Those of us that have done any kind of programming will understand the significance of the title of this post. It is generally the first thing that we learn to code. A simple program that displays the test "Hello World" on the screen of the computer we are using. I suppose the real world analogue would be a baby learning to takes its first steps or make its first sound. In many ways the post launches the DFIRLABS presence on the Internet, our way of saying "Hello World", even though we have been in practice since 2014.
DFIRLABS represents a new step in a 25 year journey of helping people. After school I joined the South African Police Service and was recruited into the elite Commercial Branch while in Police College. I loved investigating white collar crime, it was like playing a game of chess with a chess master and each case allowed me to match my wits against some very smart criminals. When I got the chance to join what I saw as a more focused agency, I did, and joined the Special Investigating Unit, as a specialist investigator, where my computer skills were put to go use, and I began practicing digital forensics. I had finally embraced by real passion which was computer science, and was using it to make a real difference in the cases that we investigated.
I was very grateful to a number of people I served under in the Special Investigating Unit who gave me the space and opportunity to grow and develop myself. Adv. Willem Heath allowed me to show how digital forensics and analytics could enhance investigations and gave me the space to function. Adv. Willie Hofmeyr gave me to opportunity to set up a world class digital forensics laboratory to serve the Special Investigating Unit and other South African law enforcement agencies. Adv. Nomvula Mokhatla gave me the opportunity to begin helping other agencies throughout Africa. All of this opened up the possibility to me that I could begin to make more of a difference outside of law enforcement than I could in it.
As an independent forensic scientist I can now be true to the pure ethos of forensic science and simply focus on the facts, the science, and help anyone who needs our help.