Our Story


Today there are also 3.5 million cybersecurity jobs that are unfilled and the number of minorities / girls in these area is even more limited. Cybersecurity, commonly thought of as hacking, is something stigmatized as something negative, difficult to do, usually best suited to risk-taking personalities, and not girly and this team wanted to change the narrative, including for their own daughters.

They wondered what the best way was to turn this passion into an impactful initiative. A meeting with Techbridge.org 2 years ago brought to light the need to bring STEM programming to its beneficiaries. Initially we planned to host an in-person hackathon and have them use this cloud hosted software with mentors who could solve problems and help them directly. When the pandemic hit, we now faced the challenge of bringing the same experience, excitement, and level of engagement.

The team decided to create interest and awareness in cybersecurity by bringing college students in mentorship and internship programs and high schoolers together to create a cyberliteracy game – “Capture the Flag”. The journey to building, testing, and launching the game meant that all three parties had a significant role to play which would boost their engagement. To write the code for the game the team worked with Washington State University students interested in programming and who wanted to get the experience for participating in the creation of the software. To project manage the creation of this asset, our team mentored the college students. Finally, the high school students tested the code and provided feedback.

Given that all the high school and college students involved – 20 total, 40% female, 75% Asian, 5% black – had minimal development expertise and little interest or awareness about cyber security, it was important to use a learn and teach model. The college students learned how to code and shared their learnings with the F5 interns, then the interns built the learning modules and taught the high schoolers about the code to help them test the software. The high schooler would then provide early feedback and get engaged in the content that would go into the game.

In an unexpected move, Rolex has chosen to debut this technological titan within their ladies’ patek phillipe replica, a segment historically perceived to prioritize aesthetic allure over mechanical intricacies.

As the project progressed, the team realized that everyone needed a basic understanding of elements like python programming, Kubernetes, and cloud assets. They needed to encourage curiosity across all the stakeholders but make everyone comfortable with breaking code. The idea of thinking from both negative and positive code to build great software is a key principle that the team enforced. It was also important for all participants to embrace failure, so security team encouraged the students, interns, and high schoolers to keep going until they hit a wall – i.e., until they don’t know / hit a technological block / don’t have resources.
The security also fostered weekly meetings where – no matter what level of expertise or responsibility – everyone could share their success and progress. This was a great participation strategy to retain the high schoolers. The team also pushed for a customer-centric approach since they were building software for the most rudimentary user. This meant that anyone participating in “Capture the Flag” development or playing the game should be assumed to only require a browser and they should not need to install an RDP client type of remote terminal software to connect to the system. So, it was an experience where a software and website were being built by and for those who would have never thought to go into cybersecurity.

This development process has led to overwhelming engagement. The high schoolers have reached out asking if their friends can be added to the program. There have also been middle schoolers who have joined. Multiple interns, who have since finished, continue to contribute to the gamification software and website. Techbridge is excited to use the digital assets as part of their programming.
This all would not have been possible without our sponsors, F5 team who donated their expertise and money.