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No matter what time I set my alarm for, I always seem to wake up 5 minutes prior. I wake up every morning, excited for the upcoming set of challenges, because at ResMed we are improving lives. I start my day with a cup of coffee, sometimes enjoying a virtual coffee chat with my colleagues. Working for a globally-distributed organisation, we might have a sync up or two with our Europe-based colleagues.
Additionally, I prepare breakfast for my kids – or at least make sure they aren’t eating ice cream at 7am.
The Product Security team is relatively small, so we are all working across a range of different tasks. We work with PD (Product Development) and R&D teams globally in order to ensure the products and services we build are resilient to cybersecurity risks. We aim to forge Trust directly into systems development.
A typical morning will have me syncing up on high-criticality issues to make sure they are unblocked. This could be some 1:1 meetings or larger project-focused discussions. Most days I also have to support incident responses or plan an internal red-team exercise.
I like to keep abreast of major projects to ensure the team is providing value early, as opposed to surfacing issues later in a project. A team might request a deeper dive into some security risks identified during a threat model exercise. But we don’t just identify problems, we help design solutions, and this is why Product Security is so unique. At the end of the day, we need to make sure ResMed can deliver the highest value to its customers.
I like to say that we are like the pit crew team in a car race, making sure the cars keep going. Often, we tackle problems like a software engineering team.
I could eat Mexican food every day, so to me San Diego taco shops are a gift. Of course, my kids don’t always share my taste in food. If I have time, I take a complete break from work and play with my son and daughters. We sometimes go swimming, and sometimes they want to outscore me in some PS4 video game, like the co-op beat-em-up games.
I also like to catch up on news at lunch time, specifically news about tech and world affairs. Reddit (subscriptions only – “All” is a mess) mixed with some Google News keeps me up-to-speed, albeit locked into my echo chamber.
I like to keep my hands dirty, so in the afternoons I’ll work on an engineering task assigned during our sprint planning. These days, this usually involves python, terraform, and a slew of AWS services to ensure we can scale our solutions. As Director, I’ve taken on less of this work so I do not become a bottleneck to the team, but I feel strongly that you need more than a surface-level understanding of current technology to make the right forward-looking decisions. Theory is great, but my brain prefers to apply models. I tend to start this type of software engineering work later because if I get in the “zone”, I can continue into the evening.
We conduct the daily scrum late in the afternoon – global teams. This means that some people are wrapping up as others are coming online. It takes a while to get used to this, but it also allows for ‘hand-off’ of critical work – if you break things up cleanly.
The afternoon also tends to have one or two more sync up calls with our friends in Sydney – another hub for our business. They might need some security guidance for a next-gen device or two or three. I like to understand the broader context – good product security starts with development hygiene and design. I work with some of the smartest people I’ve ever met, and I love learning from them.
Towards 6pm I start winding down my workday. I’ll continue reading articles I might have earmarked or I might spend more time tinkering on a new dev tool or library.
I’m a night owl, so in some ways I should have started with my evening. I’ll play with my kids until bedtime, and after that i’ll pick one of my hobbies to continue into the late hours. As mentioned, I might continue coding if it’s a juicy problem I’m trying to solve.
We recently moved into a new home, built in 1960, so I find quite a bit of my free time is spent on home renovation projects – painting, cabinetry, basic plumbing, anything that bugs me and needs to be improved.
I might also pick up a fiction book, play some video games or stream a show. I got pulled into the ‘Sopranos’ re-watch chatter without even realizing. The illusion of free-will, indeed…