Founding The Hacking Club @ SFSU

When I returned to San Francisco State University after working as a Security Analyst for RiskIQ, I quickly realized how bored the majority of Computer Science students are. Their was a complete lack in passion during our classes, and I felt like I had a good understanding as to why this is. It wasn't the material, but two things. The first being the lack of direction in their career. Most students simply pick a major that fits some of their interests. This isn't a problem in and of itself. The problem arrises when they aren't exposed to other career choices in that area of which they really enjoy. The second issue, was the lack of passion from some professors and presenters. San Francisco State Universities budget for their teachers is horrendously low. This makes it difficult for their professors to have a sustainable lifestyle outside of their work, making them more stressed and indirectly, taking it out on the students. Not only that, our department was also understaffed. Because of these factors, the students suffer in classes, with no understanding of real world careers, and with professors that are overstressed. 

To alleviate some of the negativity in this environment, Kirstin Trevino and I founded The Hacking Club @ SFSU, an environment where anyone could come and learn different hacking techniques. We first had to reach the students long term interest, we had to show them that they can turn information security into a career. To accomplish this, we brought in people from the industry and had them present how they entered the world of security. It was a tremendous hit because the speakers would speak with so much passion. This was the other piece of the puzzle, showing students there are people living in security, and are passionate about what they do. Starting The Hacking Club was one of my happiest accomplishments.

This talk here was me giving some advice in how to secure your personal data and privacy. Following this talk, we did a workshop on how to send and receive PGP messages. =]