Joshua Siow: Interning at Responsible Cyber

by Wen Sin Lim
Joshua Siow is an intern at Responsible Cyber. He is responsible for writing unit tests to make sure that every component of the IMMUNE platform functions as expected.

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

Growing up with technology, it felt only natural that I learn more about the devices and products that we use so much on a daily basis. This led me to pursue a Higher Nitec in Computer Science, and later a diploma in Information Technology at Republic Polytechnic. In all my studies however, I never got to delve into the security aspect of computer science as much as I would have liked.

Upon graduation, I heard through the grapevine that there was an opening at Responsible Cyber so I quickly put in my application, which kickstarted my foray into the field of cybersecurity, and now I get to see how an understanding of computers and networks can have real-world applications in areas such as risk compliance, security awareness, etc.

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

I have been assigned to work on two projects in relation to IMMUNE, and both are works in progress.

I primarily help Tom with writing the scan functions that are used in the Immunity Report, a feature on IMMUNE that reports findings on what vulnerabilities companies are susceptible to by conducting non-invasive scans. Despite what it sounds like, the process is a lot more involved. We first write the test cases for outcomes that we desire, or is expected from the function, then we write enough code to make sure the test passes and if it does, we move on to the next test case and work on the structure and readability when all the test cases pass.

I’m also working on automating testing suites for our platform so that testing can be more efficient and less time-consuming for the team as a whole. When this task is completed, is should allow the team to deploy and test the different environments we have more efficiently, helping IMMUNE become a better product.

3. Do you find your work at RCPL rewarding? Please elaborate.

I currently play a supporting role to the engineering team. Although my role is not huge (for now), the team acknowledges what I have to offer. I feel it is through the perspective of fresh eyes that the team can continually identify areas of the platform that might be confusing for clients. Being able to share my ideas, sounding off potential challenges with navigating the platform, and having them be addressed while I work with the team to make that happen – this all is hugely rewarding to me.

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

My biggest challenge to date has been having to adapt to the fast-paced startup environment as I have always tended towards passive productivity. The frantic pace definitely gets things done, but it can get stressful at times and falling behind can feel overwhelming. The daily meetings with the team have been very helpful in this regard as it allows us to understand what our challenges are and come together to brainstorm solutions so that everyone can progress smoothly in their respective tasks.

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

This is my first job since graduation, and quite fortunately, I get to work in an industry related to my field of study. I recognise that not everyone gets to do what they love and make a living doing it. Responsible Cyber offered me an opportunity for which I’m immensely grateful. I intend to keep leveraging this opportunity to accumulate experience, upgrade my skillsets, so that I would one day be able to contribute to the development of new cybersecurity technologies and become a skilled cybersecurity professional that is able to lead my own team.

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

The first thing that is immediately noticeable, for RCPL in particular, is how everyone on the team feels in one way or another, a connection to Magda and wants to work with her towards a shared goal. For me, it was not just that RCPL was an internship opportunity, but also Magda's experience and knowledge in the field that cemented the decision to apply. After a few weeks, I could also tell that Magda does not only consider the well-being of her team as a whole, but also on an individual level, she goes the extra mile to reach out and talk to each and every team member one on one when she has the chance to, just to make sure that we are all individually growing alongside the company.

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

It’s hard for me to describe the company culture as there are just so many aspects at play. Everyone works closely together, it doesn’t matter that we’re all in different time zones. Magda especially, makes sure to set aside time for everyone to voice whatever concerns they have, and that must contribute to why the team is so close-knit. There is also a sense that the team values my opinion just as much as their own and because everyone is so driven in their respective roles, it is easier for me to harness their motivation to achieve my own goals.

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

In my day-to-day, I get a lot of screen time, so breaking out of it from time to time is important for me to mentally reset. During the weekends, I like to spend time with friends and loved ones, going out for shopping, café-hopping just enjoying good food and drinks. When time permits, I like to play Valorant and catch up on the latest episodes of my extensive TV watch list.

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