BeCode partnership: interview Gustavo

We are gathered with Gustavo and Jahirt. Gustavo is doing an internship at Orlox, part of Cronos Security, through BeCode and Jahirt is his mentor. Why is it interesting to take a cyber security course at BeCode and then do an internship at Cronos Security? We asked them ourselves!

Gustavo, why did you decide to do the cybersecurity course at BeCode?

Gustavo: “At the time, I was looking for a way to transition into cybersecurity. I started a master’s in cybersecurity in 2021, so I was already on the path of it. But really getting into it and gaining exposure was not that straightforward and easy. So, at the beginning of 2023, I really started looking for the experience that I needed, and that’s when BeCode appeared in my search engine. I saw it was a 7-month intensive bootcamp in cybersecurity, with really hands-on experience, and that was exactly what I was looking for.”

And why cybersecurity?

Gustavo: “Curiosity. Back in my days, hacking was a bad word and could end up landing you in jail. But I wanted to know how things work, just like a kid who disassembles their toy to put it back together. I wanted to know how it works, break it, and then put it back together. And I always want to learn. In my previous IT path, I was always stuck. I couldn’t learn more, and I wasn’t challenged enough. I like to learn and make things move. And that’s one of the reasons why cybersecurity might be the best way.”

Jahirt: “It’s the complete opposite from IT. In IT, it’s often a controlled environment, where you are in a kind of comfort zone, and you are just fixing the daily things. In cybersecurity, next year you will be doing different things than this year. Because it’s always evolving, and you always need to be the first in line to be ready and have the knowledge. If you don’t adapt, you will become irrelevant in 6 months.”

Do you feel it was the right decision?

Gustavo: “I can say that, experience-wise, in 7 months I gained more experience in this cybersecurity course than during my 2-year master’s program. The master’s was more theoretical; even though we had some labs, it was nothing compared to the hands-on experience I gained during this course.

After my master’s, I was looking for a job in cybersecurity, but I lacked experience. The companies that were hiring were really looking for some hands-on experience, which I didn’t have. Thanks to this course, I now believe I can be a part of the cybersecurity community.

So, I applied for this course and was really happy to be selected to start the cybersecurity course, because it was truly a life-changing experience.”

What exactly was missing in your master’s that you learned in the BeCode program?

Gustavo: “First of all, it’s about really delving deep into what you’re learning. For example, during the master’s degree, you have a 2-month lab where you learn pentesting. It’s impossible to learn everything in two months. And then you do some basic training on it, but you use a very basic and easy scenario, just for you to get the idea of it. It’s like testing the waters.

But at BeCode, we had more than a month to do pentesting. So, we went into much more detail, we were using different tools that I didn’t know before. You learn new tools. We built a little lab to test it ourselves. We really got real-life experience, integrated with blue team activities. That’s not possible in just a two-month course.”

How did you end up at Orlox?

Gustavo: “Orlox is a partner of BeCode and they select a candidate from BeCode depending on their needs. Kristof (managing partner at Orlox) explained the intern assignment, and I had a good feeling about him. Orlox is a small company, but they are growing, and getting this opportunity was really interesting. I’m very grateful for the opportunity.”

What exactly is your assignment?  

Gustavo: “The two-month project here involves using Power BI to create a security dashboard. I got some exposure to Microsoft 365 security. Microsoft has very nice dashboards, but they are scattered everywhere. The idea here is to log into a customer’s instance, where they have a customized security dashboard that shows them the most important information in real-time. Everything is in one dashboard instead of having to look in multiple places to get that information.”

And how is it going?

Gustavo: “So far, so good. It’s quite a steep learning curve. Two months is quite fast, to be honest, and there’s a lot to learn. I have all the support and resources that I need, which is the most important. And thanks to Jahirt and Kristof, everything is going well.”

Jahirt: “Yes, I think we had to adapt a bit to what we wanted to create because two months is not a lot of time to make a really good tool. But this is a good starting point where we can see that he is putting value in it and he is also passionate about creating this, and he is having fun. And we know that in the future he will have more time to create this.”

Jahirt, did you feel Gustavo still had a lot to learn from you, or was he well-prepared to work independently?

Jahirt: “He must be. We don’t take people by their hands; we don’t do that, we can’t do that. We are consultants, and perhaps that’s maybe a little difficult for him in the beginning, or well, for any intern in general. But of course, we are always there to support them when needed. But in general, we are interested in interns that can find their own way; they need to find answers on their own. We provide the tools, we provide the information, and this is your goal to reach by the end of the month, but then it’s up to him to figure it out. We give him the freedom to figure it out and ask for help when necessary. Every week we have a meeting where he can discuss the challenges he is facing and if he needs help figuring it out.”

But was he prepared enough to do this assignment?

Jahirt: “I think he was prepared, but this is not something you can be fully prepared for. You need to face it and find a way to work it out. You need to start looking around, start trying, and asking. That’s why sometimes not being micromanaged is way better for learning and trying.”

Jahirt, how have you seen Gustavo’s skill evolve?

Jahirt: “He has shown a lot of progress. He understands well what we are talking about, and he really showed value. We also pushed him a lot to make mistakes and let him fix his own mistakes. It’s better to make mistakes now. And he passed through that test very well. Not everybody is ready to receive critique, but Gustavo really is.”

Gustavo: “But this was a steppingstone for me. I did a presentation that was not up to my standards. And I was not proud of it. But the feedback was very constructive and very professional. It was not to put me down, but really an opportunity to learn. I was glad to receive this kind of feedback. He was really giving me a lot of value. I was more motivated to show better the next time.”

Do you feel ready to start a career in cyber security?

Gustavo: “Yes, I am. Because it’s a very exciting career. What excites me the most is the need to keep learning. I love to learn and I’m always learning. Especially here, it’s amazing. I am ready, although I will still need some support in the beginning.”

Jahirt: “Yes, he has the passion, he wants to do it. And that’s the most important thing. You need to keep learning.”

Gustavo: “I am graduating, but the learning is just beginning.”

What advice would you give to people who are thinking of pursuing a career in cybersecurity?

Gustavo: “You need a lot of courage and passion. The learning material is not too difficult. If you have passion, just go for it. Don’t give up! You need to challenge yourself and look for a good support system. If you really want to do it, just go for it! And with BeCode, it’s really a fast track to learn what you need to know, but you also get the mentorship to keep you motivated and you have like-minded people around you.”

Thank you, Gustavo, for your dedication to this project. We are certain the cybersecurity field has gained a talented and passionate contributor!

Feeling inspired and curious about starting a career in cybersecurity? Visit our job page to find out how you can become part of a team that’s making a difference in the digital world. Your cybersecurity journey starts here!

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