Entries by destrellatru

From Cyber Defense to COVID-19 Defense

He credits the whole Palo Alto Networks IT Services team for its support while his time has been limited, especially as the unprecedented demands of getting the entire company transitioned to remote work were at their peak.


The Product Management Academy is a two-year, rotational PM program for new grads. The rotations provide breadth and depth of experiences and give exposure to different customer challenges we solve as a company. It also introduces you to the unique problem-solver style of product management here at Palo Alto Networks. It fosters a high degree of analytical and product rigor by virtue of being on high-impact projects where you will be constantly challenged to deliver different outcomes while learning by doing.

Inside the Big Data Team

For someone early in their career, this is a great opportunity to work with technology you’ve never used before. We use Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and a streaming engine called Dataflow, as well as the industry-standard Apache Beam, to stream data to our customers and internal apps in real-time. We use BigQuery in GCP to build indexes and handle complex SQL queries with fast response times.

The Art of Customer Success

Customer Success at Palo Alto Networks is the opposite of what my prior experiences were. It’s a very positive position in that we’re not selling, per se — we’re reminding customers of the continuous value of our products and helping them to successfully obtain that value. For example, rather than talking about ticket numbers or problem cases, we’re talking about adoption, new features, giving best practice guidance and— as the name suggests — how to achieve success with the product. Customer Success means always finding ways for customers to achieve value.

Product Junkie

It was serendipitous that I ended up in cybersecurity. Unlike the college students I meet today, who are very clear about what they want, I didn’t know all the possibilities that existed in cybersecurity. I always knew I wanted to work with computers, and at that time, computer science education was just taking off, so I earned a degree in computer science, graduating in 2001.

Improving the Customer Experience

I spent most of my career in quality assurance and management roles, within product engineering organizations. I have enjoyed being part of new product initiatives (NPI) and projects that help to deliver tangible products to the market. 

In the Driver’s Seat: Exploring Product Management

As I’ve learned through my work experience, soft skills are a big component of product management. They’re critical for leading discussions with stakeholders and customers, distilling problems into their key components for long-term product guidance, and firefighting the new problems each day brings. However, in my view, self-learning and leadership are the most important traits for PM’s (yeah, yeah, I know — everyone says it).

On the Big Data Frontier

From a people-management perspective, I make it a point to hire people who are smart and intelligent, yet humble. Humility actually plays a big role with respect to the team I run because I want to ensure that everyone is getting to learn and grow every single day.

Enjoy the Ride

Because I am someone who thrives on learning and taking on new challenges, I’m continuing to evolve in my career at Palo Alto Networks. I am now transitioning to a new role and expect to continue serving our customers with cloud-native security solutions.

As a New Hire at Palo Alto Networks

My role as a Business Development Representative is to drive opportunities by following up with the marketing leads and discovering new potential customers for Palo Alto Networks.