5 minutes with John Jurkov

Posted by Rudy Mitra on Mar 14, 2019 10:30:39 AM
Rudy Mitra
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5 minutes with John Jurkov

The Work Stuff

I was born and raised in Brisbane, Queensland, which to most Sydneysiders is a big country town. But I don't agree with that notion; I simply love being here. From a very young age, much like my dad, I was interested in breaking things apart and 'trying' to put them back together again. So my early interests in computers and cars, eventually lead me to pursue a Bachelor of Engineering with dual major in Computer Systems and Electrical Engineering. It is a deadly combination and if you ever wanted to slow down a party, you could mention either one of them.

I never had a clear vision of what I wanted to be when I grew up, (maybe rich?). At one point I thought about being a Diesel Fitter working on trucks, as I love being hands-on. Instead I became a corporate sell-out and I've never looked back since! My first job was stacking shelves at my local IGA which was one of the best jobs I've ever had for one reason: the people. Working the night fill shift until 1am with those guys really helped shape me into the sharp tool that I am (pun intended)!

Professionally, I started with an internship during university, at RSA, the security division of EMC, working on their crypto-libraries; next I moved to Universal Data, a great MSP with an amazing office and team, helping them as a network and security engineer; before moving to The Missing Link. It's an unusual story, as I originally turned down the offer, because it meant I would have to move down to Sydney. But after a little negotiating, we managed to come to a compromise with me working remotely, and I took the job. And it was one of the best decisions I've ever made.

My role as a Senior Security Consultant is interesting to say the least, I am paid to hack into big corporations and get their secrets. And let me tell you, it's exactly like the movies: black hoodie, sunnies, techno music and all. Don't let any hacker tell you otherwise.

On a serious note, one of my career highlights so far was being in the 4-man team that bagged first place in the SpecterOps Red Team training CTF - Capture The Flag. We were up against some of the best in the industry, and we not only captured all the flags first, but no other team got as many points as we did. It was a very proud moment indeed.

I look up to various industry leaders, but closer to home, our Managing Security Consultant Elad Shamir is someone I aspire to be like. There's a reason he's at the top of the food chain, and it's not because of his terrible sense of humour and great cooking skills!

For my career progression I see myself moving upwards along the managerial ladder, deeper into the sea of red-tape.


The Tech Stuff

Tech stuff? Computers? What the hell is a computer?! Of course my favourite gadget would be my computer, that's a no-brainer.

As far as apps are concerned, I use; Signal, if I'm looking for secure communications; Facebook Messenger, for insecure communication and Reddit, for no communications.

I am always up-to date with technology as it's a sink-or-swim industry. Which works out well, because if I'm not drowning in the deep end, I'm not having fun.


The Fun Stuff

If money wasn't an issue my dream day would comprise of waking up in my off-the-grid house, in my million-acre private forest, next to my girlfriend, overlooking my pineapple farm.

On weekends I can usually be found gardening as I'm quite a green thumb or working around the house or on my motorbikes/cars. I also love growing Pineapples. They take a few years to fruit, so they're a great plant to set and forget! Plant them, and when you've forgotten all about them, BAM! Pineapples.

My love for pineapples started when I was working at IGA. Working in the produce section was my favourite thing; there's nothing like the smell of fresh fruit and veg in a cold storage fridge! I'd take the heads of the pineapples I cut up, and plant them in my garden at home. Years later, my first pineapple harvest happened! It's nice to know that even though things change over the years, at least the pineapples will remain constant.

Gardening, motorbikes, pineapples and my beautiful girlfriend keep me going. Even though, none of these laugh at my jokes, they're the reason I get out of bed.


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