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Senior Spotlight: Capture the Flag

written by Elizabeth Mann
published on 5/9/22

At New Century Technology High School, technology plays a big part in the Computer Science strand. Capture the Flag is one of the most popular aspects in this strand, which challenges students’ teamwork, problem solving skills, and knowledge. 

Capture the Flag, also known as, “CTF,” is a computer-programming strategy simulation. “CTF is a great event to expand my skills and have fun,” says Chris Martinez. Chris is a senior here at New Century and has competed in several CTF competitions including those at Cyber Conferences. During these events, if he isn’t leading the team, you can find him being the Linux or Web Based Challenge specialist. Chris is interested in continuing CTF in his future career(s), as it is a great way to have fun, gain experience in cyber, and meet industry professionals.

In another team position, Donal Higgins works in steganography by hiding messages in places you wouldn’t typically look in a file and uses reverse-engineering. Donal describes his experience with CTF as “something that is fun to do and there is not a ton of pressure on you. It also gives me skills in things that you wouldn’t typically learn in a classroom environment, which is nice.” CTF is a good outlet for students to express their creativity. “Teamwork elements, problem solving, and the relief you get after going down a rabbit hole and feeling completely lost only to find what you were looking for” also forms Donal’s liking of CTF.

 Working with the technical issues and solving the first part of the problems, Preston Brown is also a Senior here at New Century. Preston brings experience to the team due to his past years of working with CTF. Preston does not doubt CTF in his future careers; he is “very interested in engineering, so many challenges similar to CTF, challenges in which you must find unique ways to solve problems.” He states that quick knowledge, working with teammates, and the internet can often provide answers in unique situations in order to guide you on the right path.

To find out more about Capture the Flag or how to try it out on your own, feel free to make your way to the internet or web pages of companies and schools like Lockheed Martin or University of Alabama who host CTF competitions, picoCTF, Hack The Box, and/or regular CTF websites!