Atticus Olmedo: International Affairs to Cybersecurity

Atticus Olmedo

“Having a shared community on Slack made learning from one another’s mistakes a fun and interactive bootcamp experience.”

Reading Time 3 mins

Atticus Olmedo, a 2022 graduate of Flatiron School’s cybersecurity bootcamp, is a shining example of someone who took charge of their future and landed their dream job. Atticus’s path to cyber and national security is anything but ordinary, and his story is filled with valuable insights for anyone considering a career change in tech.

Before Flatiron: What were you doing and why did you decide to switch gears?

“My interest in changing gears was simply getting my hands dirty and becoming more technically attuned with my computer and home lab. Covert and stealthy cyber threats that compromise US national security became a scary but invigorating topic to learn about, hence my decision to join the ranks of the world’s greatest Air Force,” Atticus reflected. 

“Prior to Flatiron I worked in every possible industry and job title,” says Atticus. This diverse background, spanning non-profit, government, and industrial sectors, speaks to Atticus’s curiosity and adaptability. However, a yearning for a more technical skillset grew stronger. Intrigued by the world of cybersecurity and its role in protecting national security, Atticus decided to make a switch.

During Flatiron: What surprised you most about yourself and the learning process during your time at Flatiron School?

Atticus’s decision to pursue a career in cybersecurity wasn’t solely driven by technical fascination. “Careers around US National Security are not to be taken lightly,” he reflects. Atticus highlights the importance of introspection and a strong commitment to public service. He added, “It also requires constant and maniacal attention to current affairs.” His international affairs background proved valuable, but Flatiron helped him confront his own biases and refine his critical thinking in the complex world of cyber threats.

“I was surprised how much personal biases and heuristics play a big role in deciding who, what, when, where, and why to develop and counter a cyber attack,” says Atticus. Flatiron’s curriculum equipped him to navigate this challenging landscape, while also revealing surprising gaps in his knowledge. “In the cyber intelligence world where I work, I was also surprised to learn how ahead and behind I was on all things considered about events in the corporate and intelligence world,” he shares. This realization further solidified his interest in the field and fueled his dedication to learning.

After Flatiron: What are you most proud of in your new tech career?

Atticus’s journey wasn’t without its hurdles. As a self-described millennial, he found the introductory modules familiar. “I grew up on computers, early internet, and touchpad devices.” However, “the mid-modules that focused on coding and setting up complex network typologies hands-on were difficult,” he admits. Limited access to equipment presented an additional challenge, but the supportive Flatiron community provided a valuable safety net. “Having a shared community on Slack made learning from one another’s mistakes a fun and interactive bootcamp experience,” he reflects.

Today, Atticus Olmedo is proud to contribute his technical expertise and unwavering dedication to service in his role as an Active Duty Airman for the US Air Force. “I am proud of the invaluable skill I can bring to my unit whether it is technical, or theoretical, and my team’s willingness to sacrifice our comfort for the mission. My team consists of people from all over the world [and] all are committed to public service,” he says.

Flatiron Empowers Career Changers Like Atticus

Atticus’s story is a testament to the transformative power of Flatiron School. Flatiron’s immersive bootcamp provided him with the technical skills and foundational knowledge needed to thrive in the cybersecurity field.  More importantly, it fostered a spirit of self-discovery, critical thinking, and collaboration – all essential for success in today’s dynamic tech landscape.

Inspired by Atticus’s Story? Ready to take charge of your future? Apply Now to join other career changers like Atticus Olmedo in a program that sets you apart from the competition. Read more stories about successful career changes on the Flatiron School blog.

Disclaimer: The information in this blog is current as of May 15, 2024. Current policies, offerings, procedures, and programs may differ.

About Flatiron School

More articles by Flatiron School