Five years ago, I thought about recording a couple of videos to give newcomers an introduction about cybersecurity and recommend a plan to follow. I created those videos because of the pain I experienced at the beginning of my professional life—plenty of resources, scattered pieces of advice, and a vague plan to follow. After publishing the videos, I received positive feedback, even though the content wasn’t catchy. Mere plaint text presentation!
Later I received multiple requests to create technical content, and again I thought about picking a topic that was not easy for me to grasp at the beginning so that I can help others avoid what I suffered. Or at least save their time. I decided to explain buffer overflow, and to my luck, people liked it. People started asking too many questions that I couldn’t handle, and that’s when the need to have a better place to share knowledge efficiently was born—the forum.
The forum provided two main things that I think are very important for any community to succeed; saving members time and remove distractions. It does this by avoiding repeated questions and side talks. Unfortunately, most new platforms do not provide those two basic needs.
The community became more popular, and we needed to organize things. A program of five levels was created for anyone who would like to get started with cybersecurity and have no prior experience. Students fulfill the requirements for each level and apply for an exam. If they pass, they move to the next one. During the journey, we provide mentorship and guidance beyond technical aspects. Things like job hunting, personal branding, and picking goals that really matter are part of what we offer.
Thankfully, many students went through the program and landed decent jobs in multinational companies. Some started producing quality educational content and built their brand. Day after day, the community was getting bigger until it reached what we have today.
The core value the community is built on is qualifying people to be better than us. In my humble opinion, this should be the de facto standard when judging the success of any community. That was the reason behind the name “Nakerah”. Unlike the popular culture that spreads out everywhere nowadays and promotes the value of seeking fame (i.e., likes and followers), We try to encourage people to help each other without waiting for a return. Fame in itself is not something to chase or go after.
It’s not about our titles, degrees, certificates, or knowledge. It’s about what everyone can do to help others, regardless of whether they are well known or not. Everyone can give a hand.
Community members from all over the region believed in that and started giving a hand to whoever around them. The above photo is a real session conducted by one of the community members in Jordan trying to help his university colleagues getting started with security.
I have to admit that I am lucky enough to be among this number of aspiring talents whom I keep learning from every single day. Here is the place to get a refreshing dose of motivation.