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[Article]-Course Review: Hacking Dojo - Shodan Foundational Class

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don

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Post Tue Jun 28, 2011 5:20 pm

[Article]-Course Review: Hacking Dojo - Shodan Foundational Class

Nice little twist on this review as it was done by an actual student, Dan Kennedy, who took the course without it being an assigned writing task from EH-Net. So it has a very real perspective. Let us know what you think.

Permanent link: [Article]-Course Review: Hacking Dojo - Shodan Foundational Class


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Over the past few years there has been a fairly steady increase in the amount of penetration testing classes available both in an online format as well as the classroom.  Thomas Wilhelm is no stranger to the infosec community as he has written several books within the past few years in contribution such as “Professional Penetration Testing: Creating a Formal Hacking Lab” and “Ninja Hacking: Unconventional Penetration Testing Tactics and Techniques” as well as the initial offering into the certification realm with Heorot.net.  He also has extensive experience within the information security field having worked in a penetration testing role as well as many others.  Enter Hackingdojo.com.

Tom's intent with the Hacking Dojo class platform was to follow a traditional form of learning martial arts, take material covered with his already present Heorot.net certification programs, and mold it into a virtual environment.  He does so in a way that information sharing and direct cooperation between students and instructor(s) could take place, rather than Heorot.net's “learn on your own” style of learning.



Don
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mayjune

Post Fri Jul 01, 2011 3:32 am

Re: [Article]-Course Review: Hacking Dojo - Shodan Foundational Class

Hi,
I did the Mukyu (Novice) and attended 1 Month of Shodan Classes.
The format is great, ideal for people who want to learn it nice and slow.
The problem is the Instructor. I have no doubts on his knowledge. He knows what he's talking about, he has real good advices and he has experience in the field too.

The problem is the way he's trying to take the class. In the class he says feel free to ask questions, I want you to ask many questions even after the class throughout the week. Well when we do send him questions, the reply comes after 3-4 days!! That's not what you expect when you are paying for the class! Don't get me wrong, but forums have better response time then his. I can understand that he maybe busy with a lot of work, but than again that's not my concern. Once in a while its fine, but it was often than not.

Also, the worse thing that really made me tick off was when I had asked him to post the video of last week which he had forgot to. No reply. After few days again i mailed him. No reply. after a week or so, when I sent him a really long mail asking him whats the matter? His reply was I don't tend to answer mails that are demanding!!
Huh?? Demanding??? I simply asked you to please upload the video as I had missed the class and I wanted to catch up!!! And even if it was wrong, you could have replied to me that "hey, i'll upload the video but please reply in a nice way (or something)..." I would have appreciated it and I won't waste my time waiting for it...

And oh one more thing, from Shodan and onwards, if he misses one class (not you, he) that class money is gone! That's right, he doesn't carry forward them. I asked him the reason, he said that its very difficult to maintain the accounts that way. Although at the start of shodan he gave me 2 weeks extra but that does not make any sense to me ....

Even though the content is great, I left the class and Now I am pursuing it on my own, Its gonna be slow, its gonna be painful, but hey that's the way every awesome security specialist has done it. And I think that's the way it should be.

As for me, I don't recommend this course, only because of his attitude not because of his knowledge or the content. Only if he could change the attitude the class would be top Notch for any beginners like me.

Any comments are welcome as this is what I felt taking the course..

Cheers.
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El33tsamurai

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Post Fri Jul 01, 2011 11:42 am

Re: [Article]-Course Review: Hacking Dojo - Shodan Foundational Class

How long had you been going to the dojo?
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lorddicranius

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Post Fri Jul 01, 2011 12:21 pm

Re: [Article]-Course Review: Hacking Dojo - Shodan Foundational Class

I think it's a personal perspective type thing here.  While I agree that Tom is sometimes a bit difficult to get a hold of, I'm OK with it because I understand that he has a job and a family.  My thoughts: family first, and he needs to keep his job to pay the bills and care for/support his family.  At least he's not leaving us hanging with nothing.  There's another instructor to take over (who knows the material, but agreeably just needs the teaching experience), and most everything is on the wiki already.  I think better student interaction could help in this situation also.  I try to frequent the Hacking Dojo forums, but hardly anybody ever posts anything there.  The same few people will post their results/findings regarding the "homework assignment" Tom gave us, but that's about it.  Not to toot my own horn, but if somebody posted an issue they were having and I don't know the answer (if it's an app issue, I usually try to see if I can resolve the issue myself - case in point the SSH/hydra issue with BT5 awhile back), I'm confident enough in my Google-fu that I could at least point somebody in the right direction to get them the help they need.

Also, I've never had any issue with Tom sounding as arrogant as mayjune has made him out to be.  Every conversation I've had with Tom, he has been very kind and helpful.  I've found him to be a very laid back guy, we usually end up joking around a bit by the end of the conversation.

Understandably the frustration some people have with attempts to contact him, but there's also other people who can help and resources to ask those people.  At the same time you're paying to learn from him, you're paying for access to those other resources.  I'd use them :)
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mayjune

Post Sat Jul 02, 2011 4:49 am

Re: [Article]-Course Review: Hacking Dojo - Shodan Foundational Class

I did the whole of Mukyu (Novice) and attended a month of Shodan so thats around 4 months of Dojo...

I agree that there is wiki and people are there to attend you on the forums, but mind you that this is a mentor class not a collaborative class.That is the reason why he's not taking more than 100 students at a time. I am not saying he should attend every person, that's not possible. Also I respect someone's life too, I get that you have your personal work too. But there has to be some balance in what you saying. You are promoting it as a mentor class, a class where you can take direct help from the teacher.

If I yet have to refer to wiki or ask people around, thn why you calling it a mentor class?? Don't you think people on forums like backtrack and linuxquestions or here in fact are FAR more capable of responding and giving you a faster feedback?? In my experience, Yes!

So what am I paying for? Wiki? Well there are enough books and content available online and offline that I can access which would be much more detailed thn the wiki. I had access to the wiki, and I know there is nothing on it that would make me like, wow I don't have to check out anything else!! Infact its more of a list of things to refer in most cases...

Again I am not saying the content is bad or Tom does not have knowledge, I am just saying, what is being said about the class as Mentor based Class is not what it is. That's all. And that is infact what turns me off. As without that, its just watching some video and figuring things out on your own, heck why pay for it then???

If it works out for you great, but if you are looking for help from the mentor, Tom needs to rework his attitude and strategies to make it really what it should be..
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El33tsamurai

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Post Sat Jul 02, 2011 9:37 am

Re: [Article]-Course Review: Hacking Dojo - Shodan Foundational Class

mayjune wrote:I did the whole of Mukyu (Novice) and attended a month of Shodan so thats around 4 months of Dojo...


If I yet have to refer to wiki or ask people around, thn why you calling it a mentor class?? Don't you think people on forums like backtrack and linuxquestions or here in fact are FAR more capable of responding and giving you a faster feedback?? In my experience, Yes

So what am I paying for? Wiki? Well there are enough books and content available online and offline that I can access which would be much more detailed thn the wiki. I had access to the wiki, and I know there is nothing on it that would make me like, wow I don't have to check out anything else!! Infact its more of a list of things to refer in most cases...

Again I am not saying the content is bad or Tom does not have knowledge, I am just saying, what is being said about the class as Mentor based Class is not what it is. That's all. And that is infact what turns me off. As without that, its just watching some video and figuring things out on your own, heck why pay for it then???

If it works out for you great, but if you are looking for help from the mentor, Tom needs to rework his attitude and strategies to make it really what it should be..


No dude you are paying for the content not someone to hold your hand.  With a mentor they help you but they don't hold your hand and force feed you stuff.  The security field is not for people that need hand holding its a field that you get a little help, such as the videos and learn and apply it yourself.  I don't mean to come off as an A** but seriously man don't be so lazy and say that this mentor should be there for you 24/7 because like I said that is not what a mentor does.
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rattis

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Post Sat Jul 02, 2011 11:18 am

Re: [Article]-Course Review: Hacking Dojo - Shodan Foundational Class

I'm somewhere in the middle on this one I think. I've been paying for the class for the last 3 months or so. The first class I had, was the review class (end of the cycle) and it made for a great introduction to the course too. We just had that class again 2 weeks ago.

There were a couple of times, assuming due to work since Grendel's status said "at client site", where the class ended up being canceled. There was one time, where there was no comment made if the class was canceled or not.

Although, as a martial arts instructor, with a real job outside of it, I know I can't always make it to the school to teach the class. That's why we have multiple instructors, and recently, the Hacking Dojo started having other instructors available to teach.

Grendel was able to answer some questions I tossed his way, but some he's ignored forcing me to search and ask on my own. So the monitoring thing is great. My questions were usually centered around my work. And were the type of should I or shouldn't I do something.

My biggest thing right now centers around the methodology used. I can understand the reason for it, but really the reason I signed up was to focus more on the basics and less on the form.
Last edited by rattis on Sun Jul 03, 2011 11:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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El33tsamurai

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Post Sat Jul 02, 2011 1:14 pm

Re: [Article]-Course Review: Hacking Dojo - Shodan Foundational Class

I still stand by my point, mentor is a mentor not a 24/7 hand holder.
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mayjune

Post Sun Jul 03, 2011 11:20 am

Re: [Article]-Course Review: Hacking Dojo - Shodan Foundational Class

I never said that he should be there 24/7 but reply of questions in 3-4 days is not acceptable and saying that I tend to ignore people when they are pushy is not done. If you don't like certain thing you communicate. I understand you are busy but that does not mean you make the person wait and wait till the person write to you a very long mail asking why the hell are you not replying to my mails??

If im paying for the content thn im sorry, there is a lot of content that is already available on the net that I can use it for me. And as for being lazy, if I was really lazy I would give up his course and look for another course to spoon feed me. I am not saying you spoon feed me but I don't get the point when someone is not helping you either when required. Its not an advance course where we know our way already that we just need a little amount of guidance. And I totally agree, in security field we need to learn on our own mostly, but the whole idea of mentorship is if im going wrong and i ask for some help when i can't look for someway i shud get response, good response bad response or a response like try harder is okayyy as long as there is a communication. That's all...
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rattis

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Post Sun Jul 03, 2011 11:57 am

Re: [Article]-Course Review: Hacking Dojo - Shodan Foundational Class

El33tsamurai wrote:I still stand by my point, mentor is a mentor not a 24/7 hand holder.


My questions were less how do I, and more of should I do something / suggest something not related to what I'm paid to do at work.
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