Information Security Expert Finds DevOps Dream Job
Joe Zhou is a security technology expert with more than 15 years of industry experience. During his career, he has focused on making applications more secure. He has served in security architect roles at LendingClub, SAP, Cisco, and a few startups. His security-by-design mindset has been pivotal in many of those roles, and he’s passionate about security’s role in DevOps.
Zhou earned a master’s degree in electrical engineering and is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).
Making Meaningful Contributions
Without Burning Out
As a savvy, veteran infosec professional, Zhou knew a lot about the space and available opportunities. As an engineer, he has always had a desire to manage up-front expectations, something that others are not always great at doing.
“I’m not just an engineer,” Zhou said. “I want to make sure I don’t overpromise what’s really possible.”
When Zhou was thinking about the next step in his career, he knew that work-life balance and managing stress were crucial to preventing burnout.
“I want to contribute to a company and not burn out,” Zhou said. “Working with a good team is necessary. I’m also the CEO of myself.
I manage the investment in my skill sets and time. I think of how I’m going to use that investment for myself and my company.”
In measuring his success, Zhou doesn’t think about numbers or titles.
It’s about being a contributor, working with a diverse team, and being happy with the day-to-day. Before meeting Harrison Clarke, he used an agent from a previous job. The experience netted him a job, but the support from the recruiting agency didn’t meet his expectations.
White-Glove Recruiting Service
When Zhou began working with Harrison Clarke, he immediately saw a difference in its approach. He wasn’t looking when Harrison Clarke reached out, but the opportunity was intriguing. And so was what he was hearing from the recruiter.
“They have deep industry knowledge and are more professional,” Zhou added.
“They really do their homework.”
Once Zhou was in front of potential employers, Harrison Clarke was there with him every step of the way, addressing concerns and answering questions. He called it “white-glove service.”
Once the offer came in and negotiations were ongoing, Zhou appreciated Harrison Clarke’s support and the company’s unique perspective on both the candidate and the employer sides. Harrison Clarke assisted him with the negotiations as well.
This special expertise, along with in-depth awareness of the world of information security and DevOps, was the right combination for Zhou.
“I’m very happy with the service,” he said.
“From the first call to actual placement, it was only a few weeks. They went way beyond an HR relationship.”
A Dream Job: Security in DevOps
Zhou is now working at Palo Alto Networks, a global cybersecurity leader.
Zhou acknowledges that the job hasn’t been a huge change because he’s been doing this for so long, but he did say it’s more relaxed.”
He’s doing what he’s passionate about— DevSecOps—and he’s following his desire to contribute.
“The detailed job description matched my perspective on security and that it should be the center of the future, especially in DevOps or DevSecOps,” Zhou said when asked how he knew this was the right role.
“It’s a dream job because it’s security embedded in DevOps.”
The Future Looks Secure
When Zhou thinks about the future, he feels fortunate to be where he is now. He doesn’t have ambitions to start his own company or become a vice president or manager.
He would rather focus on executing information security.
“For now, I hope to continue being part of my company’s success,” he noted.
Although he has no desire to seek out any new opportunities, Zhou implores others in the DevOps field to talk to Harrison Clarke.
“One of the best agencies you can get,” he remarked. “They’ll be practical and give you the maximum value.”
It looks like the future is secure for Zhou and all the applications he develops at Palo Alto Networks.