The fun way to change perspective

In my talk at DevCon12 in Karlskrona my main message to the audience was:

Change perspective!

The main topic for the talk was an introduction to Capture the Flag (CTF).
CTFs are computer security wargames, or loosely put: Hacker-competitions.

Why this talk at a software engineering conference you might ask?

Well, my opinion is that the ability to look at a problem from several perspectives is what separates a good developer from a great developer.

The perspective as the attacker of a computer system is one that is often overlooked, and i feel that a fun way to get a notion of that perspective is to compete in CTFs.

You could view the challenges presented in the competitions as an advanced form of nerd-sudoku. Someone have put effort into creating problems that lies on the boundaries of what you are capable of solving in a limited amount of time.

To solve the challenges you need to step up your game:

  • Start exploring consequences where you previously only filed a bugreport
  • Not only think outside the box, but to view the box from a new perspective
  • Learn new about new technologies
  • Try new tools

All this while having fun and solving problems. If you don’t enjoy solving problems, you might be in the wrong line of business?

The next upcoming CTFs are open to registration right now:

2012-09-28 CSAW CTF 2012 – Organized by Polytechnic Institute of New York University
2012-10-23 HACK.LU2012 – Organized by FluxFingers, the CTF Team of Ruhr-Universität