My name is Umar Salim and I am a recent graduate from the University of Surrey with a master’s degree in Information Security. Prior to this, I was studying towards my graduate degree in Computer Science at Brunel University.
I started this blog approximately 10 years ago when I was 16 years old to document my thoughts on technology and share information with other technology enthusiasts. I was very hesitant to keep posts online from such a long time ago but I believe it is important to share my journey even if this means keeping posts online that I find embarrassing 🙂
Towards the start of my journey approximately 15 years ago into technology, I spent the majority of my time working towards personal projects which tested my programming and server management capabilities. This can be seen by my commitment to running one of the first web hosting services dedicated to providing users with the tools needed to make their own YouTube-styled websites (HostWoot) in my teens.
Prior to enrolling in my Computer Science degree, I started to gravitate towards the field of cybersecurity since it was an area I was very passionate about. I started to realize my projects always included a large cybersecurity component since I always ensured security was in mind whilst developing code, for example, thinking about how what I have written could be exploited by an adversary as well as the best architectural way to protect against potential attacks.
I graduated with first-class honours in Computer Science with a strong foundation in topics such as network computing, artificial intelligence, algorithms and software development. My dissertation during this degree was focused on creating a Peer to Peer library in Java for the Android platform which allowed developers to easily leverage P2P technology without understanding the underlying stack. This was done in the form of a Java library that allowed P2P communication via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. As an extracurricular activity, I participated in the Adoptabot Challenge 2016 which consisted of mentoring pupils from secondary schools in the UK to help promote computer science and programming.
I then enrolled in a postgraduate degree in Information Security at the University of Surrey where I focused on creating an implicit authentication mechanism that analyzed user behaviour to authenticate individuals using Java within the Android platform for my dissertation. This was achieved by collecting sensor data as well as the way a user interacts with an application to build a profile to successfully discriminate between an authenticated user and an unauthenticated user. Some of the other areas I focused on during my time at Surrey University were asymmetric cryptography, symmetric cryptography, network security, cloud computing and digital forensics.
Shortly after graduation, I started working at Visa as a cyber security software engineer within the Identity and Access Management field and gained a deep understanding of the subject matter by working with software such as Sailpoint IdentityIQ and Broadcom’s Privileged Access Management.
I have since been working in the web3 space in a variety of areas such as Development Operations (DevOps), and leading projects as a project lead. I am currently developing decentralised finance (DeFi) applications within the space with a heavy focus on backend and smart contract development.
During my spare time, I like to create blog posts that help me to document my thinking process whilst at the same time helping others to discover the knowledge they otherwise would not have known. I also like to work with hobby electronics to create my own Internet of Things devices using popular platforms such as Arduino, Raspberry Pi and ESP8266.