What is BlackHoodie?
BlackHoodie is a series of free, women-only reverse engineering bootcamps, which started in 2015 and in 2018 slowly became a global initiative, with events happening in different locations in Europe and the United States. More information on the idea of BlackHoodie and upcoming events can be found at blackhoodie.re.
Why women only?
The number of female engineers working on complex low-level security topics is crushingly low.
My past teaching experience shows me, that is not due to lack of interest in challenges, but has to do with aspiring hackerettes sporting impressive anxieties. And I get it, topics like modern day exploitation are intimidating, and the fact that this field’s engineers are usually all male, fancy death metal fashion and are offensive by definition, doesn’t help. But, among us, one doesn’t need to be male and death metal to be successful there.
The BlackHoodie workshops aim to make complex subjects more tangible and less intimidating for women, in order to get motivated hackerettes started on their security careers. It is not about building walls around a minority, but about creating space, where participants can build confidence, foster shared interests, build connections, and in the end, contribute themselves as part of a happier community. It keeps fascinating me how many former BlackHoodies keep sticking around, and do impressive work in several different areas of security.