In Get to Know

WORDS BY CARLITA?@carlita_the_gypsy


What’s your name? or if you wanna keep it low key…
I?m HackerGirl. Everyone knows me by my instagram handle? @hackergirlofficial

How did you get into hacking and programming? and how long hav you been into it?
I made my first static website at 10 years old. It was something I naturally delved into, no one introduced it to me. My own curiosity took me in that direction. When it came time to apply for university, I figured I?d jump into Computer Science to learn some real programming. I?ve been a programmer ever since. Programming taught me how to build things. In order to break things you first have to learn how to build things. However, my real interest was in cyber security. I?m the type to break things apart just to learn how they work. It?s the curiosity of learning how systems work that draws me in to the hacking realm.

When I was young I was lucky to be raised in a family that never extinguished my curiosity and never brought forth an idea that I can?t do something just because I?m a girl. I actually never had that thought. I went into this field because it was what I liked. None of my girlfriends shared this interest in technology, which was unfortunate because created a divide.

I think it is pretty amazing that nowadays there?s more women involved into the scene. How you think the scene it?s been growing within these years? and what it helped to grow?
Over the years, it’s great to see many programer’s sprouting interest in other women to enter the field. I was lucky to have great support and realize early on that any doubt was all in my head. There are other women that don?t have that and get so intimidated that they choose other career paths. A lot of major companies like Google and Apple and Facebook are all trying to reach a target of a 50% gender ratio. The support for women in tech is there and this trend is growing stronger.

Usually people think this it?s quite easy, they think you press a key on your keyboard and you can hack. But it requires a lot of time and knowledge. So, what was the hardest thing for you when you start hacking?
The hardest thing about learning to hack is when you execute commands and they don?t work as expected. This could take hours, sometimes days of debugging what went wrong. Sometimes you have to think outside the box. It?s key not to make assumptions. But it?s moments when things don?t go as planned that you learn the most. Don?t give up so quick.

As we are living on the digital era, we share a lot of information on the media, and we aren?t protect at all? Any advise to keep our information safer on the web?Advice to protect your data? Firstly, always visit the HTTPS version of the website. Keep a different email / password combination for every account you own. Make use of a strong password, the longer the better. Also, needless to say;? don?t click suspicious links.

Any experience that you have lived that you like to share?
Just before I applied to university, I did get feelings of self doubt, anxiety and fear. What if it?s too difficult, what if I?m in over my head. Will I be the only woman in the program? Will I get singled out by my peers? Once I entered the classroom, I realized all these doubt were just in my head. Rather than being shunned, people were very supportive and encouraging. People actually want more women in the industry. Universities ever offer scholarships and grants that only women in computer science could apply for as incentive. I was granted this scholarship in my first year of university.

Any advise to people who wants to learn or get into the cyber security world?
Programming and hacking is not for everyone. If you are not the type to be able to sit in front of the computer for hours configuring systems and debugging your code, it?s not for you. It can be tedious for many, especially if they?re the highly extroverted type. That being said, if you are willing to learn then don?t don?t be intimidated. Everybody starts somewhere and programming is all practice. Programmers are doers. There is no way to learn any skill unless you are applying it.
You learn by doing.


HG xx

PICS FROM @hackergirlofficial?



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