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The School Newspaper of Texas High School

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Q&A with Salem Alonge

Senior embraces male dominated field
Chassidy Davis
Senior Salem Alonge is interested in cyber security, a heavily male dominated field.

What part of technology are you interested in and what does it entail?

I’m interested in cyber security because it is more about the dealings with the internet and security. So things that have to do with scammers, phishing and all of the things that go into hacking and the parts of the internet. There are a lot of threats, and a lot of the more dangerous parts of the internet. I’m [delving into] how to protect people on the internet. Things that we could go into with companies [who] get hacked all the time or how we could protect them from being hacked, what are some loopholes that we found in their software and their hardware and looking at a lot of the servers that are really easy and vulnerable for hackers to get into and run their company.

What classes at Texas High began your interest or prepared you for your future career?

I took a lot of classes at Texas High that really encouraged my passion. My first year here, I took the Computer Science I class. It was a very good class and I really enjoyed programming. In general, I love the critical thinking that comes with it. Then my second year, I took Computer Science II. I really liked the challenging aspect of programming; having to do research to see what style is better for you. Then my junior year, I took Mr. Ahren’s web design class and I took Python programming. This year I’m taking Digital Forensics DC and in that class there’s a more in depth learning about cybersecurity itself, because it’s essentially based on cybersecurity. So all the things that have to do with phishing, hacking and how people get duplicated servers. Those really encouraged me to do what I want to do for my future career.

Why do you think that cybersecurity is an important field to have people working in?

I think just in general, as a woman and coming from a minority, going into a field where you’re caring, not just about people, but about the highest used thing in the world, which is the internet and technology, I think it is such an important part of who we are. As a society, most of our time is literally spent on our phones and our computers. I think having more people there to manage and make sure that the people who are on the internet are not being affected or not being harmed [is important]. Making sure companies are not being corrupted, things like that. I really do think that’s why people should get more into cybersecurity.

How long have you been interested in technology?

I will say I’ve been interested in technology specifically since I was probably eight. I was one of those kids where I was very disruptive of a lot of things, and at first I thought I was going to go into mechanics and engineering, but I realized it was not the path for me. Then I realized that I could totally go into coding. I love math. I loved being able to think on the spot. When I came to Texas Middle School, I was like ‘Yes, this is the path I’m willing to take’.

As a girl, do you see any challenges when you’re in a male dominated field with your classes or clubs and how has that affected you?

I think that is one of the biggest things when you are put in a male dominated field, [is the expectation of] your abilities. You’re supposed to feel scared and you want to hide yourself away. But being in clubs, like the robotics club, which is a very male dominated field has taught me that no matter who’s around me, my job is to do better than what I think I can do, so in my classes when I see there’s only three girls in that class, my job is to make sure that out of all of the men in there I am one of the best. If it’s a male dominated field, I try my hardest to see how I can become better than the people in my class, specifically if they are male, I try to think how can I be better than you? So instead of it being a stereotype of a [less capable] woman in my class where it’s a male dominated field [I try to shift that conversation to] let’s go to her for advice and let’s go talk to her to see what we can do better.

Is there anything else that you’d like to highlight about the classes you’ve taken or why you feel passionate about this?

I think regardless of what you plan on going into, I really encourage taking technology classes because they really challenge critical thinking skills, you’ll be looking at a code that’s like 300 and something lines and going ‘I don’t know where to start.’ That’s when your critical thinking kicks in. Where do I start from? What are my errors? If you’re going to any field whatsoever, take at least one of the programming classes that we have on campus. It could help you a lot.

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About the Contributors
Ashley Davis
Ashley Davis, News/Feature Editor
Ashley Davis is going into her second year of newspaper as News and Feature Editor. She spends her time in activities such as National Honors Society, History Club and TigerVision. Davis plans on taking her love of journalism to the next level and eventually writing as a career. She loves movies, especially those that star Timothee Chalamet. Davis is thrilled to take on her senior year with eyebags and airpods blasting Frank Ocean.
Chassidy Davis
Chassidy Davis, Visual Journalist
Chassidy Davis is a second year staff photographer. She loves football and softball, as well as taking pictures at the games. She is excited for her second and last year of her photography journey. She plans to go to the Air Force after she graduates, but she will always have Texas High Publications in her heart.

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