The opinions expressed herein are my own and do not represent my past, present and future employer’s views in any way. Nothing posted here should be considered official or sanctioned by my past, present or future employer or any other organization I’m affiliated with.
Written by Duarte Castelo Grande de Carvalho (dcgc)
Magilla Gorilla is a jolly and lovely gorilla who likes to spend his time at the front display window of the Academy, consuming bananas that come to him and being a drain to the University’s finances. Usually, he is very open and with welcoming arms to everyone who stops by his establishment, except if the person stopping by is not going to be part of the ecosystem (not going to spend money in mundane workshops or enlist in the Academy) or if the person might pose a threat to Magilla’s knowledge. Magilla sells courses, workshops and exams for cheap (the gorilla is not for sale), with the promise of employment and instant knowledge, so that new bananas that come into the Academy might be able to get a job where they just need to follow a recipe, connect some cables and type a few keywords. Typically, the customers (bananas) always end up returning to Magilla for some entertainment because he is a good jester (his name comes from Yiddish word megillah, which translates to “crazy”), but not so splendid of a teacher, needing to feed off the bananas and wanting them to keep coming back. Because of the lack of ability to convey educational material accurately, Magilla always says at the end of the classes “We’ll try again / continue next lesson” with the best of intentions and a bit of humor.
Magilla Gorilla, the sweet yet trouble-prone anthropomorphic gorilla, has few recurring characters interested in him and usually keeps them around to help him with his portfolio offer (such a megillah over a gorilla). Usually, they are connections from the Academy (bananas he previously ingested) and people he knows from the outside, who he can trust (associates that have the same eye for business). But not everyone follows his steps; Magilla also follows orders from Miss Peebles, who owns the whole Academy and other “services” for the University and manages the establishment herself by delegating most of her responsibilities to the gorilla, which she adopted from very early on, when he was just a student. Take her advice at any price, a gorilla like Magilla is mighty nice.
Magilla Gorilla likes all kinds of bananas: underripe bananas (complete beginners that are easily impressed), fresh bananas (new professionals that are easier to sell new training), ripe bananas (individuals that are on the same boat as Magilla) and overripe bananas (people with a rotten brain that will throw money at the wall). All types of bananas are welcome because it keeps the “shop afloat”. Who said that education doesn’t have a price? Bananas come from inside the higher education center, from the outside and from other parts of the world. All the training are related to his forte, based on the knowledge of his pals and/or the material he receives from Vendor: networking administration that was done in the 90’s, basic Linux commands that you learn in Computer Science/Engineering, network security controls that were solely implemented before there was a thing called SOC (Security Operations Center), CERT (Computer Emergency Response Team) and CSIRT (Computer Security Incident Response Team), security operations based on open-source projects that no organization adopts because they buy commercial and enterprise-grade EDR and SIEM, and “automation” (scripting) that is not used because you develop code differently or use solutions that serve that purpose. Nevertheless, Magilla’s tent is one of the best because the rest is piss-poor county fair quality.
Magilla Gorilla, and all of his friends, say so long, so long, so long… It has been great, every fun filled minute, there is a training next week and we will all be in it, to make a long story short, so long, so long, so long!
Don’t be like Magilla Gorilla:
Don’t sell out your training, sell training to the right audiences (don’t be desperate for bananas).
A little bit more of diversity in the training catalogue would be nice, especially if it is an Academy becoming oriented towards Information Security (get knowledgeable people, not people who like to laugh at your jokes).
Students pay for a class where they can learn and use that knowledge for their main job or to build a toolbelt to get a job. They don’t go to laugh at toilet humor, for that they go watch Stand Up Comedy.
Don’t feel butt-hurt when you have people coming out of your nest to higher flights, feel proud that you provided for it in some form or capacity.