Charles' Open Road
Global Head of X-Force Red
The key to a successful career is charting new directions, going in a different way, and doing things differently.
- As a kid, most of his friends didn’t have computers, so when his father brought one home one day, he was completely fascinated.
- At one point, his mom even told him, “You’ll never get anywhere if you just play on that computer all day.”
- Even when he was in college, he assumed he wouldn’t find a fulfilling career path in tech because everything seemed to be centered around writing code.
- While he understood how to write code, and respected his classmates who were building new software, he was always much more interested in breaking things.
- However, he’d never seen a career path for “breakers” until later after college, when someone introduced him to a small company that was doing penetration testing.
- He felt like he’d finally found his people, his community of fellow “breakers”; even today, he says his team’s mantra is, “If you can build it, we can break it.”
- Says he’s still drawn to penetration testing all these years later because every day presents a new, interesting challenge.
- He draws similarities between the field of cybersecurity and the pursuit of career “success”: neither has a finish line where success is achieved because success is an ongoing practice.