Hi Laurent! Can you tell us about your role at GitGuardian?
Greetings! I’ve been working at GitGuardian for four years, which makes me one of the oldest people in the company! For a few months, I’ve been a staff engineer, which means I’m an expert in my own sphere and have a larger scope than when I was a lead (on the public surveillance product). As we’ve grown our teams this year, there’s been considerable restructuring: we now have tribes and squads in the engineering department. As a Staff Engineer in the Detection and Remediation tribe, my job is to help integrate their work into our web application. I also lead a team dedicated to database performance.
What about your background?
After introductory math classes, I graduated from an engineering school (ENSTA). I was really attracted to cryptography at the time, but after an internship with a French leader in the field, I realized I wanted to work in a smaller company. The other way would have been to do scientific research, but I ultimately preferred to work on “classic” web development.
After an internship in NYC and an aborted start-up project, I saw an ad for a developer position at GitGuardian on my school’s job listing. I had the first interview where the project was presented to me, and I was immediately hooked on the idea. Any developer has to manage a lot of secrets, so we understand this is a real security concern.
The first office housed four startups in four-room apartments, and the average age was 25. GitGuardian was already alerting developers around the world when a secret was discovered in their commits, and aimed to build a product around that.
You have seen the evolution of the offering since that period; What would you say about it?
I would say there are two big changes that I’ve been lucky enough to see and contribute to: First, the first prototype of what we now call GitGuardian internal monitoring was really “individual developer” oriented. Initially, we thought that most of our users would be individuals maintaining their own repositories, so we focused on a single-user experience. We are far from that vision because we work with organizations that count hundreds, if not thousands, of developers. The challenges and roadmap have clearly changed dramatically.
The most important thing then was that we were splitting our expertise into two different products. Initially there was a lot of hesitation whether to make such a change or not. But in the end, the development needs were so different that it made sense. Today, it gives us enough technical leeway to integrate major new features without too many headaches. This is what allows us to project ourselves into the future: I work a lot with the R&D team to explore new horizons around code security.
As we grow, we add more human and hardware capabilities to expand and improve the robustness of our systems. It has been invaluable in building my own engineering experience.
What would you say to someone considering joining GitGuardian?
If I had to persuade any developer, I would tell them that working on GitGuardian products is about helping other developers and technical people. I’ll tell them about the challenges we face to remain the number one covert search solution and all the exciting ideas we have for the future.
The company is much more diverse now than it was when I joined; The average age has increased, and we get to have great monthly parties. But more importantly, the workplace is actually a good compromise between friendliness and seriousness. All the events allow us to meet new faces from other departments and maintain a shared culture amongst parents!
To conclude, can you tell us about your hobby?
I love backpacking! Even though I try to keep my air travel to a minimum, I’ve had a chance to visit Southeast Asia and Mexico in the past, and I plan to visit Cuba in the spring.
When in Paris, I learn pentesting by doing CTF 🙂 and I am also training to participate in a triathlon next year with other parents.
*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from GitGuardian Blogs – Automated Secrets Detection written by Thomas Segura. Read the original post here: https://blog.gitguardian.com/growing-as-an-engineer-gitguardian/