Empathy, Gratitude, and Staying Humble: The Foundation of Our Culture

Published Sep 05, 2019
by Pieter Danhieux
cASE sTUDY

Empathy, Gratitude, and Staying Humble: The Foundation of Our Culture

Published Sep 05, 2019
by Pieter Danhieux
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The software security industry isn't exactly known for its warm and fuzzy feelings, whimsical observations and life commentary, but, perhaps as I get older, I find myself reflecting on the impact we can all have in the world. And, it can cause a positive ripple effect that extends well beyond the boundaries of cybersecurity.

Thanks to the suggestion of a team member, we have implemented the Warriors Give Back program across the company. This initiative was designed to get us into the spirit of "giving back" to the communities around us, actively working as a team to make the world just that little bit brighter.

While it was an incredible opportunity for many of us to bond as a united team, this was a unique moment to take a step back, survey the land and see what is truly important with renewed clarity. As anyone in a startup will tell you, it can be super-hectic, with not much downtime... it is rewarding, exhausting and thrilling all at once. However, when you're living and breathing your business, it can be all too easy to shut out life around you.

A force for good.

The most important thing we hoped to achieve was doing something immediately useful for the community, not just posing for a few photos to pat ourselves on the back. It was about acknowledging our privilege and acting with gratitude. Everyone, in every industry, could stand to do a little more of that. After all, you can never spread too much goodwill, or stay too humble.

Team Awesome. #WarriorsGiveBack

For our kick-off event, we decided to work together building bikes for underprivileged children, through the Bikes for Tykes program. I am sure we will look back on this day with fond memories of our combined mechanical skills (or lack thereof), and lots of laughs, but the spark of happiness brought to nine very special children at the time they needed it most, is a reward that extends far beyond the material aspect of a brand new bike. This event was a small gesture on our part, but it is my hope that for just a little while, they could forget their troubles and simply enjoy being kids.

Give back, get more.

An old saying goes something like, "kindness is a gift everyone can afford". That is very true, but one thing the cybersecurity community, in particular, seems to do well, is the abundance of free knowledge-sharing and online resources to help people understand, learn and explore. Naturally, organizations like OWASP devote so much time to making us all more secure, and I constantly see the willingness of others to help answer questions after event presentations and functions. I think if we all gave more, we'd find it's eventually paid back ten-fold.  

We're going to continue our quest to give back, as do many other awesome companies around the world. Let's be a force for positive change, no matter where we are.  

(Psst: our library of developer learning resources is always open for you guys).

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Author

Pieter Danhieux

Pieter Danhieux is a globally recognized security expert, with over 12 years experience as a security consultant and 8 years as a Principal Instructor for SANS teaching offensive techniques on how to target and assess organizations, systems and individuals for security weaknesses. In 2016, he was recognized as one of the Coolest Tech people in Australia (Business Insider), awarded Cyber Security Professional of the Year (AISA - Australian Information Security Association) and holds GSE, CISSP, GCIH, GCFA, GSEC, GPEN, GWAPT, GCIA certifications.

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Empathy, Gratitude, and Staying Humble: The Foundation of Our Culture

Published Jan 22, 2024
By Pieter Danhieux

The software security industry isn't exactly known for its warm and fuzzy feelings, whimsical observations and life commentary, but, perhaps as I get older, I find myself reflecting on the impact we can all have in the world. And, it can cause a positive ripple effect that extends well beyond the boundaries of cybersecurity.

Thanks to the suggestion of a team member, we have implemented the Warriors Give Back program across the company. This initiative was designed to get us into the spirit of "giving back" to the communities around us, actively working as a team to make the world just that little bit brighter.

While it was an incredible opportunity for many of us to bond as a united team, this was a unique moment to take a step back, survey the land and see what is truly important with renewed clarity. As anyone in a startup will tell you, it can be super-hectic, with not much downtime... it is rewarding, exhausting and thrilling all at once. However, when you're living and breathing your business, it can be all too easy to shut out life around you.

A force for good.

The most important thing we hoped to achieve was doing something immediately useful for the community, not just posing for a few photos to pat ourselves on the back. It was about acknowledging our privilege and acting with gratitude. Everyone, in every industry, could stand to do a little more of that. After all, you can never spread too much goodwill, or stay too humble.

Team Awesome. #WarriorsGiveBack

For our kick-off event, we decided to work together building bikes for underprivileged children, through the Bikes for Tykes program. I am sure we will look back on this day with fond memories of our combined mechanical skills (or lack thereof), and lots of laughs, but the spark of happiness brought to nine very special children at the time they needed it most, is a reward that extends far beyond the material aspect of a brand new bike. This event was a small gesture on our part, but it is my hope that for just a little while, they could forget their troubles and simply enjoy being kids.

Give back, get more.

An old saying goes something like, "kindness is a gift everyone can afford". That is very true, but one thing the cybersecurity community, in particular, seems to do well, is the abundance of free knowledge-sharing and online resources to help people understand, learn and explore. Naturally, organizations like OWASP devote so much time to making us all more secure, and I constantly see the willingness of others to help answer questions after event presentations and functions. I think if we all gave more, we'd find it's eventually paid back ten-fold.  

We're going to continue our quest to give back, as do many other awesome companies around the world. Let's be a force for positive change, no matter where we are.  

(Psst: our library of developer learning resources is always open for you guys).

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