#52: Kristin Parke – How a Music & a Biology major became a Security Hacker

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Kristin Parke is a hacker aka a security consultant at the NCC Group. She shares her journey into tech and how she transitioned from music to science until ultimately she becoming an engineer.

In this episode, you can find out how she went from learning how to code and following that path until breaking into the security industry. She also discusses the parallels of reading music and coding and biology and hacking as well as what you can do to protect yourself from imminent cyber attacks.


Years in Tech 1
Home Town SoCal
Current Job Security Engineer
Date Recorded 3/26/2016

Show Notes:

[01:30] Kristin describes security industry as a subset within the tech industry, the difference between white hat hacker and black hat hacker, and how bug bounties work.

[03:27] The importance of white hat hacking in the modern day and the difference between a security hacker versus a software engineer

[05:25] Kristin discusses the parallels of reading music and coding, biology and pen testing, and how she made that leap into tech.

[11:27] What Kristin loves about learning how to code, debunking the common misconceptions about engineers, and the importance of communication skills

[15:05] Kristin explains why she chose to go to Hackbright Academy and how she looked for information through getting involved in meetup circles.

[17:24] Kristin describes the advantages of being in a community of women in the tech space. (Find out what the average Hackbright salary for their first job is.)

[19:36] How Kristin landed a job at NCC Group, some misconception in the security industry, the other types of hacking specializations, and the roles of other people in her team

[26:38] Kristin describes the interview process and some resources you can use to prepare for the interview including OWASP.

[29:10] Examples of projects Kristin has worked on, some types of web vulnerabilities, and what you can do to protect yourself and manage your passwords

[35:56] Kristin’s advice to those who want to follow her footsteps, resources you can use to learn from and practice, and the different career options available

[42:03] Some top security people Kristin looks up to, her thoughts about the show Mr. Robot, and what the future holds for her


Contact Info:

Kristin Parke

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kparke/

Twitter: @SeventhResolve

Articles & Mentioned Resources:

Learning Resources

Hackbright Academy



Pen testing or penetration testing


Women in Tech meetup

The Web App Hacker’s Handbook



Signal Private Messaging

Kali Linux

Penetration Testing by No Starch Press



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