Our recent Penetration Testing with BackTrack Live Training in St. Kitts was a great success.
This was the first time that we have done the class in the Caribbean, and we were really curious to see how it would go – as there is no denying there are some obstacles to overcome. First off, there are many US companies that will not send employees to training outside the US. Second, when you are looking at training and you see a location in what amounts to paradise, you can’t help but wonder how much work is actually going to be done.
However, Offensive Security has a strong reputation for working our students hard and that reputation allowed us to fill the class to capacity. Any thoughts of leisure time while class was in session were quickly dashed. You know the class is going well when you are on a tropical paradise and when the class is dismissed for the day.. and no one leaves the room as they are so engrossed in the work they had been doing.
We had to literally kick some students out at the end of the day, so they would go get something to eat. This level of engagement is what we as trainers love to see.
This being our first class at this location, we had a few interesting lessons we learned:
Far from being a distraction, the location turned out to be a huge asset for the success of the class. Students were far enough away from their employers to allow a focus on the class while still being available for emergencies. One of the biggest problems in any live training is when the student can’t focus on the material due to employer interruptions. And the easier it is to get a hold of the employee, the more likely it is to have happen. By conducting the training in St. Kitts we found that there was far less of this sort of interruption then any other class we conducted.
Offensive Security classes are known for requiring a lot from the students in and out of the class room. Evening distractions are a real issue, as we like for students to be able to focus on the material so that they can come to class prepared the next day. Compared to conducting the training in other popular training locations, St. Kitts was a great mix of a pleasant peaceful location while still not being a party location full of evening distractions.
The facilities were such that we had total control over the entire computing infrastructure. With computers that Offensive Security provided as well the mini lab that we were able to deploy in the environment worked out great. With over 25 different systems for the students to target during class to test out techniques they were learning, students had every opportunity to put their new skills to test.
All of this lead to a wonderful learning environment for all involved. We saw a great degree of teamwork from the students and such positive attitudes, the entire class should be proud of themselves.
If that was not enough, we were also able to bring Johnny Long to the class as a surprise guest. Johnny was able to contribute to the class his many years of penetration testing experience and unique perspective. We are pleased that Johnny will be joining us in future trainings in St. Kitts. It was such a positive experience that we could not wait to do it again!