Justin Otis recently won a scholarship with Rim Technologies for Security+ training with LeaderQuest. Otis is in the process of making a career transition into the field of cybersecurity. His background is in graphic design, and his journey into the field has been an interesting one. Otis graduated from Purdue University in 2001 with a degree in 3D animation and computer graphics and worked in the media and local television as well as with production studios in town. After doing graphic design for several companies, he began working for Exostrategies, where his graphic design job expanded into technical illustrations, creating a custom icon set for Vizio, and eventually doing network topology. “Eventually what happened was that we stood up a methodology for creating cybersecurity and information insurance, network topologies, and boundary diagrams that were consistent across the board,” Otis said. “So we were documenting a huge system, a worldwide network, and making everything consistent throughout, making it in such a way that the diagrams could be incorporated into the DIACAP [DoD Information Assurance Certification and Accreditation Process] packages.”
Otis learned about network topology on the job and moved into increasingly technical tasks as time went on. His experience in the position sparked an interest in cybersecurity. “The thing that I found I really liked about the cyber domain — I fell into it, and looking around I went, ‘This is interesting’. It’s a giant challenge space, not just for the government and the DoD but for industry,” Otis said. “The whole thing has kind of a neat wild west vibe to it, and so I see myself in that space.”
Now Otis is pursuing his Security+ certification as he makes that transition into the field of cybersecurity. “Sara [Kinney, Rim Technologies CEO] has been just awesome,” Otis said. “I called her out of the blue, and she said, ‘Let’s meet, let’s do this. Here are the different approaches you can take.’” As a result of his Rim Technologies scholarship, he was able to attend a week-long boot-camp with LeaderQuest, a company that provides industry-leading IT career training. Course instructor Chuck Danley, a veteran of the field, helped him to round out his knowledge over the course of the week. With the boot-camp over, he’s currently studying with the support of Rim Technologies staff and preparing to take the test within the next three weeks. Coming from a different background from most people in the field, Otis is looking forward to bringing his unique perspective to the table.