Cyber Struggle training process is such a training organization that focuses on taking each trainee to the next level mentally from the very beginning to the end, that mixes this process with cyber security, that does not address only to those who are interested in cyber security but gives new points of view to everyone working in the IT sector irrespective of the position/ department. And of course, it carries out these processes within a unique model that others try to imitate (!).
First of all, you always feel/ observe that this training has such a background of an idealistic thought rather than making profit only. Each stage of the training is as transparent as possible, it offers you an opportunity to learn many technical aspects compared to other training organizations that make you a licensed infiltration specialist within five days (!) and, also it lets you upgrade yourself mentally 2-3 times higher.
You are introduced a problem and then expected to identify/experience it and, solve it out. And during all these processes, the real focus of this training is not to provide you with the information required to solve the problem, but the methods to access such information, the conflicts you may encounter, never giving up under any condition and, fight in team consisting of those you don’t know in order to reach a certain target. At the end of the training, you will have a different mindset, a good level of know-how whatever your technical level is and, most importantly, make friends that will last forever. And of course, you learn many things about the sector from someone with great experience. And with all this new information you have learned, you will understand better the deformation in the cyber security sector in Turkey.
Go after other training organizations that make you a licensed infiltration specialist within five days if you have a corporate mindset and, if you consider the work as a place to be from 8 to 5. Otherwise, you may find yourself outside the process before you reach the middle of the training. But, this is the place you are looking for if you consider your work as a hobby, something you enjoy while doing it. My company wanted to send me to a training organization, where I could be a licensed infiltration specialist within five days (!), but I met and chose Cyber Struggle without hesitating. I feel lucky for attending this training and becoming a member of Honeybadgers although all the conflicts and sleeplessness I have experienced for the whole of 10 weeks without any holiday :). And of course, I would like to thank my company for meeting the costs of the training.
After this training is over, the process does not come to an end like other training organizations, a group called Cyber Struggle Society appears. And through this society, you will be able to keep in touch with those who are passionate about their work like you and, have a chance to take a role in other projects of Cyber Struggle. Lastly, this is the place where you need to be to get rid of your limits, desperations and conflicts in your life if you really consider this profession as a passion.
A vicious circle that causes you to run into a stone wall even if you are ready mentally, that enhances your potential a bit at a time, that disciplines lazy minds and bodies, that tests your patience from time to time, that makes you look strange in a puzzlement thinking “well, we did something but, what was it?”, that pushes you to make your own research all the time, and that forces you to look at in a different point of view whenever you may say, “well, I’ve got it”. After a while, you get used to it and, start to enjoy every moment of it.
And then your real travel starts, you wonder what’s next in each week. Well, it actually makes you nut sometimes, as person that has literally embraced the motto “the only easy day was yesterday”, I could say that, it is time to say bye to sleeping. In addition, another interesting aspect of this training is that it takes you to a long journey in your inner world. So, you wonder what you will encounter during this journey? Among them are egos, arrogance, inner voice that is louder than it should be. Such intensity of this training makes you feel that you are beaten with wet towel on you. Throughout all this turmoil, it takes you to another level mentally and, turns your two-dimension world into a three-dimension world.
Well, what’s really important is your team, which is the core of this training! How will it work with people from different characters and different cultures? How will I get along with them? How is it possible to be a team? While these questions pile up, you suddenly recognize that you’ve become one fist, learned how to trust people, see each one of them as a family member, great people, who shoulder you when you are in need, who hold you up whenever you fall down, calm you when you’re crying, tolerate you when it is not possible to do, and show sympathy offering you a piece of chocolate.
So, there is no misfortune? Of course, there are, well each problem you may have here lets you gain great experience, and you may consider it as a small simulation of the problems we may encounter during the business life. Another aspect of the training that everyone wonders is the SAT practices; I wish success for those planning to attend them in the next terms. Such great moments with each second valuable and unforgettable that you may experience for one time only in your life, proving the motto “it cannot be described but only experienced”, so that you will under its importance in time.
And Teacher Kubilay! He is a bit nut. Not joking, he is nut. Forget about all the teachers you might have encountered so far. He is a mobile store of experiences. Each word he says is actually an opportunity for you to fill it up and step on the gas. The first condition to fill it up is to make the best of those moments and take lessons from them.
I guess I gave too many spoilers. I wish the next troops success; NEVER EVER GIVE UP! And another sentence; “don’t worry, it’ll be settled down!” And yes it will. This system is not a conventional educational system. So everything was for nothing? “it’ll be settled down!” It will. I don’t know how but, it gets settled as long as you do what you are told.
First of all, you will have a trainer, who you may add to the list of extraordinary people, during the training. For me this person was like “not possible to finish this course with this man”, then “teacher” and, then older brother. Here, trainees are not treated as a commercial commodity. Experiences that are not possible to be bought for money are shared, information is not hidden.
When it comes to the training, a program that does not give you fish, that does not teach you how to fish, but tells you to go and catch that fish. This being the case, you need to make research and produce solutions all the time, and you learn something new during this process and, what you’ve learnt becomes permanent. And of course, there is price for them. Sleeplessness, tiredness and stress. These are the 3 things you will hear and tell for the whole period of 10 weeks. Intensive practices, problems to solve and more. And in addition to these, you will need to struggle with yourself at a certain point. Conformance, getting rid of selfishness and, egoism, taking critical decisions, no to give up fighting, acting together, efforts to bring yourself to the next level. It may seem intimidating but, you will start to feel at a different point when you progress successfully.
You will start to exceed the limits of you mind and, gain a different point of view. One of the topics that attracts attention the most and, that may seem irrelevant is the SAT field practices. Unfortunately, I cannot give so many details here, but I could describe it as a great activity that everyone must experience. I’ve experienced many new aspects of my life. I am certain that it will be the same for every trainee. A practice with full of excitement that you crush over whatever you used to consider impossible. …and at the end of 10 weeks, amazing friendships, such moments you would never forget about that would make you smile whenever you remember, a new mentality and, good habits you make.
Please read: https://cyberstruggle.org/en/manifesto/ everything here is absolutely true and, you will experience it literally.
Cyber Struggle does not focus on classical education, but on guiding. It focuses on the importance of the ability of a person to teach themselves and, learn by themselves. Technically speaking, the essence of the topic is taught and, the trainees are expected to adopt and, apply it. And there are assignments considering this method. And so, you need to get into to this, and comprehend the topic. Besides technical aspects, there is a sincere environment you will find. You will see people who make efforts to bring values to your life. You learn how to take initiatives. You understand how to be a team and, the importance of being team. You start to do the time management in a far better way. You start to get beyond the limits in your mind without noticing it, and you realize the mental freedom when you are beyond those limits. During the training, you get some pressure and stress without noticing it. You recognize this stress since you get relieved when the training is over, and this stress keeps you awake all the time. In respect of social aspects, the consequences of the assignments and practices are perfect. I don’t believe that words are enough to tell about this training, it cannot not be described but only experienced.
Not possible to make a detailed comment on the SAT trainings, but it is a very useful process you should get through and experience. Once you have completed it, you reach some different dimensions mentally. I guess I’ve become addicted and, I want to go and experience this process again. Lastly, I want to mention about a topic I always hear about; some says this training is expensive, but it is not possible to find such training at this level from anywhere else, which actually does not exist anywhere else. Technically comparing, the price for training from different institutions for 1 week is much more than that is requested by Cyber Struggle. Cyber Struggle training takes 10 weeks and, it allows you to improve not only technically but also socially and, I believe that this social contribution makes this training so valuable.
Today is Saturday. Yesterday was Friday. I said, “what a relief, tomorrow is holiday”, while I was on the way to go work yesterday morning. We started working, no assignment, nothing. As a matter of fact, it was a busy working day, but I was happy anyway. And the day was about over, but I was not tired at all. We continued working. And the shift was over. And we said; “let’s move on”, I was the last one leaving the company; it was 10.30 when I was home.
And this morning, I had enough sleep, was not tired at all, felt fresh, and it was just 6.45. My body does not get tired easily anymore. Works don’t seem too much. Nothing seems impossible whatever the problem is. A little time for resting is enough. I don’t mind small problems. I’m not diverted from the purpose. I take initiatives (I took my first big initiative yesterday); sleeping has returned to normal, my body rejects too much sleeping. My brain and my body get upgraded. I’ve heard that I would see such affects, but I did not know I would change so much. I said to myself, how much could I change? In addition, you gradually start to get rid of some conflicting factors created by your brain that may divert you from your road. After a while, what matters the most becomes the assignments and targets you have, the humanity and, the pleasure from your life and, your happiness. It is not easy to reach this mentality, but it is possible.
My technical skills? Let me tell you this; we learned how to run before walking. As a person, who has seen everything told during the course for the first time, I am now in such a position that I am grateful to you.
It was such capsulized training. I achieved so many things which I used to think was not possible again and again in such a short period of time that all the feelings after these achievements fell into a coma.
I’ve sworn a lot during the SAT, no lies. Many times, I told them friends to swear for me too. But, after a while, I started not to get so tired while the SAT is continuing. I would move on even the SAT continued all night long. It was such a day that I will keep each moment in my heart. At the destination, I picked up a stone from the beach. Now I have 2 pictures and a stone that I’m going to look at to refresh my energy whenever I feel quailed. They will be with me until the last day of my life, you will be with me.
And lastly, attending this course together with our teammates in the workplace has completely changed the ambiance in the company. Now, we look after one another. And, “Wolfpack Team.” My CS family. I already missed you a lot, the atmosphere in the course, my friends, music… See you as soon as possible.
I know myself better now. I quickly decide, I don’t consider fine details to much, I just dive into it. I say to myself that I should experience it not thinking about it too much. I used to think I should live slowly without getting too much tired, and now I say; “what are you waiting for? Run!” There is a huge world in front of you, discover it. Please believe me that nothing is hard to do. It is up to how much you really want it.
At the beginning, I didn’t believe in it too much, thinking that it is not possible to teach someone, who doesn’t know anything, so many things in such a short period of time. Of course, it is not possible with the classical education method, but there is no such thing as impossible with the CS style. Everything I’ve learned at the course, I’ve learned it suffering. What the hell, I said at every single time. I do something, but I don’t know what I am doing; am I learning something? I asked all these questions to myself every day, and at last, everything that was blurred has got clarified. And now, I know what I know, I know what I need to know, and I know what is missing. My way is clear. I believe that the greatest favor you could do to a person is that you could help them discover their limits. Besides education, this is by itself so valuable. This is the consequence when you are treated as a student not as a customer and, when the purpose is to teach people how to be “good” ones. There were to things that made it possible for me. The first one is the psychological perception included in the training and, the other one is SAT. Everything was so beautiful and, I was seeing things through rose-colored glasses until the first SAT day; but this is not something to tell about, but experience.
I was totally different, when the last SAT training is over. I wanted to give up at any minute of the first two hours until the last minute, and I’ve sworn a lot at everyone; please forgive me. There was someone over there to hold me up whenever I fell down. During this period, I was not Merve Küçük, but a Wolfpack. I had some concerns about being in a group especially for my business life. I got rid of them. We collaborated, we supported one another, we won and lost together. We gained so much as a person and in respect of knowledge. It cannot not be described but only experienced. So glad I have you; training is over, but I have a new family now. Everything is just beginning.
Before I have attended the course, I was following Cyber Struggle since the 1st term. The questions such as “what type of training is provided?”, “what makes this course different from others?” etc. are not answered on the internet. And after you get into it, you will understand that this is one of the aims of this course. I’m telling you that you are mistaken if you think that a teacher lectures and, I memorize what they say. One of the aims of this course is to teach us how to act as a team. As a matter of fact, one shouts Allahu-Ekber, and patriotism speeches, a group is formed around them, and we say see we are a group now, but this team is not such a team.
Your team starts to become your family, you feel any harm to the family as if you are harmed, and you learn not to give up. This course does not teach you the information, you learn how to learn. Never try to memorize, otherwise you fill wail in the last week. You will not find here the educational system that we have condemned for years, you will notice it not later than the 2nd week. As a group, we did not challenge the educational system of Teacher Kubilay; we told ourselves that we would be like a worker in the Age of Empires, we would do what we are told by our teacher saying “ready, order, lumberjack, miner, as you wish my lord”, and we tried to understand the system without arguing about it.
There is something that Teacher always said; “don’t worry, you will understand it”, and that is absolutely true; I hated writing reports, and I added a section of contents to my report on the last week. Well, I still don’t like writing reports, but “what does a person consider when reading a report? What should you consider when writing a report by putting yourself in the reader’s shoes? Anyway, during this period of 10 weeks, know your troop, annoy them, make them happy, troll them; do whatever it takes to know them better.
At the very beginning of the course, I was surprised by the level of knowledge of the class. It seemed each of them was a pro hacker, but I was the only lamer; but later, I noticed that everyone was actually at the same level, attempting to learn something new. And by the way, there is no such thing that my friend does it and, I look at what he does. If you get behind with your friends, you need try to keep up with them and, if you do this as a team, your training will be much more efficient and, the people with whom you spend 10 weeks will become like your family. I hope that you have such days after the last week that you would say; “I wish the course was continuing and we saw each other again at the weekends”.
Spoiler: With respect to the SAT thing, you will understand what a team means. For example, look at some photos, where you will see people look after themselves when one falls down. You could say; “what’s happening here, what the hell are you doing here”, but try to find especially the photos of the Hellhounds Troop. You will see the teamwork, the people exhausting, and how they support one another, and you should ask yourself what makes them like this and how. We were 11 people who participated in the SAT practice, and 11 of us have achieved. Don’t be happy that you have learned this and, don’t be said that you couldn’t learn it. I mean, congratulating yourself is the worst think you could do to yourself.
Pump yourself up when you fail. During the HellWeek, you will understand the reasons why you have done what you have done; during the lessons, teachers actually let you predict what’s going to happen in the HellWeek. Finally, I was the one in the group who pushed Teacher Kubilay the most; I recommend you that you choose the one, who is able to push him the most and, who is the bravest among you, as your spokesperson (you will get paid back if you push him well).
That’s what I call an experience that you could gain one time only in your life. This is the real version of the movie the Game (1997), which could even provide you with occupation. Cyber Struggle is not a course, not an educational institution, but an experience. Before anything else, you should approach like this. The most important components are the time management, the concept of being a team and, your hunger for learning. It is about the time management because you should consider all the possible surprises and bad scenarios while you plan everything. For example, there is an assignment with a deadline, you need to finish by that evening.
And suddenly, when you least expect it, you see the message “CONTACT 400 sn.” on your phone. In such case, it is not possible for you to accomplish it properly. And the second is about being a team. I wouldn’t be here for such a long time to write this if there was no HellHounds. I mean, I feel that I was in a high school again, where solidarity was on the top of the world. This feeling is so nice that you say that “I could do everything with my teammates, I go everywhere where they go, I fight all the way for them”. Let me tell you right now that don’t say that you could be here during the whole time of 10 weeks if you fail to be a team. Embrace your team. Even your words are not listened, think that they know something else. Don’t carry tales. Be open in all subjects. That’s the way how to be a team.
Here is what I mean when mentioning your hunger for learning; you are mistaken if you think that you are told everything in your life. You will be told nothing in your life and, if there is someone who tries to do so, then he or she is the one who does the biggest harm to you.
You will be guided here. You are the one who need to walk alone on this road, by making your own research. Everything you learn by making research is always more effective. This was not something that I have experienced here for the first time, I did not have so much problem since I was accustomed to this method. But this is the most common problem for many others. I recommend that if you plan to stay here, first consider yourself to be a worker in the Age of Empires. From now on, do what you are told. Ok. I’ll do it. Lumberjack. You lose as soon as you say; “come on, it’s not possible”. I’m telling you.
And the second, don’t make any other plan during this whole period of 10 weeks. Spare some time for you and, focus on this. And my last recommendation is that you should arrange a house for the HellWeek, where you could stay 1 week. Being alone makes things harder so much, both technically and mentally. Be sure that people who you know only for 10 weeks give you more power.
I want to thank each of 10 teammates for letting me gain such great experiences during this period. I couldn’t write this article, if you were not there. I am now someone different thanks to the power you gave me. I feel powerful and strong as much as I used to feel in the past. I overcame my fears. I am grateful that this period of 10 weeks gave me you. Thanks HellHounds, Thanks Cyber Struggle.
I heard about Cyber Struggle for the first time during a cyber security conference. The graduates were talking about it. Well, actually they did not completely explain it, there was the logo Cyber Struggle on the slide and, they mentioned the name and its methodology. Thereafter, I made my own research. At those times, I have just started to be interested in the field of cyber security. I was trying to improve myself.
I applied for the 5th term in the 5 or 6th month of the process I started to be interested in the field of cyber security and, when the school period was over. The first reason why attended this course was that I wanted to improve myself; and then I changed my mind when I became a part of this family that I used to call a society. Of course, the certification was also important, but it actually consists of all these experiences. The value and meaning of the certificate itself, not just the paper part of it. As I said I used to call it a society, but I well understood that Cyber Struggle is a family once I’ve got into it and especially after the last field practice.
I was struggling with myself while I was enrolling with the course, because knew that the concepts such as fighting against difficulties, intensity, obligation etc. would get into my life. I had some concerns since I was such a person unable to bear up under difficulties, and I was thinking that I lacked knowledge since I was just about to move on the 2nd year in computer engineering. After all these lines I mentioned myself, finally it is now the time to talk about the course itself. The areas where we could make contact were arranged before my teammates and I started the course and, then we all new one another somewhat and then, everybody was sitting in silence on the first of the training. And the days passed like this, we become socialized at the first field practice. I was the youngest one, and the oldest one was Olcay, we have become sincere more and more since there was no such a big age gap, and we had no significant conflict in the group.
During the training, we were taught about not only offensive hacking but also the new generation of wars and security intelligence. And also, criminology, digital forensics, software development and more. We learned from experts in their fields; and it was not just like teacher speaks and, students listen to. The courses were not like a teacher lectures and, the topics are told, this training focuses on specialization education.
Such information considered to be really necessary is taught by teachers in a detailed manner and, such information that one could learn by themselves is taught by means of practices and assignments. Yes, you learn a lot, didn’t you recognize that everyone attending the course knuckles down? Not about finding a job but, they become capable of producing their own projects or contributing to the information security sector by lecturing in conferences. You get such information and experience here that you could not find outside or read on the books.
You will make use of the information you get from this course for a possible problem you may encounter in the future. I have gained experience about the real life and business life. I already understood what types of people I will be surrounded when I start to work. One of the things I liked the most about the course was that an experienced and qualified person was talking about his experiences, giving us suggestions so that we could understand how to a person who does the right thing at the right time. They teach us how to be free people, who do their jobs properly and, take up their positions bravely against injustices in their environments.
Cyber Struggle is absolutely not a business enterprise, if it was so, its CEO would not come and give lessons.
I want to be part of this family and, a Ranger (I am not sure yet if I am ranger or not), this is because what Teacher Kubilay thinks and plans for the near future will advance further the Ranger Badge. There are already many foreigners who are interested in this course. I want to be part of the development of this badge, I want to contribute to this process since I believe that I could produce something good from time to time.
I wish people who plan to attend the training of Cyber Struggle success. You may say that “this SAT thing is ridiculous, there is nothing in it to learn”, but you should notice that this is one reacts to something they don’t want to do or, they are afraid to do. I cordially thank all the members of the Cyber Struggle Family, who have supported us in the Hellweek field.
First of all, no matter I write about my experience about this course, you need to experience it yourself, this is a totally different place. Before I attended the course, I used to follow Cyber Struggle and its organizations, get admired and, envy those who were there. This is because it was not like an ordinary training activity, it was totally different; I dreamed about it, I was so excited about it, wondering what they do in the training, how is it possible for them to develop so much.
As a result of my endless research, I learned that this training is not something that fall into my lap; I would need to push my limits. The thing that attracted me here the most was pushing my limits; I was crazy about it since I was sure of myself and, I wanted to see what I was really capable of. You notice it during the training, you see what you are really capable of. This is because you are given a topic about which you have no idea and, you are expected to accomplish it. Under normal circumstances, once would say “how is possible?”, We haven’t done such a thing before. You should explain it first”. But not in this place. You see that you could learn so much details even about a topic you had no idea before. As a matter of fact, this is case.
Ordinary training doesn’t push you, everything is available, and this doesn’t add you anything. You learn how to learn; you learn how to solve the problems, and how to produce solution. You are all your own and, this makes you self-confident of an unbelievable level. There are people over here, who work for you more than you do and, convey their knowledge without any hesitation. There are people, who listen to your problems and give supports, producing solutions and, guiding you in the right direction. I used to feel self when I went to the office at every weekend because I was together with the Cyber Struggle team and, my teammates.
And the most important rule is to be a team. It is not possible to see the last week if you don’t team up. You understand what a team is and what is the consequences of failing to be a team. You see what you are capable of, who you are and, what mistakes you make, so that you know yourself and, this place lets you understand who you really are. This place is a simulation environment. You see such problems you would face in your real life.
It was one of the most beautiful experiences in my life. This is because what I expected at the beginning of the training is not only a technical improvement but also a mental improvement, opening up my horizon and, understanding different points of view, and it has absolutely satisfied my expectations. It was so satisfying that I am not like before. It changed my old habits, changing and enriching my perspective on life not only in the meaning of security.
I was amazed when I heard a person who had no knowledge before the training would improve so much at the end of 10 weeks. But I saw that there is a huge effort behind this development. I saw that how it possible to raise by giving of your best fearlessly without any sleep during this period of 10 weeks. This is completely depending on you, if you are here to be free from prejudices and push your limits, everything will be fine. You need to push your limits, you let yourself into the flow of the training, do what you are told and then see your improvement, and how it is possible for you to draw a new roadmap for your life.
And after all these beautiful things, Cyber Struggle becomes your family, and you don’t want to leave it anymore. This is a new item I have added to my list of the best decisions I have made in my life. There are still many things to write about, but you need to experience it yourself to understand it. I would like to than the Cyber Struggle family and my teammates for everything. So glad I have you!
Everything is over a few days ago. Looking back, it is amazing to see so much things happened in such a short period of time. I did not realize this fact when I was besotted with the process. This period of 10 weeks is somehow sufficient for many activities that could take so much time in your past life. I say your past life, since there is a certain line that splits your life into before and after this course. You will notice it at the beginning, in the middle or at the end of the process. But be assured that you will notice it eventually. You will say “I don’t want to return to my past life”, “I will continue living like this” etc. You are going to say “what’s happening here” when you realize that you can communicate with people with whom you have a way by looking at one another, and sometimes using your feelings only.
You may not understand these facts, you will when you are into it. And you will really love your teammates during this period. As an answer to the question “how is this possible in a short period of 10 weeks?”, I say “you may see these people, who live in the way you do and, who are like you, for only 10 weeks, but you know them very well for years because you know yourself.” I saw and learned many things here in term of human values. This was the first important aspect for me and, I felt it to the bone in many occasions. The staff of trainers and other personnel are really good people, you can feel it. Most of them are nuts, but they are really good. You can feel that they support you and stand by you.
Here in this place, the process of training and development reveals itself in many different areas. In addition to the technical aspects, the topics such as psychological operations, irregular warfare, the concept of crime, profiling etc. are discussed at the right consistency in a guiding manner. You will have successfully completed the development stage in these topics that will make a difference in addition to the technical development, if you come here with full motivation and determination.
There were some people in our team, who attended the course for these special topics only. There is a beautiful method that I trust in the technical training. You would learn more when you are in a project/ application and make research about the details of a programming language or any other topics and, what you have learnt would become permanent since you have learnt it by yourself. And, you would start absorbing the knowledge without any deficiency if you write what you have learnt as if you were telling it to someone. So, there will be so many projects carried out under such a method. This place is like a simulation of life itself. You hear a whistle when you make a mistake, and you are taught the correct one. And you are guided to avoid making the same mistake again. It doesn’t take years for you to get rewarded for your efforts, you are given a chance to notice the change in you and others around during the process and, you notice the development.
In order to guide those who hesitate because of the distance they need to travel to attend the course, I would like to talk about this issue. I was the only person in our team that lives outside the city (Ankara). I travelled each week for the training and, I somehow kept balanced the whole training, whether weekdays or weekends. On one of the last days, a teammate Hali Arı said that “you have travelled such a distance for 10 weeks, so it happens when you are determined”. I said to myself “did I do that?” when I heard this sentence. At the very beginning of the process, all the obstacles, difficulties and excuses disappear and, you let things slide. I forgot that I travelled such a distance. And most of the moments you feel valuable happens during these processes. You team worries about you and weigh down on you, just your family does. I heard many times the words of a mother such as “have you arrived?”, “where are you?”, “where have you been”, “be careful!” etc. when I set off from Ankara. And these are the first signals indicating that you will become a family.
After a training course that was so intense that one could easily mistake the time before noon on Saturday with afternoon on the same day and, the time afternoon on Saturday with Sunday, nothing I could write would be sufficient, but it could make you feel the experience I have had during the process. I could say that it was the most different 10 weeks in my life. Staying on alert all the time, keeping watch at night from 3 to 5, starting to see your computer as your weapon, and being able to sleep everywhere but your bed. Considering each of them at a time, it is something that moves you away from your comfort zone.
It is interesting however that you are happy with that somehow, and you start to be worried that you could lose what you have accomplished, after the process is over. But, you are taught to deal with this just like you are taught to deal with all other concerns you may have. Before the training starts, it is not promised that you would learn everything but, it is promised that we could overcome everything if we act together. Sometimes you could handle with it, sometimes you fail. Every type of human profile you could encounter at the sector is included in your team. And this makes you experienced in respect of human relations.
During the whole period of 10 weeks, you feel the pressure together and, you sweat together. But, you will never compromise having some fun. And thanks to your team, you get learned something at the evening that you have heard about for the first time at the morning. Together, side by side, you are able to crawl under any condition whatsoever. This is not a joke. You learn how to be a hybrid one from the only person who really knows about it.
At every time you keep in touch, they share with you some experience, from which you can make an inference. It is always predicted a few steps and even more ahead from the level you currently are. You think of something at the evening and, you will listen to a talk about it on the day after although you have never told anyone about your thought. Unlike all other environments you might have been present, you notice that what is criticized is not people but the strategy. And you know that the purpose is not to criticize something but point out something from which you can make an interference. You feel somehow the sincerity behind these criticisms and, the efforts made to teach you something important.
Consequently, this place is not just another institution you attend to learn something, but it soon becomes family that you want to be a part and look after. Last but not least, I want to remind people who consider attending this training of something I always remind myself throughout the entire process. Do whatever you are told.
You should try this course if you have a wide field of interest. I call it a course, but it starts to become a life style after the first week. It is much more than an ordinary Cyber Security course. First of all, it is a point to meet those who share the same interests as you have. It is such an environment, where you could experience the concept of teamworking and all the potential problems in connection therewith, you could discuss about psychology, carry out security intelligence, listen to the experiences of professionals in the field of cyber security, learn some technical knowledge and, put them into practice as many time as you want. Throughout this course, you actually understand that time is relative.
As a matter of fact, you experience how long a day is and how you could fix many things in it. Before I start to make a research about the course, I met some graduates during some events I attended and, it attracted my interest. They all worn the same type of sweatshirt, walking together with their teacher in the middle. They even imposed a penalty for those who were late. It was possible to feel in even remote that they were all at the same frequency. As soon as I felt this energy, I said to myself that I needed to be there and, made my application without thinking further. The Silver Wolves will support so that you can further increase this energy.
I am getting into this, but is it the right time to do so? This is how I thought first, but it is not possible to know the right answer before getting into it. My workload and, my master’s degree courses coinciding on the same dates were also among the reasons why I hesitated so much. Will I stumble? Will I give up tiring out? These were the questions that occurred to my mind. When you choose to be in such a busy schedule, you understand what you could sacrifice about, what the moments you just spend for fun are, and that a day is actually a huge period of 24 hours. You get tired sometimes and, you become accustomed to it and, you want to get tired more, it starts to feel something nice. And you say it is ok, I am starting to get into the frequency. The number of such environments when you could experience these feelings are limited, and this place is one of them.
And there is also a physical aspect, SAT 3 may seem only a word. However, everything you experience during these practices changes you mentally and physically. You experience those feelings at that moment that you cannot experience even with your long-term friends. You motivate one another by whispering while crawling on the ground. You shiver together and, you get warmer together. You think of the experience talks you have heard from Teacher Kubilay for 10 weeks and, your body activates the back-up engines when you feel your energy is zero so that you keep moving.
It is important to get into the frequency; you see the borders of your body and, what it is capable of. Those who feel the frequency when you watch the activities, don’t think too much, get into it, we will be there for you. To be like one fist…
From time to time, you get a one-shot opportunity in your life, and you keep remembering it again and again if you don’t make the right choice. And this training is one of such opportunities. Be sure that I am not telling just for the sake of conversation. There are such good reasons for that.
I have always felt there is something missing, there is something wrong with my education life, business career, whatever I do during my entire life. And I could not make it clear since I didn’t have any experience in this aspect. Here, we have faced these mistakes, these deficiencies together with those with the same thoughts as I had, those who thought in the way I did.
Consequently, we’ve realized that these deficiencies are those caused by people themselves and, learned where most people make which mistakes. It is actually not about XSS, crawling or something, we have analyzed people, incidents, lives. We have attempted get over everything that we consider deficient, advancing upon them without giving up. Of course, you shouldn’t think that it takes more than a person to achieve all these. There are brilliant people over there, who think in the way you do, whose targets are the same as your targets, and they are ready to give a hand whenever you need.
And because this is how it works, be sure that such problems you have always overestimated are not actually so big and frightening.
I would like to thank Teacher Kubilay, who have provided us with such a significant opportunity, my esteemed friends in the previous teams, who have helped us by sharing their experiences, and all the teammates, who have always supported me around the clock, helped me stand up whenever I fell down, and stopped what they were doing just to assist me when I was struggling. To take a note here, you have such deficiencies that I mentioned above if you think that it is not possible to know someone very well or trust them so much within a short period of 10 weeks.
I couldn’t believe that what I felt badly when it is over at the end of 10 weeks and, what had such impact on my life was only a training. I believe that you should consider this process not as a course, a training activity but something that creates significant changes in the way you live without noticing it.
I had some big hesitations about, you know, how was it possible for me to complete this course process properly while I was working hard. And plus, I had almost no knowledge. But it turned out that it was possible. Of course, it is hard, when you have difficulties and push yourself to move on (you feel that you need to move on), you find yourself a bit stronger at a time. During the application process, I have read everything I found about this training and, I had a chance to talk to a few graduates but what I have read what they have said seemed far away from me. After the completion of this ten-week period, I now understand everything better.
First of all, you are not told everything during the training. As a matter of fact, this is the case. It is not something, you know, give the slides, read about the topics, and that’s it. Here, you are given keywords, and expected to do something about the issues you heard about for the first time. Well, you are expected to do something, but then what? You start thinking “what am I supposed to do?” and, never give up until you come out with something that may work. You may sometimes think that “What did I learn now? But I know nothing” etc., but you need to remain calm. Throughout the training, you are told “don’t worry, you will understand it”. Listen to it, because this is how it works. As a matter of fact, this process teaches you to be part of a team; you have a team, you are not alone, don’t be afraid. You are included in a group that consists of people different from one another. And all these differences start to disappear after the first field training, and you start to move trusting your own team.
You will notice that each word that is told, each action that is taken and, each incident that happens adds you something new. One of the sentences you will hear the most throughout the process giving you an idea how you should consider excuses is that most of what you say about you cannot or will not do something is just excuses you find, and the first you need to do is to get rid of them. There no place here for excuses. You will identify the borders, and you will get success and happiness when you push your borders. In fact, one creates a rapport to this place and, feels have a duty-bound. This is because there is a person with you who struggles together, sleeps less and makes efforts during this period of ten weeks. When you feel that you couldn’t complete an assignment properly, you feel remorse, and regret thinking that you did not take care of it sufficiently, you should not have slept instead of a one-hour sleep.
After the completion of this period of ten weeks, here is what happened: I sleep less, I feel that my body does not need more, I feel uncomfortable and have headache even when I sleep for an extra half an hour. Less sleep makes you feel more fresh and better, because there are many things to do during the rest of the say. You forget the word “enough”, you feel hunger for more work, since you have spent ten weeks without sleeping, making plans in your head to accomplish the tasks assigned.
And actually, you do not hesitate when you are asked “can you do this?”, all you do is to think how much time you have to figure out how to solve it. You get rid of all the friction factors one by one. I think I love this place so much because I have learned what the education life that took seventeen years failed to teach; you will learn how to learn here. You understand that the reason who you fail to do something is not knowing but failing to want enough.
I now notice that I mentioned the physical and mental aspects of the training, not the technical knowledge. This is what makes this training different from others. This is the reason why you feel that something changed in you. First, your family notices this change. And then, your inner circle and friends. When you hear this, you understand that it works. And you feel keenly that you need to go on. I have promised myself and, I need to move on in the same direction without losing all these achievements; because I am certain that this is what makes me feel better.
If you consider attending the next training and, you don’t feel assured from what you have read so far, you are free to find a graduate and, ask questions in your mind. As a matter of fact, this is what I did; I found a friend in my company, who have attended this course, and started to ask all the questions in my mind; he did not find me strange and, helped me as much as he could.
If you want to experience this process, take a note that: “The easiest day was yesterday!”. I work hard throughout the weekdays and, I am busy all the time, but I still feel that there is something missing in my life. That feeling is not exist. I don’t feel anymore that my life just starts after the office hours. I am not in a hurry wondering if everybody has sent the assignments and, I cannot think of anymore who is on the watch tonight. There is a great missing; I thought that I would feel relaxed when the process is over, but I feel bitter.
And my team, SilverWolves, this is the first Saturday without you, and I miss you much. I thank Cyber Struggle so much for everything it gave us and, for the family it let us have.
I couldn’t say that I was not impressed when I heard about Cyber Struggle for the first time, but I thought that it was impossible for me; some ridiculous thoughts occurred to me, and I said to myself that “no way, Sümeyye, you cannot do it”, “it is not suitable for you”, “you really think they are going to choose you for the training”; but I was lucky and, a friend of mine with experience about Cyber Struggle told me to go and ask these questions to Teacher Kubilay.
I met him during an event and, he didn’t praise about the training like other training instructors would do, but instead, he mentioned what would happen to me and, the challenges I need to go through if I chose to attend the course. He took no notice of the points I regard as an obstacle. And I was confused more, I used to say, “no way” in the past, but now I could not think in the same way anymore. It was like deep inside, I wanted to have this experience, but I was trying to find excuses saying to myself that “I am new in the field of cyber security, I have no technical knowledge, I should do it after I have learned something, the summer is coming and, I don’t like the sun etc. (the biggest impact of Cyber Struggle is that you will no longer be able to find such excuses, because we have all learned what an excuse is at the very beginning of the training :).
And I stopped struggling with myself and, I applied for the 5th period.
At the first week of the training, we were trying to know about one another; we were supposed to be a team, but it was like something was missing, and here was the first field training as a surprise that would fill it up; I was extremely excited because it was the part about which I was nervous the most and, it caught us early; throughout 1 day, we were tired out together with those who met just 2 days ago, we supported one another, we acted together, we experienced the same pain, challenge and fear; and on the day after, the ice between us on the first day was melt out, which I think is the most important thing; this is one of the answers to the question why we actually need these field training activities.
We tried to support one another during the training; we were not faced with any problem as a team, actually we were a funny team; we were all together during the hell week; and we all attended the SAT training; no one has felt any uneasiness; I knew that there were 10 people if I fell down; all I had to do is to never give up.
You actually prepare yourself mentally for this for the whole of 10 weeks; this training is intended to enhance your self-confidence psychologically and mentally and, teach you how to deal with difficulties, act quickly and, react to such situations that may arise instantaneously, and also you learn that you need to support others during all these activities, which I believe is what makes Cyber Struggle different from all other training institutions.
There are so many things to talk about Cyber Struggle, but I recommend you experience it yourself; this is a perfect family you will want to be a part when you have a closer look. It has such a structure that outsiders could criticize and not understand, but when you are in, everything becomes meaningful.
I am very happy to have had this experience, and I feel lucky; nothing is like before anymore; I would thank all the Cyber Struggle Family and my troop for always standing by me; and I wish good luck to those who will have the same experience.