Interview with Baye Gaspard

Github: @bayegaspard

Where are you based?

Massachusetts, USA

What do you do (i.e. studying, working, etc.)?

Doctorate student at University of Massachusetts, and part time volunteer at OpenMined. Working as part of the OpenMined core engineering team.

What   are   your   specialties   (i.e.   Python   development,   Javascript
development, community organization, etc.)?

I focus on leading the efforts in securing OpenMined's code and infrastructure. I propose and implement security mechanisms and policies for OpenMind's API, VPN, Syft, and PyGrid infrastructure. I also perform Application Security auditing and pentesting of these different infrastructures. I work closely with the Engineering team to fix the various security bugs.

How and when did you originally come across OpenMined?

In January 2021, I searched for privacy-preserving frameworks on Github to build a proof of concept for my master's thesis, "Adversarial Attacks on Federated Learning for Time Series Classification Tasks and Countermeasure” where OpenMined was top choice.

What was the first thing you started working on within OpenMined?

While searching for a privacy-preserving framework for my master's thesis, I stumbled upon Syft (called PySyft and PyGrid at that time), which caught my attention. While playing with Syft, I accidentally found some security bugs. I performed due diligence and reported the bug via a pull request( That was my first pull request at OpenMined; the rest is history.

And what are you working on now?

I am working with master Madhava and many prominent core engineering team members at OpenMined through which I learned a lot and they keep inspiring me. Together, we are working to make OpenSource safe again. I am auditing OpenMined's Access control and transport security protocols (transport layer security (TLS)), ensuring that it is implemented using recommended procedures and standards.

What would you say to someone who wants to start contributing?

OpenMined community is a vast, diverse, very welcoming, and supportive community. At first, it may be challenging, but you will get the proper support to continue your journey. Don't get shy from the complexity of the technology. You just need to ask; someone will always answer or guide you. There are lots of opportunities to learn from the core developers. One interesting program is called the OpenMined Padawan program, where you will get a one-on-one mentorship with various OpenMined experts to get you started.

Please recommend one interesting book, podcast or resource to the OpenMined community.

I am currently reading "Think and grow rich" by Napoleon Hill. I encourage everyone to read  this book because it helps you learn how to sell skills and not just be good behind your computer. I will love to share helpful self-explaining good quotes from the book: "A quitter never wins -  and - a winner never quits." "Dreams are not born of indifference, laziness, or lack of  ambition." "Men who succeed reach decisions promptly and change them, if at all, very slowly."