Break things to create them!?!
By the time he arrived at Monash, Chris Morris (BCompSc 2017) had been coding for years. He now hoped to perfect his skills as a developer by delving into cyber security. This required him to climb a steep learning curve to gain a panoramic view of systems across myriad programming languages and frameworks.
“Exploring security would expose me to the inner workings of systems, and make me a better developer,” Chris shares. “To create amazing things, you should first learn how to break amazing things.” Besides, solving puzzles can be fun!
Chris now works as an Information Security Analyst at Australia Post, where he’s involved in a wide range of projects. He tackles all sorts of business, technical and design problems. One day he might check that a mobile app has implemented a Quick Response (QR) Code scanner correctly. Another day he might consult with a team to ensure its application design is security focused. Or maybe he’ll have a go at breaking into a variety of software and hardware.
In the supportive environment of Australia Post, Chris has gained self-confidence. “I’ve gone from hating public speaking to comfortably demonstrating security issues in front of audiences,” he reveals. “This has sometimes led to quick remediation. Plus I get to teach other people about security. It’s a win-win for everyone!”
Because so many jobs require previous experience, Chris is grateful that he had a chance to participate in the industry-based learning (IBL) program at Monash. “It’s the easiest way to get experience where you can afford to make mistakes and learn from them,” he says. “Had I not had the opportunity to learn on the job, it would have been hard to enter into this field.”
What does Chris say to someone just starting out? “Be humble. Always assume that the person you’re talking to knows something you don’t,” he advises. “You can’t learn what you think you already know. And if you stop learning, you’ll get bored pretty quickly.”
And no one wants to watch the clock at work.