Tinkering in my Home Lab
One of the best things I've done for my career as a software engineer besides building projects, was buying a raspberry pi and installing Home Assistant open source home automation software (opens in a new tab).
It's not for the faint of heart but I love a challenge and it was challenging immediately from the start.
I had to learn more about YAML, servers, IoT security, VLANs, network integrity, how to segment parts of my local network so that I'd have some distance between critical nodes on my network that could potentially be an entry point into my network for mining Bitcoin or setting up a botnet from unsecured smart devices.
I'm paranoid and risk averse so I took pleasure in learning about this. It fits my mental model of how I've approached the world since I was a kid.
I setup a home lab in 2021, bought a ton of switches, a UPS, and the best part of the whole thing, my UniFi Dream Machine Pro with my UniFi Ap coming last week.
Looking at the UniFi Network Controller over time has made me all too aware of how fragile a network can be if not properly secured, air-gapped, and hardened.
I feel good that I'm teaching myself all of this and while I'm fully aware I'll never be on a Red Team or in cyber at all I find it fun.
I wonder, cyber folks, how you get permission to pen test a site?
My friends have given me verbal permission but I'm sure I'll need it in writing.
In any case, if you're looking to build a home lab start small and once you have some disposable income invest in a system like UniFi.