Zachary LaBarge

Cyber Security Engineer

Years with MIL: 2

What were you doing before joining MIL?

Prior to joining MIL, I was working at a large engineering and repair company. Initially as a Telecom Test Engineer, developing repair lines and diagnostic systems for fiber optic networks components. I was tasked with helping develop a similar line for a new department within the company focused on automotive electronics. I developed test systems and commercial vehicle networks (CAN) simulators to diagnose, repair, or update various vehicle components for a wide variety of manufacturers.

Why did you decide to join MIL?

I came to MIL because I recognized that the company offers an excellent opportunity to join in the fast-growing field of cyber security. I was excited to bring a unique perspective to the field because of my prior work experience.

What are you working on now?

I am working on preparations for several upcoming tests for the customer by familiarizing myself with the systems in focus and developing appropriate software for interfacing with them. I am also developing a crash course in CAN and related systems.

What is the best piece of career advice you can offer someone in your field who is either applying to or beginning a career at MIL?

I earned a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and find my programming experience invaluable, even though it was not necessarily an emphasized point of my education. As systems grow more electronically complex, being able to program, or at least understand code, has proven to be (almost more) important than my understanding of circuitry and electronic hardware systems. With that being said, my understanding of the hardware allows me a perspective that exclusively software development would likely not have lent me.

Why do you enjoy working at MIL?

The work environment is very accommodating, which allows me to get the most out of my work day and for MIL to get the most out of me. I enjoy the autonomy, while still having a support structure present when I need assistance. I appreciate that an aspect of my responsibilities involves improving my own abilities through education and training, and that the company promotes it.