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Studying Cybersecurity from scratch, the experience from Gabriel Ayela

Developer explains to fellow developer in Visual Studio Code

Gabriel Ayela joined the bootcamp of Cybersecurity in November 2020. The program lasts for 12 weeks full time. When we interview him it’s mid-January and he has done more than half of the bootcamp.

Gabriel is french, he lives in Germany and has worked for 10 years in the music industry: hiring DJs, managing events and concerts, bookings, networking between musicians… were part of his daily life. But he has always been passionate about technology. As a kid, he got his first computer and the first thing he did was to open it to see what was inside and rebuild it again.

Due to the pandemic, his work in the music sector was at danger, so he decided to do a radical change. A friend of his studied at Ironhack and recommended it to him. Looking at the programs, he decided to join Cybersecurity: why this one? Gabriel suffered a cyber-attack a while ago, someone accessed his accounts and since then he was wondering why and how this could have happened - he was curious to understand what is behind a cyber-attack. Even though he is interested in coding, he didn’t want to specialize in any language but to understand the security implications for a company on the technical side.

First days at Ironhack Cybersecurity bootcamp

At first, “I was a bit scared, didn’t know exactly what to expect.” Before the starting of the classes, there is a mandatory pre-work of 20 hours to complete which, according to Gabriel, “really makes you ready for the program. I felt comfortable with the classmates and instructors soon, because they are there to support you, which creates a really interactive and dynamic community.” Regarding the lack of previous experience, he says that “it’s not a barrier. I am interested and passionate. Even though the class finishes at 6pm, I can’t stop, I am always checking new tools, it’s a never-ending topic.”

Neither online nor in-person... Hybrid format!

The format of this program is hybrid, which means that it’s taught online and self-guided, but during two hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon there is one person (the facilitator) who is there for you to answer questions and checks that all the daily exercises are complete. Thanks to this methodology, all students learn at the same time and combine online learning with live sessions with a person available for them. During the rest of the day, the classmates share their questions and best practices in the Slack channel, they can do calls and work together in whatever they need.

This format is “perfect for Cybersecurity. You need time alone to work in your labs and challenges, but you never feel alone. We use the channel and it feels like being in class. The workload is good, it’s really intense and you need to adapt until you get your working routine.” Gabriel says that he is keeping up with everything but now the program is getting a bit harder, since it’s an intensive program.

What is the content of the bootcamp?

The platform combines videos, case studies and quizzes that allow students to put themselves in real life situations. They recently had an introduction to Javascript, but there is coding involved. They focused on networks, how to build them and how to respond and react when facing a cyber-attack. At the end of the program, they have to present a group project done in teams of two. This project is done during the 12 weeks of the bootcamp. Every two weeks, they do a 30 minutes presentation to the rest of the class to explain what they have been working on. The topic that Gabriel chose is “Public transportation and cybersecurity.” Cybersecurity is a really broad topic, so there are different roles and each week they focus on one of these roles. Gabriel feels that “you need to work on your own, be really autonomous and face more challenges” as the program gets deeper in the content. According to his experience, working like this is “really fulfilling, it is you who makes learning possible.”

Why cybersecurity at Ironhack?

When he was thinking about making this change, Gabriel looked for other options but most of them are in the US or didn’t have a real follow up and connection with the teachers. “I saw that at Ironhack, the instructors and facilitators are genuinely interested in helping us, to know who we are and support us.” He also values the contact with Careers, they already had a first contact with the team and feels that Ironahck “has the great advantage of being focused on job placement. These are unique elements that make this program different.” He has a final tip for those who are thinking about joining Ironhack: “yes, it will be intensive but no fear! It is so exciting that you forget about difficulties.”  

If you are also thinking in joining a cybersecurity bootcamp but have questions, do not hesitate to reach out to one of our admissions managers and ask any questions you may have! We will be delighted to hear from you!

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