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Home-Educated Gustav’s take on the CyberEPQ

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What motivated you to sign up for the CyberEPQ course?

I signed up to the course to develop my skills in cyber security. I have always learned using online resources, so the Moodle was a familiar format. I liked the EPQ because there had been a lot of disruption with exams so it was reassuring that there would be a qualification that I could achieve through coursework.

Why did you choose the CyberEPQ?

I started the course with an interest in code-breaking and the history of computing and quite advanced skills in programming for games. I have been home educated all of my life and I began writing code when I was 6. I wanted another qualification that would fit my interests of computer science and programming, but I was new to cyber security and didn’t really know what to expect.

What was your favourite aspect of the course?

Parts of the modules on codebreaking were familiar to me but the modules soon developed into areas that I had not encountered before e.g. business governance and legislation around cyber security. I realised that my preference would be towards the hands-on side of cyber security. I liked Penetration testing the most and chose this as my 11th module.

What did you find challenging about the CyberEPQ?

At the start of the EPQ I was quite overwhelmed by the amount of new content that made up the course and apprehensive about writing a long essay.

What surprised you about the CyberEPQ?

For me, the most relevant learning was when I could apply it to my practical experience, and I realised that I was naturally leaning toward a preference of some of the areas versus others. I could see how the topics of the modules could fit into subjects that I wanted to understand more fully.

What did you hope to learn/achieve on the CyberEPQ?

I will come out of this experience with a better understanding of what code I'm putting into my projects and how they can be a large security weakness. I've written projects that sometimes use over 30 libraries, and I've generally never thought of that as an issue, but after further research into the area I now know that it can lead to huge headaches further down the road.

How did Qufaro, a part of CIISec add value to your future cyber plans?

From this research, and the course as a whole, I can now imagine cyber security as a career path, open source has always been of great interest to me, and it's been amazing to have a reason to directly contact and talk with professionals in this area. I've already tried my hand at reporting or fixing smaller issues within open-source software, and I believe that with enough work and self-improvement in this field, with merge requests, commits, etc I can get to the point of being able to work more directly with developers of open-source security projects.

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