What I've learned working at runZero as a UX/UI designer

, by Abeer Khalaf

Hello, I’m Abeer, the lead UX/UI designer at runZero.

When I joined the company a little over a year ago, I knew almost nothing about networking. For example, I couldn’t tell you the difference between an authenticated and unauthenticated scan. Most of my networking knowledge came from working with my own home network. I could identify my modem, knew how to connect it to the router, and then set up my network from there. I understood that I had a designated IP address, and that I could connect to the Internet through an Ethernet cable or through my WiFi. I also knew that the Internet and mobile data came from the giant lines and towers outside. Joining runZero unlocked a huge opportunity for me to expand my perspective and learn more about networks.

I know every company says that they have great people, but I feel like runZero has an exceptional team that really prioritizes collaboration and knowledge sharing. runZero cultivates a culture of learning, making it easy for me to pick up so much information about networking and network discovery. The things I’ve learned are practical, which means I can use in my everyday life. For example, one time, I scanned a local nail salon’s network (with their permission, of course), and I discovered a PAX point-of-sale (POS) device. Thanks to runZero I knew about a worrisome incident involving PAX POS devices. I was able to explain the issue to the owners and helped them understand how using PAX devices could affect their business. I’ve also gotten into the habit of scanning new devices that I come across or acquire, like a new phone or printer. I love that I am able to practically use the knowledge I learn at runZero in my everyday life.

Something I really appreciate about runZero is the investment in our people. runZero sent a bunch of us to DEFCON recently, which provided a great opportunity for us to immerse ourselves in the security world. Without my recent experience in the industry, I would have been a fish out of water. While I spent a lot of time attending talks, I was also reeled into other things, like learning to solder and participating in CTFs (capture the flag). Working through CTF challenges was an exciting way to drive personal growth and bond with my colleagues. Attending security conferences in the future will be invaluable for my professional growth, as well as writing blog posts like this one! Professional development is crucial for my role because it helps me better understand the industry, and as a result, design and deliver better user interfaces and experiences for our customers.

My journey at runZero has taken me deep into the world of networking and network discovery. I’ve enjoyed both applying and sharing what I have learned, as well as continuing to grow. And now I can tell you the difference between authenticated and unauthenticated scanning! The tech world is constantly evolving, and so am I.

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