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Jordi Scharloo — Meet the Mentors

In this new series, we will take a look at our diverse and awesome mentor team here at MentorCruise. Building this platform wouldn’t have been possible without the support of them. Today, we are going to talk to Jordi Scharloo.

Jordi is one of our mentor on MentorCruise. Visit his profile now and get mentored by him: https://mentorcruise.com/mentor/JordiScharloo/.

Hey Jordi! Before we get started, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Normally I would leave the talking about me to others, but from what I’ve gathered I am a critical thinker with an above average interest in knowledge, skill and computer science.

My passion for the field started when I was very young. I was amazed by things like the walkman (and later MP3-player) that I had, and every time I could get my hands typing on a keyboard I took the chance! I got into (strategic) video games and started my affinity with computer science by making mods for them. Soon thereafter I got introduced to Linux and programming. I haven’t looked back since!

Every year since then I have learned a lot of new things, and further mastered the skills I had picked up before. Yet, the world of IT never stops evolving and there will always be more to learn and master! Right now, 10 years later, I am a successful entrepreneur in the world of cyber security (and loving it!)

Over the years, you have worked on several different exciting projects and have collected a lot of experience. How did you get started? How did you get your first job?

After I found my passion for the field and had realised my very first few projects, I wanted to develop myself and my skillset more. I started taking on small projects in my area (for example data management and websites for local businesses) so I could learn better what it is to set up and finish technical products. After a few successes I started writing up some business ideas for myself to develop. For a couple of years I spent 50% of my available time on projects for others and 50% on projects that I was personally very passionate about.

When I finished high school and wanted to pursue an education in computer science I decided to apply for a job at a medium-sized software house. Because I was able to give them a portfolio containing multiple developed projects, and was able to answer all their questions satisfactory they gave me the benefit of the doubt even though I had no degree yet. This was the formal beginning of my career. Later, I started my own company providing cybersecurity and software services.

What was the favourite project that you’ve worked on?

One of the first business ideas I’d developed was a travel website. I would create a scaling website that would list all available rooms, bungalows and resorts from all major travel agencies in my country. I worked on that very happily for several years, and managed to get enough contacts in the sector to get a good catalog going. Unfortunately the site never took off as well as I’d hoped because marketing-wise I couldn’t beat the older names in the sector. Yet, this was definitely one of the most fun projects I have worked on, partly because it was totally mine!

After that I worked on a bunch of projects, ranging from frameworks to mobile apps. But the project I’m currently developing for RedSocks Security is definitely my new favorite. I like working with data — raw data. Right now I am creating software that can analyze file samples for malware (and categorize them) at high speeds, north of 1 terabyte per hour. The requirement for speed makes this project very fun and challenging to develop.

What is the best advice you can give to someone who wants to follow your footsteps?

Just go for it! Don’t wait for school projects to come along or start by making something for somebody else. Figure out an idea that you would like to realise and just start working on it! You’ll meet plenty of challenges along the way, which you will learn extremely much from. Watching hours of YouTube tutorials won’t get you very far. You’ll watch it and think you understand, until you have to make something yourself. If you currently have no inspiration try to draw from others. Maybe make your own version of Notepad? Or try to make an improved version of that one website you love so much? If you see some news about a cool new tech, just install and play with it! Also getting a mentor to help you along with your journey will surely help :)

Now that you are a mentor — who would you like to mentor? What is your desired mentee like?

Anybody that is passionate about technology and doesn’t want to have their work done for them, but to be taught how to do it and improve it.

Anything you would like to tell us?

Computer science is a magical thing. If you learn the building blocks you will learn to master the environment, and bend it to your hand.

Jordi is one of our mentor on MentorCruise. Visit his profile now and get mentored by him: https://mentorcruise.com/mentor/JordiScharloo/.

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