Career Notes 6.25.23
Ep 155 | 6.25.23

Slavik Markovich: Time is of the essence. [CEO]


Slavik Markovich: Hello, my name Slavik Markovich, and I am the founder and CEO of Descope.

Slavik Markovich: It's kind of funny, but nothing related to technology at all, at least until I was like 10 or 12. Uh, I was heavily into martial arts and martial arts movies, and I wanted to be a martial arts instructor.

Slavik Markovich: So my parents got me my first Commodore and I had the neighbors going to, uh, the university, uh, that was in our city and they taught me a bit of basic and they got all the manual, uh, you know, the manuals for that. And, uh, yeah, I started a bit programming with basics, then learning a bit about how computers are made, and that kind of decided it. So I guess from a 10 years old, I switched and said, okay, I want to be something with computers and so, uh, that, that became a big part of my life.

Slavik Markovich: So in high school I went to, uh, study electronics and uh, part of that was also a lot of computer classes, but also a lot of like actual electronics and playing with, uh, resistors and capacitors and all of those. So, yeah, it was pretty cool. I think the, the first kind of, uh, professional, uh, you know, exposure to computers was, uh, in the Technion, which is university in, uh, in Israel. Where I studied computer science. Uh, so that's kinda the, uh, I'd say formal education in computers, before that I was kinda playing around with stuff and, uh, following that I spent, uh, six years in the Israeli Defense forces also, uh, doing, uh, computer stuff, mostly managing a team of, uh, database administrators for large, uh, you know, backend architectures in the IDF.

Slavik Markovich: This is my, uh, third company, uh, prior to that, uh, after leaving the army, I was part of a consulting firm, so I was a partner in consulting firm. Uh, and so how databases were protected, uh, or, or lack of protections for databases. And so my first startup was actually, trying to solve that, the startup was called Sentrigo, and it was a database activity monitoring, which is very challenging from a tech technological, uh, perspective. It was very interesting for me to develop it, a lot of reversing of databases, a lot of low level memory access. Uh, and then we sold that company to McAfee. Following that, this is where I met one of my co-founders, Rishi, who was on the buying side and then we decided to, uh, leave McAfee, founded another company called Demisto, which was in security orchestration, uh, automation and response and, uh, sold that in 2019 to Paloalto Networks for roughly 600 million dollars. And after a few years in Palo Alto Networks, I felt that, hey, I'm ready to start something new and this is where we started Descope.

Slavik Markovich: We really try to get to a decision via consensus. We're very, uh, I'd say open and completely non-hierarchical. So, you know, a developer would shout at me and reject my pool request. And yeah, I have no problem with that and so, uh, on the one hand, we're like very flat organization. Everybody has a say and we really equal partners. On the other hand, I think we really stress the importance of, uh, of responsibility. So if, if you kinda take something, you, you make sure to finish it and on time, if you promise to do something, you do that. And so that's really important for us. We really try to just, uh, have fun here in Descope. I guess to me, I have my own kind of rituals, uh, that let me unwind and, uh, relax. I like to run, uh, you know, uh, workouts, uh, things of that nature. Uh, but, uh, Just, just to be clear, we are, a lot of us are Israelis here in the company and we really like to shout at one another, but that's fine. I mean, it's not, uh, the end of the world and, uh, eventually we get to a, you know, a, a consensus.

Slavik Markovich: I'd say, uh, be curious, be out there, talk with people. Probably half of it is just getting out there and, and being there. Uh, the other part is make sure to do what you love, which is, which will help you quite a lot because if you like what you're doing, you, you'll get better and, and eventually really good at it. Uh, so that's, that's my advice. I really liked, uh, you know, security from when I was a kid. You know, did a lot of reversing, did hacking, things of that nature and, you know, ended up doing that, uh, for my career, so I cannot be happier.