Help with education in network and security automation

Hello everyone,

I wanted help with where developers learn about very niche software used in their jobs and where I could focus my time most efficiently.

I work in networking and security and my role is getting automated more and more. I want to be on the other side and assist my engineering team with more than just my opinion and testing.

I have been hesitant to ask for a more professional mentoring situation as my experience with real software programming came from schooling, no practical experience, and I have been learning in my free time a lot llm and generative image modeling. Which feels completely useless the longer I am learning it. Is this a valid opinion for someone wanting to work in engineering.

At the time of posting I have been just refreshing my python and asking chatgpt 4 for help with creating a learning plan for automation in the platform we use.

I was most curious what information anyone could share about their experience in networking and security and where a relative newcomer should look for help pointing their career. I do not want to be doing Cisco and low level soc forever.

Can anyone advise me so I can come into a meeting with my engineering team and not look as if I am lost when asking for a mentee/mentor meeting?

I essentially need help getting pointed in the right direction and I can take the learning and research from there. I don’t feel comfortable sharing much more about the platform.

I am relatively new at this company and I want to come into this meeting with a plan and currently I am just learning everything from the ground up and it feels like wasted time when the industry is moving so fast and I feel 10 years behind the curve with what I learned in school.

I know this is a generalized question. Please if you can shed some light with professional work experience. I feel slightly naive with my lack of engineering experience and asking for a mentorship for something that is so different from what I was hired for.

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