Anon: Software Engineer in Incognito Mode

by Wen Sin Lim

Please note that the interviewee in this blog post has requested to remain anonymous. We respect their privacy and have omitted any identifying information to honor their wishes. However, their work is important to us, and we believe it deserves recognition, hence why we have conducted this interview to highlight the impact of their contributions without revealing their identity.

Anon is a software engineer at Responsible Cyber. They are responsible for back-end software development and database administration.  

1.  What motivated you to pursue a career in this field and how did you get started in this industry? 

I have always liked tech and have been assembling PCs since I was young. However, I did not venture down this path till the COVID lockdown in 2020, which was when I started teaching myself coding (Python) as a result of having all that spare time.

I quickly realised I really enjoy learning about the software side of technology, hence I enrolled myself in a web development bootcamp and subsequently completed the 2021 course where I learnt reverse engineering, binary exploitation, return oriented programming, Linux shellcoding, amongst other Linux related security concepts. This then became the impetus for me to actually pursue a career in cybersecurity.

2. Does your work at RCPL align with your personal and/or professional goals? Please elaborate.

Ideally, I would prefer to reduce the amount of time spent on software development work and instead focus more on vulnerability research and exploit development. That said, working at RCPL has allowed me to explore and gain knowledge in various topics that I'm passionate about, including (but not limited to) cybersecurity and cloud computing.

3. In your opinion, how does your role contribute to the success of the IMMUNE product and RCPL as a whole? 

My duties mostly surround back-end software development, database administration and infrastructure related activities, all of which combined are the backbone of the platform. Perhaps the best way to visualise this is to think about the cabling and pipework in a building, which is not normally something people ask about but rather something that is assumed to exist and be properly managed.

4. What do you find most rewarding about your work at RCPL?

I find my work at RCPL fulfils me for a couple of reasons. Firstly, my work involves building a product that has real-world benefits for users. It feels great to know that our efforts are making a positive difference.

Secondly, I’m glad that I can say I truly enjoy what I do as a profession for the first time in my career. I wake up each day feeling motivated to contribute to a project that aligns with my values and interests.

5. What has been the biggest challenge(s) you’ve faced while working on the IMMUNE product, and how did you overcome them?

When developing software, it’s always challenging juggling the demands of developing new features versus making improvements to existing functionality. I’ve found the best way to approach this is to break all the tasks down into manageable sizes and focus on the ones that bring immediate benefit to the customer.

6. Has RCPL supported your professional development? Please elaborate.

The company is extremely supportive of each and every one of us and our professional development. We are given opportunities to attend courses and seminars that align with our work and interests. For instance, I recently received a Briefings pass to Black Hat Asia 2023 – which I am very much looking forward to – courtesy of RCPL.

Additionally, because we are encouraged to work in areas that match our interests, I have the leeway to explore new topics and expand my knowledge in areas that I find particularly interesting. All this is to say, I am grateful for the support that RCPL provides to help me and the team grow and develop.

7. What do you think sets RCPL and/or the IMMUNE product apart from other companies and/or products in the industry?

Again, I have to reference the encouragement and support from the founders for employees to pursue roles that match our areas of interest. At RCPL, opportunities for employee development are keenly felt and understood.

As the platform’s software developer, our focus on building the IMMUNE product with our customers' needs in mind is probably what sets us apart from other companies in the industry. We prioritise understanding our clients' specific requirements and work closely with them to develop solutions that meet their unique challenges.

8. Can you share a project or accomplishment that you are particularly proud of while working on the IMMUNE product at RCPL? 

While the product was still in its developmental stage, the team had to overcome quite a number of challenges, most striking of which was the time that the application ceased functioning whenever more than a handful of users were concurrently using it. After some investigation, I was able to identify the main cause of the massive bottlenecks we were experiencing and played a significant role in resolving the problem.

9. How would you describe the company culture at RCPL? 

Keywords here would be dynamic and customer-focused. We value agility and adaptability in order to meet the diverse needs of our customers. At the end of the day, the work that we do – in spite of all our different roles – is centered on building a product that is tailored to our customers' requirements and preferences.

10. What are some of the activities or hobbies that you enjoy outside of work, and how do they help you recharge and refresh? 

My favourite thing to do outside of work is spending time with my family.

Secondary to that, my hobbies are for the most part what I know some others might associate with work – such as reverse engineering, vulnerability research and exploit development – but for me, this is all part of being on a continuous learning journey which I thoroughly enjoy.

Who should we interview next? Let us know!