I sat down with Chris Conlon, an employee here at wolfSSL and got to ask him a few questions:
Q: How did you start working with the company, and how long have you been here?
“I`ve been here going on four years now. I got the job directly out of MSU with a BS in Computer Science and minor in Management of IT. I met our CEO, Larry Stefonic, here in Bozeman, was offered an internship, and was really excited about working for a fast-paced and growing company. This also allowed me to stay in Bozeman where I could hike and ski, which I love to do.”
Q: What projects have you worked on?
“I`ve worked on a very diverse range of projects. The first one I worked on was related to Android. I was trying to see how difficult it would be to replace OpenSSL with CyaSSL. The final project was a Java SSL Provider for Linux and Android – both of which can be found on our website. I also worked with MIT on porting the Kerberos Authentication Protocol to Android. Since then, there have been many customer-specific projects ranging from “Smart” door locks to different forms of machine-to-machine (M2M) communication. One of the more recent larger projects was our wolfSSL JNI product, which was a lot of fun. Besides engineering projects, I`ve worked on a number of things to help the company grow including developing the website and various marketing and partnership activities.”
Q: What are your daily responsibilities like?
“It varies from day to day, but there are a few consistencies: managing our technical support, helping with pre-sales technical discussions, engineering projects, website work, and marketing activities. Customer projects vary in type of application and tools used so, like several of our employees, I end up working with a large variety of development tools and platforms.
I also speak and write on behalf wolfSSL for many of our presentations, magazine articles, and case studies. Last year I gave presentations at FOSDEM in Brussels, Belgium, Embedded World in Nuremberg, Germany, and at the ARM Technology Conference in San Jose, CA. Those were a lot of fun.
My most recent task, and one which I`m very excited to be part of, is supervising six interns here in Bozeman over the Summer of 2014. I know the whole team is really excited to bring this group of interns into the company for the Summer. It`s exciting to see the company expanding, and the fact that we`ve reached the point where we are able to handle six interns shows us just how much we have grown as a company. And that`s really cool for all of us to see.”
Q: You`ve worked on a lot. What was your favorite project? Your most challenging?
“I really enjoyed working on the wolfSSL JNI wrapper, but I feel like all the projects I`ve worked on were unique enough to where I enjoyed them all. Everything keeps me busy with new challenges. As far as the most challenging project, I would have to say that either porting Kerberos to Android or working on ASN-encoding related projects have taken that spot.”
Q: How did you overcome these challenging situations?
“I think the best way to solve problems is flexibility and having an open mind to learning new things. One of the reasons I enjoy working in this field is because I think it`s really exciting to be working with new technologies – and with the rapid expansion of the embedded Internet and IoT it really keeps things interesting.”
Q: What do you find most rewarding about working here?
“Lots of things are rewarding, but I think getting to see the impact we make on the communications security market and even on the technology itself is the most rewarding. Even being a small company we`ve got to work on lots of projects that help the field evolve and expand. Working with such a talented group of individuals here at wolfSSL and our partner companies is rewarding and inspiring.”
Q: What are your final thoughts?
“I think the whole team is really excited to bring on our new interns this Summer. I`ve enjoyed being part of yaSSL (now wolfSSL) for the past four years, and am looking forward to continuing to work with the wolfSSL team into the future.”
About the author:
My name is CJ Smith, and I am one of the interns that wolfSSL has taken on over the summer of 2014. I`m really looking forward to working for such a great company in an extremely exciting field. I`m a Sophomore at Montana State University working toward a BA in Computer Engineering. In my spare time I like to read, play games, hike, and mess around with programming. I haven`t done much in this field outside of school, so this summer should be a great learning experience as well as a huge opportunity to see the real-world applications of everything I have learned.