Team Monday 4th January 2021

Instaclustr Insights: Meet Paris Larkins

By Instaclustr

Instaclustr Insights provide meaningful insights into team members’ work lives. This time it is Paris Larkins – Graduate Software Engineer, Instaclustr.

What does your role at Instaclustr entail?

My role at Instaclustr entails managing, maintaining, enhancing, and implementing Instaclustr’s development security practices. This ranges from tracking and prioritizing discovered vulnerabilities, responding to security incidents, helping developers adhere to security requirements, and providing security awareness training to developers. It’s quite a broad role, and also involves identifying and implementing opportunities for improvement or automation in our security-related processes.  

What does a typical day look like for you?

Due to the varied nature of my role, most of my days are pretty different from one another. The main daily routines I have are a daily team standup meeting in the morning, and checking if any new vulnerabilities have been discovered in our systems since the previous day. The rest of my day will depend on what I’m currently working on, whether it’s working on a Python script to help automate a task, adding a feature to our main Java codebase, or assessing and prioritizing newly discovered vulnerabilities. 

How did you first get interested in technology?

At around age 11 a school friend of mine introduced me to basic HTML and CSS. I found it fascinating and followed online tutorials to learn more about it and created some toy websites. From there, I went on to JavaScript and Python tutorials and have been continuing to learn and experiment with new things ever since.

And your formal education followed in that path?

Yep, I took every computing class in years 11 and 12 that I could! This gave me a taste of a broad range of topics including robotics, imperative programming, and web development. After finishing year 12 with a double major in Information Technology, I continued on the same path and enrolled in a computer science program at the Australian National University. I have recently completed my degree, with majors in Cybersecurity and Systems Architecture.

When did you join Instaclustr—and why?

I joined Instaclustr as a casual in April 2018, while I was still studying. Ben Slater, Chief Product Officer at Instaclustr, gave a guest lecture about NoSQL at ANU that I attended. During that lecture he mentioned that Instaclustr was looking for casual staff. I googled Instaclustr to learn about the company’s values and work they did, and it sounded interesting. I had been enjoying studying large-scale and distributed systems, and thought Instaclustr would be a great place to get some hands-on experience in these areas. Additionally, I was very impressed with Instaclustr’s support for open source technologies, having worked on some small open source projects myself.

What’s been your favorite part about Instaclustr since joining?

My favorite part about Instaclustr has been the variety in the work I’ve done. I’ve learned so much from being able to try my hand at a wide range of technologies and parts of the codebase. As well as learning new technologies, I feel the variety has also given me a broader perspective on how our various systems work and fit together, which I find helpful most days. The variety has extended outside of the software realm too, and opportunities to present to groups of my colleagues are something I’ve really come to appreciate.

In your opinion, what makes someone a good fit to be in the Dev Tools, Standards, and Security Team?

I think the key thing that makes someone a good fit to be in the Dev Tools, Standards, and Security team specifically, rather than Instaclustr in general, is the willingness and ability to constantly learn and switch between different technologies and parts of our codebase. Tasks for DTSS team members can see you working with things like Jenkins, Ansible, Terraform, AWS Lambda, Java, Python, Kubernetes, and Docker. Each task may be completely different from the last, which makes the work very interesting, but also challenging. 

Interested in working for Instaclustr? View our current openings here. Alternatively, you can write to us at hr@instaclustr.com.