A story about skill progression ...

More than a year ago, a smart contract auditor faced the task of auditing a concentrated liquidity protocol.
For those unfamiliar, concentrated liquidity protocols allow liquidity providers to allocate funds to specific price ranges, optimizing their capital efficiency. This innovation comes at the cost of increased complexity in smart contracts.

During this initial audit, the auditor found it challenging to dissect the complex parts of the core mechanism and finding bugs. The learning curve was steep, and although he understood the mechanics, identifying potential bugs and vulnerabilities proved to be difficult.

Fast forward to just a few days ago, over one year later, when the same auditor revisited a similar, slightly refactored, codebase. This time, the experience was very different.

Within hours, he was able to identify several potential attack scenarios—scenarios that he did not think about in the previous audit. This rapid identification of vulnerabilities was not due to the codebase being significantly less complex or more familiar but was solely reflecting the increased skillset.

This story serves as a powerful indicator of personal and professional growth and highlights two crucial aspects of an auditor's evolution:

Enhanced Comprehension:
Over time, through exposure to various projects and continuous learning, the auditor's foundational understanding of blockchain technologies and smart contract mechanisms had deepened. This improved comprehension allows for quicker assimilation of complex concepts and more efficient navigation through codebases.

Creative Security Thinking:
The ability to identify potential vulnerabilities is not just about understanding the code; it's about thinking like an attacker. Over the past year, the auditor developed a sharper eye for security, increasing the skill of anticipating how a contract could be exploited. This evolution in thinking is critical for anyone in the security field, where creativity often determines the effectiveness of one's audit.

The progression illustrated in this story underscores a lesson for other auditors: mastery is a journey, not a destination.
Smart contract security is rapidly evolving, with new patterns, practices, and threats emerging regularly. Staying ahead requires an ongoing commitment to learning, adaptation, and a willingness to revisit past work with a fresh perspective.

In conclusion, let this story be a reminder to all of us in the web3 security space that growth is both possible and necessary. By embracing challenges, dedicating ourselves to continuous learning, and revisiting our past work, we can achieve a deeper understanding and a more refined skill set, ultimately leading to higher standards in web3 security.