Only a talented mix of designers, marketers, technologists and security professionals could have built CyberStart

Rachelle
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One of my favourite things to do is to build security challenges and demos.

Rachelle, Technical Product Manager.

Listen to Rachelle talk about the unique security challenges our developers get to build on a daily basis.

Alex
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There's a real passion for finding fun, innovative and creative ways to help people discover their interest in cyber security.

Alex, Developer.

Alex shares why he enjoys working for a company that has a strong focus on cyber security education.

Jia
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No week is the same, and I love it!

Jia, Illustrator.

Our designer and illustrator, Jia, shares what a typical week is like for her at Helical Levity and why she loves the variety.

Meet some of the team

Jake

Jake

Senior Software Developer

Open

What is a Software Developer?

A Software Developer is someone who can take a defined problem or set of requirements and turn that into a working software-based solution. This is done through a collaborative and iterative process of designing, testing and improving upon the solution.

How did you become a Software Developer?

As part of completing a degree in Computer Security, I discovered that I was particularly interested in Web Application Security and building systems that are resilient to attacks. I did a placement year as a Software Developer and never turned back. I believe having security built into the software development lifecycle is key to a project’s success.

What does your typical day look like?

As a remote developer, I am very lucky that my day does not start with a long commute in the morning. I instead get to spend this time with my kids doing activities, having breakfast with them and getting them to school.

At the start of the day, I typically jump on with a big mug of coffee and catch up on any messages, notifications or problems that may have arisen. We follow a Scrum methodology and using Jira I pick up an item from the sprint to-do list if I am not already working on something.

We have recently begun following a Domain Driven Design methodology using Behavioural Driven Design and Test Driven Design cycles to help ensure what we build is in line with business expectations.

As a remote team, we prioritise communication and collaboration. I am often jumping on calls with the other members of the team to pair program, discuss issues and brainstorm. We have our daily stand up a little later than most as we have engineers working in Canada, this is where we get to discuss what we have achieved during the day and raise any blockers that we need help on.

We work on some of the most interesting and challenging problems out there.

How is working at HL different from previous workplaces?

We work on some of the most interesting and challenging problems out there. We are building safe and accessible environments that students can use to help develop their understanding of key cyber security problems. No day is the same. I can be working with Python-based lambda containers on one day and working on PHP the next. Seeing the students use the stuff we build and the awesome stuff they go on to do is amazing.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Learning. Within our industry and in particular, within the cyber security sector, things are changing fast and we need to keep up. I love the fact that I am constantly working on new and exciting projects/technologies. Helical Levity actively encourages and funds self-development, we have processes and time dedicated to this. I am currently studying for the AWS Certified Solutions Architect exam.

How would you describe HL in three words?

Moar Cyber Security

Gemma

Gemma

Marketing Team Lead

Open

What is a Marketing Team Lead?

As the Marketing Team Lead at Helical Levity, I am responsible for managing the promotion and positioning of the CyberStart product and brand via our own core channels, and through associated programmes. Through unique and innovative marketing campaigns, my goal is to ensure as many people as possible are exposed to CyberStart and get to discover whether they have a talent for the cyber security industry.

What skills do you believe to be important in this role?

The most important skill for this role is to be creative. For every campaign, we try to come up with unique and fun ideas that will engage an audience that consumes more digital content than ever before. To stand out in the crowd and inspire young adults to give an unknown topic a try, means you have to constantly be up to date with the latest trends and produce relatable content. When you are representing a brand, a strong attention to detail is also crucial!

How did you become a marketing professional?

Since school I have always enjoyed creative subjects such as English, Graphic Design, Media etc. These interests led me to study Sociology where I learnt more about social behaviour, society, patterns of social relationships and social interaction. The two interests combined led me to work in a marketing agency where I got to trial marketing campaigns for a wide variety of businesses - everything from tech giants such as Microsoft to our local cheese shop. Every business has target customers and behaviours you need to understand, plus goals they want to meet. Sprinkle on some creativity to the science of people and it turned out to be a role I loved.

What does your typical day look like?

Every day is completely different. Some days are much more creative where we are planning future campaigns, brainstorming ideas and creating assets such as flyers, websites and social posts. Other days are much more focused on planning - organising the team's workload, submitting budgets for future campaigns or analysing the success of a previous campaign by reviewing our analytics.

At HL, the biggest difference is the freedom to innovate and try new things.

How is working as a Marketing Team Lead at HL different to previous workplaces?

At HL, the biggest difference is the freedom to innovate and try new things. There is a real understanding that to get things right, you have to get things wrong and in order to find the best idea, you have to try hundreds before you get there. In previous roles I could get stuck in a pattern of doing the same few things, in the same way, every day. HL encourages you to try something new and learn from the experience.

What do enjoy most about your job?

That I am constantly learning new things. Whether that is spending some time to research the latest marketing trends, taking on a course to develop my understanding or trialling a new team process and campaign - every day is a valuable lesson that I take into the next.

How would you describe HL in three words?

Fast, diverse and fulfilling.

Will

Will

DevOps Engineer

Open

What is a DevOps Engineer?

DevOps has emerged over the last 10 years as a way to bridge the gap between software development and operations, increasing engineering velocity by automating manual processes and treating infrastructure generally as a software problem. It's only through automation (and cultural change) that a company can go from one painful, manual and risky deployment a month to 20 safe, automatic deployments per day.

A DevOps Engineer is something of a hybrid between a Software Developer and a System Administrator, a generalist that is familiar with a wide range of technology.

What skills do you believe to be important in this role?

An automation mindset, familiarity with programming and scripting (Bash, Python, and now Golang too), comfortable with Linux and the command line, a strong knowledge of one or more Cloud providers (AWS is the main one), solid networking knowledge and confident of infrastructure as code tooling (we use Terraform and some CloudFormation).

How did you become a DevOps Engineer?

I had a broad interest in computers and tech from a young age and was always experimenting with different operating systems, computer networking and the Internet. As I was always interested in and surrounded by tech, I ended up deciding to learn more in my early 20s and then transitioned into the industry working as a Developer for a while before joining HL as the second DevOps Engineer in the company at the time in 2017!

What does your typical day look like?

My days are usually quite varied! I try and focus for the most part on proactive work that is planned in advance, but there is usually some amount of reactive work generated by other teams, our alerting systems, or new business requirements that are necessary to keep things running smoothly.

We have been trying to get this balance right so that this type of interrupt-driven work doesn't drown out our ability to work on these higher impact longer-term tasks.

Lately, I've been focusing on importing our infrastructure into Terraform and thinking about what the workflow will look like to make our infrastructure changes as easy and reliable as a normal GitHub pull request. Another is migrating our applications and services to containers and thinking through the CI pipeline to be able to more easily version and deploy them, scale them in production, and make it easier to debug them locally by being able to reuse the exact container images locally if need be.

Alongside this, I will usually have a daily stand up call with our development team, as well as some catch up and planning calls throughout a typical week.

The team is made up of many talented and awesome people who are easy to get on with and great at what they do.

How is working as a DevOps Engineer at HL different to previous workplaces?

It's fast paced, but there are always a lot of interesting problems to solve and because of our relatively small size it's possible for each individual to have a big impact. The team is made up of many talented and awesome people who are easy to get on with and great at what they do. You will learn a lot, and have many laughs at the same time! I really like that the company makes an effort to plan fun team events regularly. There have been a lot of funny stories that came out of them!

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Learning new things every day, solving tough problems, making things work and helping our teams be more productive.

How would you describe HL in three words?

Ambitious, driven and fun!

Luke

Luke

Security Content Creator

Open

What is a Security Content Creator?

A Security Content Creator is responsible for translating core security concepts into engaging and representative challenges that help the user learn and absorb key concepts and techniques within a safe and true-to-life environment.

What skills do you believe to be important in this role?

There are several basic essential skills for the role, which include being able to work in several languages for challenge creation, AWS for challenge infrastructure and most importantly creative thinking.

This is what generates all our new ideas and also allows us to create some of the more complex challenges within a safe environment, helping to simulate a real-life scenario.

How did you become a Security Content Creator?

Previously I was working within a service desk as a technical analyst, trying to gain a position on the security team. While working this role, it really opened my eyes as to how really big companies are still often susceptible to not only external threats but also internal threats due to simple lack of process and training.

I was made a Domain Admin for 3 external clients without any technical training! This made me a super user on the system and I could easily damage a company's infrastructure by making a simple mistake or change that I didn't understand.

These internal threats are often not malicious but can have devastating effects on the client's infrastructure. Seeing this is what opened my eyes to the security field and inspired me to learn more about the in-depth principles of cyber security. The end-goal is always to make a difference and reduce threats in the modern digital world.

What does your typical day look like?

There isn't really a typical day within the security team, which is why I love what I do. We work in cycles which usually start with a conceptual discussion of topics and ideas we are looking at together, this is usually where we will bring in any additional research we have undertaken and wish to put forward into a new and unique challenge.

Following this comes the building phase where we construct all the relevant code and infrastructure for the challenges. We then go through several testing phases, which is where any bugs and issues are squashed before the final event.

There's nothing more rewarding than seeing someone half your age showing up at an event you've helped to create and reach their potential.

How is working as a SCC at HL different to previous workplaces?

HL is so different to much of my previous work placements due to the product we produce, it is something that I genuinely care about and I enjoy getting to see the real value we are putting into the next generation of security professionals.

There's nothing more rewarding than seeing someone half your age showing up at an event you've helped to create and reach their potential through the training we provide.

HL is also different as although most of us are remote workers and lose that social interaction of a regular office-based role, the company counters this with regular meet-ups and team building exercises that break down those barriers and help us feel connected.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

The absolute best part of my job by far are the live events. This is where we really see the difference we are making to the lives and futures of students. The students often tackle challenges in ways we could never anticipate which is incredible.

Seeing this is what it's all about – developing the skills and mindsets of tomorrow's security professionals. It's also a great opportunity to meet, interact and get some really candid opinions of how they think we are doing and what they would like to see in the future.

How would you describe HL in three words?

Ethically Evil Everyday.

Want to join the team?

We're always in need of smart, creative and determined people to help us solve interesting and hard problems in security, design, technology and lots more. We're committed to providing a fantastic environment to do amazing work.

Team

We offer flexible working with remote being the default for most (although we have an amazing office in the Cotswolds with plenty of space if an office is more your thing). We offer some great benefits too: high quality hardware, 28 days holiday, pension, private health insurance and good training opportunities.

Team

We usually have a handful of open roles, but we're also open to receiving general applications from those who think they'd have something to contribute to the team.

Email careers@helical-levity.com and let us know why you'd be a great fit.

Open positions

Digital Product Designer

Do you have a passion for UI/UX design and strong front-end development skills?

Read more

We're part of a bigger family

James and Tim, the leadership team at Helical Levity, also lead two other companies. The three share expertise and experience, and together they're stronger.