From Jessica Sexton – Director of Community,
Three years ago, I found my home at HackerOne. My primary focus was to revamp our Live Hacking Events program. Live Hacking Events are an amazing embodiment of what makes HackerOne so special to much of our community. These events thrive on collaboration, competition, and human connection – with security teams, product teams, as well as with your peers, and other security experts. Throughout my time here, I’ve overseen many critical initiatives at HackerOne behind the scenes and formally took over the leadership of the team in November of 2021. I’m grateful for such an amazing team that has a visible passion to help each and every hacker become their best selves. In some ways, the last three years have gone by in a blink of an eye. In some ways, they have been some of the longest and most impactful years of my life.
HackerOne isn’t just a community that extends to our hackers; there is a true sense of family internally as well. We’ve had transitions, of course, as every company does – but our connections remain strong regardless of where someone’s journey takes them. Just like with our hackers; we celebrate our wins, support each other through opportunities and provide coaching and guidance in every possible way. However large, our community and industry are extremely tight-knit, as we notice our paths continue to cross personally and professionally! The Community Team has grown exponentially in 2022 with amazing new faces and strategic new roles, further expanding the family that is HackerOne.
- Celebrating and Rewarding Excellence: Advocating for each other and our hackers is a core component of the Community team and HackerOne as a whole. To effectively advocate for an individual or entity, we must be aggressively proactive about celebrating their wins and empowering each other. A huge part of that is celebrating successes and supporting one another through losses, no matter how big or small!
- Transparency: Defaulting to disclosure is not just a HackerOne core value, it is something that the community team lives and breathes daily. I’m a firm believer that if you are open, transparent, and set appropriate expectations at the onset – frustrations and conflict will be minimized.
- Expanding Opportunities: We are working hard to be more visible about the different opportunities that are available and how you can apply or qualify for each of them. In addition, we are working heavily with our product teams to bring to you several new features and focus areas for the year!
This year, you can expect:
Hacker Success Team
This year will be launching a Hacker Success team. This is a dedicated team that will directly oversee our hacker community. We are starting small; supporting groups of hackers with high achievements and continued engagement in recent years. With time, many of you will have a dedicated friendly face at the other end of the screen. This team will:
- Learn & Understand your individual goals, both on-platform and off. With this, they will be able to help connect you to the right opportunities at the right times, whether it is a specific program, challenge, pentest, speaking engagement, mentor, or a new skill you’re hoping to learn more about.
- Celebrate the wins! This could be a personal goal or a public #h1-five, but whatever your motivators are, we’re here to cheer you on every step of the way.
- Advocate for you in all aspects of the platform: program and triage interactions, mediations or support issues, product feedback, etc. Does that mean that hackers will be right in every situation? No. We’re all human. Does that mean that we will ensure that all hackers are given fair and equitable treatment? Absolutely.
Our goal is to better personalize hacker experiences. I’m a big fan of constant feedback and iteration, so we’ll be revisiting the processes and playbooks often as this team develops.
Oh my, will you be getting more content this year! We have sorely been lacking communications targeted to, advocating for, and celebrating our hacker community. With this, you can expect things like:
- We are going to be standing up a new content-specific program! This is a formal announcement of our Content Creator’s Guild! An effort to locate creators from all around our community and give them a platform, help develop their soft skills, and incentivize our community to share what they know!
- A Hacker Newsletter! HackerOne’s newsletter isn’t just information, it’s a challenge! We will keep our hackers apprised of updates to our platform, highlight their achievements, provide professional advice on hacker-specific mental health challenges, and share technical content/information about partnerships we are building for your benefit!
- We have a new community section on the HackerOne website! This will host stories about you and your fellow bug hunter’s journey with us. Content will include collaborations with educational platforms, soft skills training, product announcements, feature updates, and technical content to keep you up to date on your path forward!
- Connections: to more HackerOne teams and each other. You can expect more AMAs, panels, and connection points with all facets of HackerOne this year. With this, you will have more opportunities to engage and participate in fireside chats, more speaking/streaming opportunities, and a larger platform for providing feedback.
HackerOne is now in the pentest game, supporting web applications, APIs, mobile applications (iOS and Android), and network pentests! With hackers from 25 countries, our community has more than 38 different cybersecurity certifications across our pentesters. They average more than 5 years of experience each – our pentesters have earned over $2.6m in the last 12 months alone. Stay tuned for future communications to learn how you can apply!
Live Hacking Events (LHE)
We’re back, baby!! Back in person, that is. This year has an action-packed agenda comprising both virtual and in-person events. In 2020, I published a blog post that outlined how hackers qualify for a live hacking invitation. Very (very) soon, you can expect an updated and even more detailed overview of our Live Hacking structure, invitation algorithms, and what each of you can do to qualify.
H1-2204: This was our first event of 2022, our third event partnering with the wonderful PayPal team, and a wonderful success! Check out our recap video to relive the highlights and be sure to congratulate the award winners!
H1-303-2022: Our return to in-person kicked off in Denver, Colorado! We were joined by an outstanding customer and some new (and veteran!) faces to make H1-303 an event to remember. With the last two years of virtual everything, we took the time to embrace some new policies and practices while also adding some fun and personal additions to the event structure. As May is Mental Health Awareness Month, we hosted a live panel with members of HackerOne, the customer team, and researchers to dive into all things mental health.
H1-512-2022: As we continue our return tour of live hacking events in-person, we are headed to Austin, Texas! With an incredible customer, we are continuing to take the learnings from our previous events to create unique experiences throughout the year. As June is Pride Month, HackerOne and our customers are partnering up to help coordinate and pack care packages for a local LGBQT+ youth charity, OutYouth.org. With new venue styles, activations, and a city known for being unique just like live hacking events, we can’t wait to Keep Hacking Weird in Austin!
H1-702-2022: We can’t return to in-person events without Vegas! Vegas is a live hacking event like no other. More targets, more hackers, more hacking!! Keep tabs on Twitter and Insta to find all the details.
Brand Ambassador Program
Expanding our Brand Ambassador Program to have even more cities represented. HackerOne Brand Ambassadors are leaders who have a passion to bring the community together in their local city or region. As Brand Ambassadors, these amazing leaders are running their local clubs representing their city bringing the community together by organizing hacking meetups, and workshops, attending local conferences together and participating in CTFs and other educational or industry-focused events.
- Do you think you have what it takes to lead your local community and represent HackerOne? Review the criteria and an overview of our Brand Ambassador Program here. Applications will be open during the month of June! Keep an eye on socials for announcements.
New and Revamped Sponsorship Programs
New and Revamped Sponsorship Plans: A dedicated sponsorship series specifically targeted at cybersecurity or STEM programs at Universities, colleges, or high schools. We will provide financial and organizational support for teachers, club organizers, or student organizers to host a meetup focused on community building and education. The topics can fluctuate – things like CTFs, workshops, hacking meetups, talk tracks, etc. are all acceptable!
- If you would like to host, please complete this form and let us know about your organization, target audience, and event specifics. Remember, good events take time and planning! We highly recommend submitting your application at least 2 months in advance of your event launch.
Mentorship Mondays aren’t going away! They’re just taking a break from the heat while we launch a Summer Series; you’ll still hear from our amazing hackers, HackerOne, and maybe even see a few live streams from LHEs!
Relaunch Milestone Program
I won’t give anything away just yet, but this year you can expect bigger & better when it comes to how we celebrate hacker milestones. We’ll be revisiting the milestones and accessibility of them. We’ll also work together to reduce our carbon footprint and allow for more virtual swag options, partnership access, educational materials, and donation selections.