This week at wolfSSL each intern was asked to perform a quick Q&A with a full time employee of wolfSSL. The goal was for each intern to get better acquainted with a member of the wolfSSL team. Additionally, by authoring a blog post of each interview the other interns would also get to know the team a little better.
First conversation with Rod
When Rod first answered the phone I was somewhat nervous because:
A. I had never met or talked to Rod before and…
B. I was busy at work and missed our appointed time for the interview!
My fears were quickly laid to rest however as Rod greeted me in a most pleasant and welcoming manner. He was gracious and willing to answer all my questions. Rods voice and tone would immediately put the most nervous person at ease, soothing any anxieties one might have about chatting with a senior employee.
Rods High School Interests
With this opening to our conversation I was comfortable to jump right in. Having come into the software field from a unique background, I was curious to find out if Rod had a similar past. I asked if Rod had always been interested in programming or software technology and he immediately replied “No”. He then went on to explain that his interests in high school were sports and work. He specifically mentioned football and track, and went on to say he held a job while in high school. As an interviewer this led me to conclude that he was probably more mature than the average high school student.
Having experienced a life of sports and physical labor myself, I have always been intimidated by the younger generations of hackers who have been programming since they were in high school if not earlier. Naturally, I was very excited to hear that someone so obviously successful in the world of software and hardware had the same interests I had when I was in high school! Rod’s story gives me confidence that I will achieve everything I have ever wanted to in the field of software development.
After High School
It took me eight years before I started my higher education beyond high school so the next question I posed was in regards to Rod`s higher education. I was curious to know if he went straight into college and if so, did he immediately pursue an education in Computer Science? Rod good-naturedly laughed and said that, “Yes”, he went straight into college after graduating, but he never did get a degree. Rather he ended up leaving school to help his family through some difficult problems. All through college and helping his family Rod continued to hold a job and earn his way in the world.
Summary of Life Pre-wolfSSL
Eventually Rod told me that he wound up in the Seattle area selling software. This was where he met Larry Stefonic, the CEO and Co-Founder of wolfSSL. Rod gained the greater amount of his experience and knowledge of software tools/technology during these years. The best type of learning, hands on experience!
Rod informed me that as a team wolfSSL is not “overconfident” but they are very “comfortable” with what they do. The tone in his voice led me to believe that while they are not “overconfident”, they are very good at what they do. As individuals they do not act superior because they have good morals and ethics, not because they lack skill.
The wolfSSL team strikes me as a group of laid back, responsible, and highly skilled individuals. I am more than ecstatic to get to know and meet the team as the summer goes on. They seem like an awesome group of programmers. I know I will learn a lot from the wolfSSL team the more I get to know each of them.
About the Author
Kaleb grew up in the small town of Condon, Montana (MT). He was always interested in computers but never had the opportunity to learn much about software technology. He moved to Stevensville, MT at the age of 12. His interests in high school included Football, Basketball, Baseball, Track. Kaleb worked at a local Timber Framing Company seasonally, and the local super market during the school year.
Kaleb joined the military at the age of 17 with parental consent and attended Basic Training in the summer of 2003, following his junior year in high school. Upon graduating high school in 2004 he returned to finish Advanced Individual Training in Ft. Benning, Georgia. Kaleb married Sherri Wandler from his hometown in 2009. Following 8 years of service, Kaleb was honorably discharged from active duty in 2011.
With a skill set not applicable to civilian life, Kaleb decided to pursue higher education. Having always been curious about computers and software technology, a degree in Computer Science was a natural pursuit for him. Kaleb has just completed his junior year in the Computer Science Bachelors Program at MSU Bozeman and is currently working as an intern for wolfSSL.