Working on technical challenges since a child, Les Potter, our Chief Technical Officer, is passionate about hacking. He made it official in 2017 by obtaining the CEH certification (with a score of 86%).
It didn't involve a lot of study on my part. I had been hacking in one form or another for most of my career. The gist of hacking is creative problem solving, and that summarizes my zeal and passion. Some think hacking is a dirty word, the "black hats" make it so. Some snicker at the "white hat" hackers as the "goody-two-shoes". I think doing good through creative use of technology is a virtue and a lasting legacy. It's fun solving the difficult problems and knowing that others will benefit. So the "Ethical" hacker title suites me fine.
Les began his career in electronics, prototyping circuits and learning programming languages as needed. He had "hacked" together devices and drivers for the *nix and Windows platforms. After shifting completely to software engineer, he has stayed intouch with his cyber-side, creating his only solution to remote broadband with cheap fiber optic networking parts and circuits found on eBay.
At peace with networks and software, he likes to manage his own network and Amazon Web Services instances. Server software and user facing applications often find their way onto his plate with equal relish. He finds it keeps him current with technology.
Les is named as co-inventor on a patent. But he is particularly proud of being one of only two people to solve the hardest challenge (B*****S) on a fairly well-known hacking challenge site (w*****l.net)
That challenge was my particular favorite. I would work on it a little, then let it ruminate a bit. It was mostly an analysis task, but required the abiliity to put that analysis work into ever changing code. The process was simple, i.e, collect data, propose a theory, develop a test for the theory, execute and collect more data. The cycle would continue by throwing out wrong theories, modifying existing, and proposing new ones. I collaborated with one other person, from whom I learned a lot about Python, and they learned (I think) a lot about methodical analysis.