Engineering Manager Cezar Socoteanu on the Power of Staying Curious When Delivering Innovative Solutions

Mihai-Alexandru Cristea 12/07/2022 | 11:50

With an unwavering passion for data and problem-solving, Cezar Socoteanu never imagined a management role would be the right fit for him — until he joined CrowdStrike. During his first few years as an engineer with the company, Cezar seized the opportunity to learn as much as he could from his seasoned colleagues. This constant collaboration to problem-solve and test solutions with others awakened Cezar’s passion for leadership and helping others learn and grow. 

 

Since then, Cezar has shifted into a management role, where he shares his experience with his team and encourages everyone to continue asking the right questions, helping the company continue to deliver innovative solutions for its customers.

 

Tell us about your background and what brought you to CrowdStrike?

I joined CrowdStrike as an engineer three years ago right when a new project was kicking off. It was a great opportunity to work with some really hands-on engineers — I was instantly impressed by their knowledge. Since then, I’ve learned a lot and I’m happy to be able to share some of my expertise with my colleagues now as a manager.

When I joined CrowdStrike, I had cybersecurity industry experience, which is somewhat uncommon in this field and also not completely necessary. At CrowdStrike, as long as you have the foundational skills, you can learn about the industry use cases along the way.

 

What do you like about your current role as a manager, and how is it different from your previous role as an engineer?

As a manager, the biggest change is that there isn’t as much technical work as before. In my current role, I focus more on helping others grow in technical areas and soft skills. The biggest satisfaction is seeing my team members find value in the suggestions I offer them and watching them grow professionally. I think this is the most important success that you can achieve as a manager.

 

What have you found unique or challenging about your time at CrowdStrike?

I didn’t have any background in distributed systems before joining CrowdStrike and had to learn a lot of concepts from scratch. What we do at CrowdStrike is totally unique compared to what other big data companies offer. Given the nature of the problems we want to solve, most of the time the engineering techniques described in publicly available blog posts, books and other resources are not enough, so our team has the opportunity to come up with innovative ideas and solutions.

CrowdStrike has seasoned engineers with great experience, which has helped me learn a lot. When operating within the scale and the complexity that we do at CrowdStrike, working as part of a team is beneficial to help you stay on track with principles, best practices and shared areas of improvement.

 

What do you think makes for a successful engineer at CrowdStrike?

I believe you need a mix of skills to be a successful engineer here. Most people believe engineers need to always have the hard skills, the problem-solving skills. I think these are as equally important as soft skills, because even if you are a very talented engineer, the problems that we solve at CrowdStike are so complex that it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to solve those problems by yourself.

You need to be able to wear multiple hats. There will be times you will have to synchronize with different teams, ask questions and be curious in an authentic way. Those soft skills play an important role here. To be a good engineer, it’s a 50/50 split between technical and soft skills.

 

What advice would you give to an engineer who wants to work at CrowdStrike?

CrowdStrike is an exciting company to be a part of, no matter where you are in your career. It’s a great place to develop technical skills. And in terms of scale, there aren’t many companies in Romania that can compare with CrowdStrike — or around the world, for that matter. This is something really incredible because we deal with data at an extraordinary scale.

If someone is interested in joining CrowdStrike, being open-minded is key. Even if we all agree on a solution, we try to analyze it further and see if that solution scales in the long run. One of our unofficial mantras is “disagree and commit.” For each project, we have a discovery phase and a delivery phase. During discovery, we brainstorm on all ideas and try to improve them, so everyone needs to be flexible.

Also, staying curious and asking questions are important to thrive here. At CrowdStrike, it doesn’t matter at what level you are. Everyone can play a role in challenging and improving the prototypes we are conceiving. You never know where the next groundbreaking idea will come from.

 

Do you want to play a role in executing the next groundbreaking idea? Browse CrowdStrike’s job listings and internship program today. For more details about CrowdStrike Romania, click here

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