I have always been curious, especially about assumptions that are built into technology and systems and how they can be broken. My father instilled this in me at an early age. It has been a driving force throughout my life — peeling back the layers to discover why things are the way they are, how things work, and where things could break. But I quickly learned one important rule.
If you find a way to break something, it is more rewarding to share your knowledge and suggest improvements rather than exploiting the flaw for yourself.
Naturally, my interest in tinkering with technology led to breaking many things along the way. But that also presented an opportunity to fix the new problem and learn more. I spent as much time as possible in the computer lab at school and began fixing things and writing software launchers so that people would have a better experience.
I was more interested in the practical use of technology than the building of it. In college, I vowed to study anything other than computer science. I wanted a broad liberal arts degree because, while I was interested in how technology worked, I did not want to study the theory of it.
However, a friend convinced me that programming was a fun and fulfilling activity, so I took a few classes. My interest in computer science grew and I took more classes. One of my professors introduced me to network security and I was hooked for good.
My excitement for network security defense led to a published academic paper about malware containment strategies.
Since then, my curiosity has grown to cover all aspects of security — network, infrastructure, and application security as well as policy and incident response. I am driven to make software and technology experiences better. I have worked at multinational software companies with sprawling security compliance landscapes as well as startups where I bootstrapped the security function from the ground up.
But throughout all this, I have worked remotely. It is really important for me to have flexible work — inspiration may strike at any time, but I need flexibility to take care of myself and my family. Remote work also cuts out big chunks of unnecessary overhead and allows me to spend more time focused on the things that matter.
I was ready to explore new job opportunities after several years working at a fast-growing legal software company. I found an Aha! job posting for a security engineer on a remote work site. As I researched the company, I was drawn to many blog posts, like the one about being passionate about your work.
In the interview process, it became clear that Aha! was deeply committed to technical security and excellence.
Aha! had already made a significant investment in security by becoming ISO27001 certified. The company had also become recognized as the thought leader for strategy and product management software. Everyone I spoke with was deeply knowledgeable about their own role as well as related areas of the business. I knew this was the place where my curious nature would thrive.
Working for Aha! gives me an opportunity to make a big impact on how people experience technology — not just for Aha! customers but for the customers of Aha! customers.
There is always room for improvement. We keep updating and enhancing Aha! so we can provide the best and most secure experience possible. We put experience first — all engineers are encouraged to and acknowledged for taking on customer (and employee!) experience improvements. Even though some may seem small, these improvements add up in aggregate to create what we call a Complete Product Experience.
We are dedicated to excellence as a team and co-workers are deeply committed to helping each other. We move quickly with well-defined goals in mind. My teammates inspire me and bring out my best work.
This is why I joined Aha! — and why you should too.