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The hoodies behind Zerocopter

Welcome back to one of our favourite blog series, where a different member of the team is introduced on the second Monday of each month. In these posts, you can find out more about the hoodies behind Zerocopter!

This month we had a talk with Joni Hasanen, our Software developer. Joni considers himself as a problem solver in the development team that he cherishes and enjoys working with! Apart from that Joni focuses on the security and reliability of our software.

Please tell us a bit about yourself, who is Joni Hasanen?

Hey, I’m Joni and I live in Helsinki. I’ve been developing for over a decade and in the past ~5 years I’ve been more focused on the security side. The time I don’t spend with Zerocopter, I try to spend it contributing to the Finnish info-sector communities. I’ve been part of Disobey’s badge team since the last event that was held right before the pandemic, which has grown the interest in hardware security. So I am trying to learn that side too. Another shameless plug: I’m part of the organisation of EuRuKo 2022 so if you’re a ruby developer, you should visit Helsinki in October!

How would you describe your job title in a couple of words?

In traditional titles, I would say I’m a developer, but I like to think that I’m actually a problem solver in a great team. It gives a better meaning to what we actually do.

What do you like about working as a developer at Zerocopter?

I really like how our development team (3 backend developers and 1 frontend developer) functions. We spend time on code reviews and we always come up with good compromises when we are not aligned about the technical solution. It’s nice since we all are living in different countries, so working remotely is easy.

Outside of our dev-team, working in ZC means that I’m “forced” (in a good way) to keep security in mind and there is always someone willing to explain, if I don’t understand something, on the security side.

How did you end up at Zerocopter? 

Longer version: I was at conference in 2019 with a friend. Suddenly, while watching a talk, a friend I met at another conference a few months before, came to say hi. He was in a larger group of Dutch people. That group included Chantal who is now the Head of Researchers at Zerocopter. I think it was after the official afterparty when we went to some bar and started to talk about what I do. Once I said that I’m a ruby developer, it became clear that Zerocopter was looking for one, the match was made. 

This underlines the reason why I usually go to conferences or events: connections and meeting new people. You never know whom you will meet.

If you could trade positions with anyone in Zerocopter for a day, what would it be and why? 

This is a hard one. I think I’ll choose Tanya from Customer Success. Before Zerocopter, I used to work for consultancy agencies and there I was in contact with customers/end-users regularly, so it would be nice to learn more about our customers and their needs/expectations.

What have you learned from working at Zerocopter? 

I’ve changed my mindset when it comes to developing software. Now I spend more time thinking about how the feature/functionality could be abused and what could be the tradeoffs between nice and simple UX and security.

When was the first time that you heard about the term "bug bounty" or "RD/CVD"?

Probably 5+ years ago, I can’t remember exactly.

What resources( books/podcast/courses etc) would you recommend to someone (new) in this industry? 

Since the field is so big, don’t feel pressured to not know everything. Try to find a local community and go to gatherings to meet people. Ask questions and try to get a picture of what they do and if that would be interesting for you. There are services like Hack the box and TryHackMe where you can try and learn something. Youtube is full of good videos and tutorials. 

But most importantly: Be yourself. Be honest about what you know and what you don’t. My personal experience is that people usually are willing to help as long as you are nice and humble in your intentions. 

What is your favourite stereotype about the hacking industry and why? 

Probably hacking scenes in tv-shows and movies and how unrealistic they usually are. One of the best is from NCIS where two people use one keyboard at the same time and the windows are just flashing on the computer. Check it out here.

We hope you enjoyed the blog and got to know Joni more! We have more Hoodies you still need to get to know. So stay tuned for the upcoming blog in the next month!

Written by Zerocopter

August 8, 2022

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