've changed my life. Those are the kind of stories that motivate me, that help me get up every single morning to try and help you change your life. But at the end of the day, you need to believe that you can do it. And I'm telling you, I believe that you can.
Put in the effort, spend time every day trying to do something that improves your life for tomorrow. I've been saying this for years, you need to ride the waves in technology. One of the things that I love about tech is it changes all the time. That means that there are always new opportunities. It's very hard sometimes for older people like me to keep up.
You know, you gotta keep on studying. You gotta keep on reinventing yourself. You gotta keep on learning. But if you're new to this industry, if you are young or if you're trying to move into tech, that gives you a massive opportunity. Many technologies didn't exist two, five, 10 years ago. At the moment, one of the hottest trends is AI, artificial intelligence.
ChatGPT really brought that to the forefront. But how old is that? How long ago did ChatGPT get released? It's not very long ago. We're talking about a number of months. We're not talking about five years ago. If you get onto the new technologies or jump on the waves of the new technologies, you can be an expert in a very short amount of time because everyone is starting at a very similar point. Doesn't matter if you've got 10 years or 20 years of experience in tech, this is something new.
So if you're young or if you're someone new, you can jump on that wave and you can ride the waves that are changing the world today. And in a very short amount of time, you could be the expert. You could be the person that I'm interviewing on my channel, but you've gotta put in the work.
And this is another great book, Deep Work. You've gotta think about the following. Are you constantly distracted? These kind of devices, mobile phones, are amazing, but they are a huge distraction. You've gotta make this decision for yourself. And I'm not telling you what to do, but as an example, for me personally, I don't watch television.
I don't have a television at home that's connected to Netflix or whatever. The reason why is that television can consume a huge amount of time. I'm always amazed when I see the amount of time that people spend watching television. Now, I'm not judging you.
I'm not telling you what to do again. This is something you need to decide for yourself. For me personally, I can't justify spending two, three, four, five, six hours a day watching television that's like some people do. To me, that is a total waste of time. And as I get older, the time that I have available gets shorter and shorter. If you're 18, you might think, well, I have plenty of time.
Now, that's true. You have much, much more time than I do, but I can warn you that time goes really, really quickly. You need to look at your time and use it wisely.
Okay, but that's a decision you need to make for yourself. My advice is spend time every day improving your life. 1% every day is not a huge change, but it makes a massive improvement even over just a year. There can be a huge change in your life in just a year. Try and learn something new every day if you can. That might not be tech.
You might be learning something else. Like you might learn something about finances that can really change your future. Learn to invest. Don't spend, as an example, is a very basic financial principle. Rather invest your money in an asset which grows in value rather than a liability that loses value.
I mean, that's a basic principle that can really help you in life. But on the tech side, as I mentioned, learning a programming language like Python or Golang or Rust can really help you. Or learning how to leverage AI can really save you time and really put you in a different league to others. Some other books that I really like, Discipline Equals Freedom, Extreme Ownership. I've heard too many people make excuses for the position they're in or what's happening in their lives.
We all come from different places in life. Some people have had more advantages than others. Some of us come from better environments. Some of us come from terrible environments. But if you're ever feeling sorry for yourself, just go and have a look at people's lives like David Goggins or others who've come from atrocious backgrounds but have made a huge success in their lives. And success means different things to different people.
You've got to decide what's important for yourself. But stories like this and many others will hopefully take away all of your excuses. You can either have excuses or you can have success as a lot of people would say. I love this, discipline equals freedom. If you really want freedom, you need to take ownership of your life. You need to take ownership of the position that you're in.
You can blame others or you can do something about it. Look at where you are today. Take stock of where you are today. Change the things that you can change.
Other books has got a controversial title. I've read this book many, many years ago. It really helped me, the four hour work week.
I don't think you'll ever work four hours but some people live this lifestyle. But what I love in this book is the concept of circle of control. Don't spend time on things that you can't control.
I can watch the news, get really depressed at what's happening in the US economy, what China is doing, what XYZ is doing. The point is I can't do anything about that. I can't phone the US president and say, change what you're doing. I can't phone the UK prime minister or some other president and tell them what to do. So I don't focus as much of my time on those things as on the things that I can control.
All of us can control our time. There are 24 hours in the day and each of us has exactly the same amount of time per day. What you do with your day, however, is really up to you. What are you doing with your day? Are you spending your time on TikTok or just consuming and then you can't even remember what you watched for the last hour or two hours or whatever it is or are you using every hour of every day to improve your tomorrows? That's a decision you need to make. But it's amazing what people can do when they stop making excuses, they take control of their own lives, of their own circumstances and they decide to change something. As an example, just on the physical side, are you gonna eat junk food or are you gonna eat something that's good for your body? From a time management point of view, are you gonna turn on the television and just waste a few hours or open up a social media app or are you gonna study? There are many, many stories out there and mine isn't necessarily the best story.
David Goggins great story, but there are thousands of stories out there of people that have decided that they're not going to let their circumstances, not gonna let other people dictate how their life goes. They are going to decide to change their tomorrows. So they take control of their time, something that you can control. You can take control of what you eat. It's not always easy, but you can decide to slowly incrementally make changes.
What are you doing with your time? Are you exercising? Are you looking after your body? Are you studying? Look after your mind, look after your body. Spend time with people that build you up, not people that break you down. Make the hard decisions to change your tomorrows.
Now the Pareto Principle is another principle I really like from the four hour work week, mentioned in many other books. 80% of your results come from 20% of your effort. Just think about that. 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts. So if you spend more time on the 20%, you're gonna have a much better outcome. 24 hours in the day.
24 hours later. What are you doing with those 24 hours? If you're spending zero time on your tomorrows or improving your life, your chances of improving your life are very minimal. All of us have things that we have to do. You might be in a job that you hate.
You might be in a position that you don't like, but what are you doing in the evenings? What are you doing on weekends? There is time to do something. And what you need to do is find those periods of time. For instance, you might be on the train. You could read a book on the train or you could listen to something that helps you. You might be driving your car to work.
Listen to something that helps you. Use all that dead time and maximize that to learn something. Okay, so I've spoken enough now, I think about this. I wanna get into the five amazing paths that you can take in 2024. But have a look at these books.
I've linked them below if you're interested. Books like these have made a big impact on me. I've got a whole bunch of books up there, as you've seen.
I've read many, many books. And I don't want to bore you with all the books that I have. You might not like reading. What really helped me is audible.
Or audible books make a big change because you couldn't be on the treadmill or you could be just walking outside in the countryside or you could be doing something and then listening to that at the same time. And I like to listen to books at high speed. So I don't listen at one X speed.
I normally listen at two X speed for a lot of these books, depending on how complicated it is. But the point is, you have to make the change. You have to decide that you're going to do something. You have to ignore all the noise out there.
Ignore all the noise on social media. Ignore all the noise on television, et cetera, et cetera. And decide that you're gonna make a change. Now, before I talk about top five skills, I wanna talk about five paths. If you go along one of these journeys, and you don't just, for instance, have to concentrate on one of these, but each of these is a massive opportunity. This is what I love about tech.
It's changing all the time. There's always new things happening. That means if you're new, or you wanna change your life, or get out of a dead end job, you have different paths, some of which are brand new, that allow you to change your life in a very short amount of time. So the first one that has been really hot in 2023 is AI, artificial intelligence, machine learning, data science. ChatGPT has really blown this up, and there's been a whole bunch of other announcements since ChatGPT, from Google as an example, and other vendors. If I were starting today, this is an area that I'd concentrate on.
Now again, the world changes all the time. And what's fantastic about artificial intelligence is you don't necessarily have to go and get a degree in mathematics, or statistics, or data science, to be able to leverage artificial intelligence. I recently interviewed DJ from Cisco, who was talking about how AI is changing the way firewalls are interacted with, and the way that traffic is monitored. So Cisco can use artificial intelligence to see which traffic is traversing a firewall without decrypting the traffic. You can also interact with a firewall using a ChatGPT type interface. This is a big change from the past.
But what he was talking about is how AI has moved from the research labs into the real world, and AI is now available to us through an API, or application programming interface. So rather than you building your own AI, making sure that you understand transformers, and a whole bunch of other complex technologies, you can simply leverage the AI by connecting to the API. So I see three sort of areas here. First one is perhaps what people are calling today prompt engineering, where you interact with an AI.
You know how to get an AI to do certain things. So you're simply interacting, say, with the GUI interface. The next level is where you're interacting with APIs, and you can do a lot more.
So you use a programming language like Python as an example to interact with the AI using its API, and then create additional products that you could sell as an example, or that you can simply use to make your life better. And the third area is what we would traditionally see as working with AI, if you like, and that's data science, machine learning, where you actually create your AI. And I've interviewed Dr. Mike Pound, video below, where he talks about a roadmap, if you wanna go down that route.
I've also interviewed Daniel. He gives fantastic examples of how he's been able to improve his life by leveraging an API connected to an AI, writing Python scripts and other technology that doesn't require a PhD in computer science, as an example. And he's been able to get these AIs to do all kinds of things to make himself more productive. So again, if I was starting today, I would focus on artificial intelligence, or AI, one of three areas, either prompt engineering, but a lot of people are gonna be competing for that.
I would look at using programming languages to interact with an API of an AI, to get it to do something. I interviewed John at Cisco Live as an example, who use an API of an AI, in this case, ChatGPT, and got it to configure network devices. So he created a extension or a product to ChatGPT that allows for a specific use case of an AI. So he's not just using the AI as most people are, but he's extending the functionality of the AI to do something specific. And the third area is where you go the full distance, if you like, and you learn statistics, you learn computer science, you learn all kinds of the details of AI, where you can create your own AI. A second part, the cybersecurity being really hot in the last few years.
Notice this example from Cisco's website. At the time of this recording, when I go to Cisco.com, notice what they're talking about on their front page. New Cisco security products shown here. Scrolling down, they're talking about securing IoT, massive problem out there where water systems, power stations, et cetera, connected to the internet and can be hacked.
But notice they're talking about security. Scrolling down, on their front page, they've got a video where they are showing hackers breaking into networks, and they are talking about how to secure a network from a hacker. Cisco also recently acquired Splunk for $28 billion. That just shows you how a company like Cisco, which was traditionally a networking company, is pivoting into cybersecurity in a major way.
It's really good that they do this because companies are getting hacked every day. Now Cisco is just one example. There are many opportunities out there, and I'm not just talking about offensive security or red teaming, where you try and hack into a device as an ethical hacker. There are many, many more jobs on the blue team side. In other words, protecting companies, and you can get paid really, really well if you can help protect companies.
The whole goal for most companies is to protect themselves from hackers and attacks. So in other words, there are gonna be many, many more jobs, and a lot of them are gonna pay really well on the blue team side. In other words, the side protecting a company. So if you're interested in cybersecurity, it might be fun to do red teaming, but there are many, many more opportunities on the blue team side, in other words, protecting companies. So have a look at cybersecurity if you're interested in hacking, protecting companies, and so forth. Now, development or programming has been around for years.
It changes all the time. Think about in the old days, we wrote programs specifically for say Windows, but these days it's been extended to mobile apps, iOS, Android. You also have to program in the cloud, a lot of web-based programming these days. No longer is the focus simply on Windows as an operating system. Lots and lots of opportunities.
A lot of people say that AI will take away jobs, but I interviewed Dave Plummer, famous developer from the Microsoft NT Days. He is using AI to make his development better. And that's the thing about AI. AI can help you become better. It can augment you, but it isn't gonna take away your job, at least for the moment.
I don't know what's gonna happen 20 years from now or 10 years from now, but for the moment, AI is an enabler. You're either gonna learn AI, or you're gonna be replaced with someone who uses AI. And that applies to all of these sort of paths or fields. If you're interested in coding, interested in creating stuff, development programming is a fantastic area.
There is a light bulb moment for a lot of people when they move from being a consumer to being able to create their own products and sell their own products. Think about it. If you write some software, you've created something that you can sell. You've created something that can help a company. Rather than just consuming stuff, look at creating products. Look at moving things to the next level by coding or programming.
Fantastic area to get into. Next area is cloud. Cloud is ubiquitous these days. I mean, we've got Amazon, we've got Google, we've got Microsoft Azure. More and more companies have been putting stuff in the cloud, hosting it on Amazon as an example. AWS, really, really popular.
If you had to choose between AWS, Google or Microsoft, and you're not sure, have a look at AWS, but it really depends on where you are in the world. Some countries prefer Azure, some countries prefer AWS, but AWS is the biggest. So if you're not sure where to start, look at getting a AWS certification. Okay, this is a bit further out, but I wanted to add it here, quantum computing. It was recently announced that Atom Computing is the first company to have crossed the 1,000 qubit threshold for a universal gate-based system planned for release in 2024. Quantum computing has big repercussions for security on the internet as an example.
Lots of encryption that we use today could be broken with quantum computing. So this is something to keep an eye on in 2024. The world could change very dramatically with the enhancements in quantum computing. Now it's really up to you which path you take. I, for instance, would look at AI and cybersecurity together, but I also like programming.
There's nothing stopping you just doing one of these because you're gonna touch, for instance, cloud if you work with AI. You're going to touch cloud if you work with development. But these are five paths to look at in 2024. I've got some bonuses here. I would look at APIs. APIs are everywhere, and the hacking of APIs brings another big opportunity.
So you could, for instance, look at cybersecurity with APIs, how to protect APIs, because there are a lot of vulnerable APIs out there. A lot of software uses APIs, and a lot of them are vulnerable. So again, you don't have to just look at one of these areas.
You could mix cybersecurity with APIs or programming with APIs. A lot of people would push back and say, David, APIs are part of programming, but I think APIs as a concept is really, really important because the world runs on APIs, and there are a lot of vulnerable APIs out there. There are a lot of opportunities today with protecting APIs, and for instance, hacking APIs ethically to get them made better.
Another area is IoT devices. They're everywhere. Lots of people have Amazon Alexa's or Ring Doorbells, devices like that. From a security privacy point of view, a lot of those devices are a nightmare. There are a lot of opportunities with protecting or hacking IoT devices ethically, helping companies secure them.
These kinds of devices are just proliferating everywhere. I don't have to tell you they're in cars these days. Are cars cars or are they computers on wheels? Measurement devices in cities all over the place. Lots of opportunities with IoT, either creating IoT devices, hacking IoT devices, protecting IoT devices, or leveraging them to make our lives better. An area that's very close to my heart is networking.
This isn't, for instance, a hot, hot area these days. People don't like it when I say that, but networking has matured. In an interview, which I'll link below, I speak to Ivan Pepelnjak Author .
He's been in networking for many, many years, and he warns and has over the last number of years that networking is a fantastic job, very solid job. It's more like electrical engineering or plumbing. There's a lot of work there, but it's not cool and sexy, for instance, as AI is today. So if you wanna jump on the hot stuff, look at AI, look at cybersecurity. But if you want a really solid foundation, networking is a great place to start. Again, going back to Cisco, notice Cisco being the biggest networking company out there are moving in a big way into cybersecurity.
And I would follow these kinds of trends. Networking gives you a solid foundation for a lot of areas, but it isn't, for instance, the hot, hot area in 2024 that it was, for instance, 10 years ago or 20 years ago. Okay, so now let's talk about five core skills that I would get in 2024, or have a look at getting some of these in 2024.
First one is AI. As mentioned, three core areas. You can either do prompt engineering, where you interact with an AI.
I've seen so many TikTok videos and videos like that that have been created using AI. So you've got someone who's telling an AI to create a voice, create a script, create a video, et cetera, et cetera. Some of them are terrible.
But the point is, is that AI has changed the way the world operates. Thumbnails on YouTube, a lot of them are made by AI, or there's an influence on AI to make them better. Writing letters, writing reports. I don't think I need to tell you how ChatGPT has changed things in the last year and a bit. But remember, prompt engineering is one area. But I think a lot of people are gonna go there because it's low-hanging fruit.
The next area is to look at APIs, which means you need to understand APIs, which means that you need to understand a programming language to interact with the APIs, and then look at creating your own products that leverage an AI. That could be a product that you give away for free, or that could be a product that you sell. Lots of opportunities if you understand APIs, if you understand programming, and you bring that in with AI knowledge. So don't just learn Python as an example. Learn AI, huge area to focus on in 2024. And then the ultimate is where you understand statistics, you understand data science, you do hardcore computer science problems, and you can create your own AI.
Now again, I've spoken to Dr. Mike Pound, link below. He gives you a roadmap from going from zero to being able to work with AI. The barriers to entry are a lot lower now than they used to be. You don't have to go and do a whole computer degree just to leverage the power of AI. There's many, many more opportunities available now in 2024. The next foundational skill that you need is Linux.
Linux is everywhere. You need to know Linux if you wanna be a programmer, you need to know Linux if you wanna work in networking, a lot of networking devices. Use Linux as a core. Basically, it's a foundational skill. If you wanna be in tech today, you're going to learn how to read and write, but you're gonna learn Linux. It's one of those core foundational skills.
If you haven't learned Linux before, let me try and convince you, you need to learn Linux in 2024. It's a foundational skill in today's world. Make sure that you know how to use Linux. Doesn't matter if you work in the cloud again, doesn't matter if you work in networking, or if you're a programmer, or if you work with AI, you need to learn Linux. Okay, from a programming point of view, if you haven't programmed before, it's life-changing.
Learn to code, learn to program. First language for a lot of people is Python. I still highly recommend Python. Used in AI very heavily, so if you wanna get into AI, learn Python as your first language.
If you wanna get into cybersecurity or hacking, learn Python, first language. Networking, Python. It's basically used everywhere. Learn Python for whichever sphere or area you wanna go into. But there are other languages, which I've mentioned in the past, which are becoming even more important, and that would be Rust. So if you wanna really get into programming, learn Rust, and also Golang.
Golang, in many ways, is a lot more powerful than Python. Supports concurrency better, it's a lot quicker. So if you really wanna differentiate yourself from others, don't just learn Python, learn Golang. Also learn Rust. Those are the three top languages to look at learning in 2024.
Python, Golang, Rust. If you don't know any, start with Python. Learn Python, get that down, and then you can worry about the others. But if you know Python already, then have a look at Golang, have a look at Rust. Okay, networking is a foundational skill used everywhere.
You need to understand networking if you work in the cloud. You need to understand, for instance, what an IP address is. You need to understand what subnets are. You need to understand what a firewall is. Networking used in the cloud, learning cybersecurity, you need to understand what port numbers are, as an example.
You can't use a program like Nmap if you don't understand what a port number is. Networking is foundational for many, many skills. Now, I'm not saying that you have to become a network engineer, that's a option for a lot of us. But if you wanna get into other areas, make sure that you learn networking. CCNA is a great certification if you really wanna get into it.
Otherwise, Network Plus is a certification that gives you a good foundation in networking. You have to learn cloud. Go and look at the AWS certifications.
Have a look at GCP, so have a look at Google certifications. Have a look at Azure certifications, so Microsoft certifications. If you're not sure, go and at least start with an AWS associate certification.
And this is another foundational skill as a bonus, virtualization. If you don't understand what a hypervisor is, you're gonna be severely limited. Make sure that you understand Type 1, Type 2 hypervisors.
Have a look at VirtualBox, have a look at VMware. Have a look at Parallels as an example on a Mac. Many, many virtualization options available out there, but you need to understand what a virtual machine is. The world runs on virtual machines.
ESXi used very heavily in enterprise. Sort of new, but not new these days is containers. So look at Docker, look at Kubernetes. Virtual machines have their advantages, but containers have many, many other advantages. So have a look at virtualization, virtual machines as well as containers.
Okay, there you go. Those are my tips for 2024. What are you gonna do in 2024? Are you just gonna continue doing what you did in the past or are you going to make a change? At the end of the day, the responsibility is yours. You have to decide what you're going to do every day. You have to decide that you're gonna put in the effort, that you're gonna make a 1% change in your life every single day so that by the end of the year, your life is totally different.
I'm gonna continue studying. You can't stop studying in technology. I think the time has arrived for me to really focus on artificial intelligence or AI. I wanted to do more of that in 2023, but didn't do as much as I wanted to.
But now is my opportunity, just like it is for you, new day, new beginning, new year, new beginning, make a change. You can't change the past, but you can change your future. Go out there and make a success of your life.