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STEM Ambassador Spotlight: Gary, Security Engineer with Skyscanner

Updated: Jul 16


Tell us a fun fact about yourself


I have my own official coat of arms, which has a triceratops on it – I also had a triceratops wedding cake!


Tell us about your career journey so far


I started off doing a maths degree at university before switching to computer science. Once I graduated, I started working in an IT company doing a little bit of everything. From there, I moved into the technology team in Internal Audit for a bank, before moving to the Information Security function. I moved from finance into travel as I really love visiting other places, and there was a lot of exciting opportunity to see the world.


What was your favourite subject in school and why?


I was a big fan of history and English, both of which involved a lot of reading and helped me learn to think critically about things, which has been a very useful life skill. I really liked learning about our past, and I had some fantastic teachers at school. One of my English teachers even lent me her copy of Beowulf which sparked a lifelong interest in early medieval history.


What subjects/qualifications are useful for your role?


Some sort of maths and/or technology subject would be very useful, you don’t have to be a programmer but having some understanding of it helps a great deal. English and is also really helpful, as there’s an awful lot of reading and writing to do, and being able to communicate clearly and easily is a big help.


What is your favourite thing about your job?


My team! I get to work with some fantastic people from all over the world. There’s also always something new to learn, which means I get to try new things all the time and see what other sorts of things I like.


What is a normal day in your role like?


Things are a little different since the lockdown, but I still start the day with a chat with my team over Slack, sometimes having a coffee over video conferencing, while checking my to do list. Sometimes I have to work with our lawyers talking to our customers or government regulators, other times I work with our engineers or other teams to make sure what they’re building is safe for our customers and our company, while other times I work with our partner companies to ensure that all our work meets the security standards we expect. I also do a lot of reading to try to stay ahead of changes in technology and law that might have an impact on us.


Can you suggest an activity that could be done at home that illustrates an aspect of your work?


Encryption is a key concept in the security world. This project from Code Club might be helpful to see how it works, though in the real world creating encryption algorithms is much better as a collaborative exercise!

https://projects.raspberrypi.org/en/projects/secret-messages


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Tel: 01383 626070

Email: sae@sserc.scot

Address: 2 Pitreavie Court, Dunfermline, KY11 8UU

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The UK-wide STEM Ambassador programme is managed by STEM Learning Limited, which operates the National STEM Learning Network, alongside other projects supporting STEM education. To find out more please go to the STEM Learning website